For many of our volunteers, Christmas is a time to become crafty: get out the yarn, papers, paints and tools, and create something majestic. Certainly, that is the case for Stephanie Huolt who is taking her craftiness to the next level as our volunteer team lead for craft at this year’s Christmas Reflections event.
Stephanie got started volunteering at Fort Edmonton Park this fall for Spooktacular. A passionate interpreter and historian, Stephanie has worked for years at the Ukrainian Village, the John Walter Museum and John Janzen Nature Centre, and now at the Reynolds Museum. She also keeps busy with volunteer commitments in the heritage field; she has served on the board of the U of A Museums since 2012. When the opportunity came up to volunteer at the Park, she jumped at the chance to take on a leadership role and build her skills while creating something fun. According to Stephanie, volunteering here may have just been a matter of time: “I’ve known lots of people who worked and volunteer here and have always gotten such a great impression. I’ve loved coming here and continuing to work with other volunteers and visitors.” Stephanie became Crafts Team Lead for the Spooktacular event and quickly blew everyone away with her creativity, efficiency, and fun leadership style. “I really enjoyed an opportunity to practice organizing and team supervision,” she says of her first experience, “and figuring out how to roll with the punches because things can change very quickly,” she laughs. With her success at Spooktacular, she naturally stepped into the role again for Christmas!
Beyond the opportunity to challenge herself and take on new roles, Stephanie is really excited about the chance to be a steward for history: “I love to share the stories, and I’m so honoured to be a steward for the stories of people who are no longer around to share their own.” She takes great pride in showing the historic experience, rather than telling, and loves activities like crafts because they “give that hands on opportunity to learn: anyone can read books or look at pictures, but there’s something special about really doing something. Especially when it helps kids to understand how convenient things are now!” she shares. Stephanie believes that we all have an opportunity to explore the history of those before, and to create our own history: “One day, our history and narratives will be told and we are setting the precedent for how that’s done”.
Are you ready to help tell that story? Volunteer with Stephanie to create crafty masterpieces at Christmas Reflections!