School’s back in session for the kids. What about trying mind-expanding activities for adults combined with community service?
Volunteers decide where they want to spend their time and energies and what talents they want to share. Opportunities are endless on the Central Coast. Meeting interesting, like-minded people is the bonus.
Judy Thompson grew up a “military brat” before settling in Santa Ana to teach “special education to tough kids.” She ultimately decided to study law, and while in school, she and her husband discovered Pismo Beach. They fell in love with the area.
“We decided the Central Coast was where we wanted to retire,” Thompson said. “While our friends were taking cruises, we saved our money and eventually had our dream home in Morro Bay.”
Never miss a local story.
It hasn’t been all roses for Thompson. She is a breast cancer survivor and legendary support advocate.
She helped establish Morro Bay’s SurviveOars Dragon Boating Team (www.surviveoars.org).
The exercise is therapy for women with cancer. They row three times a week in Morro Bay and compete out of the area.
Thompson’s current passion, however, is docent training for the Friends of the Elephant Seals (www.elephantseal.org).
“Each docent has their style. Some sit and wait for a curious question. I like to jump right in and ask questions I’m sure will prompt more questions,” she said.
Evelyn and Dave Dabritz are retired teachers who have been married 61 years.
“My husband’s folks purchased in Atascadero in the ’50s when the offer was a house in Atascadero and lot in Cayucos,” Evelyn Dabritz said.
They moved to Cayucos in 1991 and instantly volunteered as docents for the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History.
Evelyn has authored several children’s picture books that she shares with school tours visiting the museum.
“Innkeeper at Morro Bay” and “It’s Not Easy Being a Pelican” are titles that combine amusing life lessons of creatures in their natural habitat and facts about their environs.
The Morro Bay Estuary has recognized her with grants to continue her book series.
“In 1997, we saw an advertisement for docents for the elephant seals. At the time, it was Hearst property. We’ve seen it come a long way since the Land Conservancy purchase and State Parks built the fence and added parking and the boardwalk,” Dabritz said.
“When we started, visitors mingled among the seals. We knew it wasn’t safe for the visitors or the seals, but we weren’t there to be policemen.”
Docent training for a variety of jobs at the Morro Bay museum, from tours and hikes to working the gift store begins Oct. 15. Contact Faylla Chapman firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or you might greet at the Visitor Center or plant a tree ... endless opportunities.
Contact Judy Salamacha at email@example.com or 801-1422.