Responsibility and commitment are fun! Don’t believe us? Let us introduce you to Beela and Lucia, a dynamic mother-daughter duo and members of our Family Volunteer Program team.

Walk into the Pacific Canada gallery and you are bound to find them near the octopus habitat. “Did you know that octopuses have three hearts and they have arms not tentacles? Everyone thinks that they have tentacles,” says Lucia, 11 years old. Her face lights up as she riddles off these fascinating facts.

Beela, Lucia’s mom, loves volunteering at the Vancouver Aquarium too. After volunteering at the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, she learned of the Family Volunteer Program and wanted to get involved with her daughter and her daughter’s friend. “I originally enrolled them to teach them about commitment and responsibility while having fun,” Beela says. “The program has given us that and more!” Beela and Lucia’s favourite activity is to do face painting as it gives them an opportunity to talk to the visitors about their favourite aquatic animal. Beela loves seeing how her daughter Lucia and her friend Sydney take pride in their creations and the joy they get from being able to see what goes on behind the scenes at the Aquarium.

Lucia and Beela are just two of the 51 volunteers in the Family Volunteer Program at the Vancouver Aquarium.

The Family Volunteer Program started as a pilot program in 2014 and it is continuing to grow. Running in the summer months of July and August, the program involves groupings of one or two children (10-13) and an adult (19+) volunteer. Families volunteer together, usually once each week for a four-hour shift, and choose from a variety of activities. These activities include face painting, helping with arts and crafts, teaching visitors about the salmon life cycle, inviting visitors to experience what a sea star feels like in one of the touch pools, and talking to visitors about some of the cool and unusual animals that live at the Aquarium.

If you and your child (10-13) would like to be a part of an amazing enthusiastic group of volunteers while learning more about our oceans and the creatures that call it home, recruitment for the Summer 2019 season starts in May. Interested families can contact Volunteer Services at volunteer@ocean.org for further information.

This blog was written by a volunteer engagement writer, Adrienne.

 

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