Our time on Lopez Island has passed, giving me time to reflect on this magical little island. Being camp hosts at Spencer Spit State Park for the past six weeks gave us time to get to know the island at a leisurely pace. This is unlike what many of us are faced with when we pull into a new destination, having only a few days or a week to explore, and a list a page long of all we want to see.
Volunteering has given us that luxury, for which we are grateful. For us it is not just about having more leisure time to explore or getting a free site in exchange for work, although that is pretty sweet. It is important for us to give back in some way while on the road, as we feel so blessed to have the time and resources to travel this beautiful country of ours. Lopez Island has been a wonderful place to give back, and staff and park visitors alike often expressed their appreciation for the work we did.
As I perused photos capturing the wonderful memories we made on Lopez, I felt compelled to write this short post. Time and again we saw how one couple touched lives here on the island, both with the locals and park visitors alike. That couple was Laurel and Eric, two people who we are pleased to call our friends.
Laurel and Eric acted as the park’s Interpretive Hosts, planning and facilitating the Junior Ranger Program and a program they developed called Coffee with the Birds, geared towards adults. For those who have seen a child being sworn in as a Junior Ranger or watched as they ran around a park completing their workbooks, you know what a heartwarming experience it is. They are fully engaged, serious about their assignment.
As I watched Laurel and Eric conducting their weekly programs, pure delight is what I saw on the faces. These two touched lives each time they gathered visitors together around the tables.
And we saw first-hand the connection they’ve made with the local community as well, when we sat in on some of the jam sessions they had with other musicians on the island. They have touched many lives, ours as well. We are so grateful our paths have crossed.