Feed the Folk
Getting to know Volunteers at Geronimo Campground…by Gretchen Bergen
Living in their converted school bus at the staff campground, Lesslye and Shawn Mason wanted to get to know other volunteers at Snow Mountain Ranch. One evening, the couple took a chance. They invited a few people in the trailers and campers next door to a casual pot luck dinner followed by s’mores around the campfire. The evening was a big hit. Everyone pitched in to bring food and help set up and clean up. People volunteering and working in different departments around the 5,000-acre property were soon talking like old friends. “We should do this more often,” everyone said, and so they did! Each gathering brought more and more people.
As soon as Shawn and Lesslye pulled up the following summer, staff began asking when they were having pot luck. Just like the summer before, Wednesday dinner outside the bus became a weekly event. Lesslye and Shawn made sure everyone was welcome. Seasonal, year-round and international staff would drop by for plenty of delicious food and fellowship. Friendships began over picnic tables. Plans were made for long hikes or excursions to Denver. New arrivals met seasoned volunteers learned they had friends in common or shared the same interests or alma maters. The Wednesday pot lucks became a place to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. The gatherings gave everyone a chance to welcome new volunteers to the fold and bid farewell to good friends once their volunteer stint came to an end.
On August 21 a group of nearly 60 volunteers and staff gathered to said good-bye to summer with a traditional picnic meal featuring sloppy joes, corn on the cob, watermelon and homemade ice cream. Under a gorgeous sunset full of billowing clouds, the group took a moment to gather for a photo to remember a summer full of friendship and fellowship. This is what Snow Mountain Ranch is all about!