My Experience as a Picnic Day Volunteer

Volunteering for anything is always fulfilling because you’re helping someone, usually with good intentions, and doing it of your own free will. This Picnic Day, I’ll be volunteering for the second time with the Children’s Discovery Fair. My responsibilities will include engaging with children, and teaching them how to do fun arts and crafts for about two hours. While it’s not a long volunteer shift, I’ve learned from my past experience that two hours can feel like five when you have lines of children eagerly bouncing on their feet to make a maraca that looks like a cute owl. Not to mention the parents, who all want the best for their children, but sometimes don’t understand what patience means. Of course, I expected most of these things going into a Children’s Discovery Fair, because we all know that working with children can often be challenging. But what stood out to me the most during my experience was the wonderful energy I got from not only the volunteers, but the Directors, Assistant Directors, and other planners that were on site. Despite the heat and the noisy environment, everyone appeared to have a smile on their face, and everyone appeared to be genuinely enjoying their time. 

After all, Picnic Day is the largest student-run event in the country, and while I volunteered it became clear to me that Picnic Day could not exist without smiles, motivation, and hard-working people dedicated to seeing the day through. I know many people who started as volunteers and went on to become more involved as Assistant Directors or Directors, and that is likely because of the positive satisfaction achieved in seeing such a huge event come to life with smiles and fun. I can’t imagine what it must be like to uphold a tradition that has been put together since the 1950s, the teamwork it must take and the constant long-term planning for future Picnic Days. While I am still just a volunteer, I appreciate the hard-work everyone involved in the making of Picnic Day puts in, especially knowing that they aren’t being paid, and they by no means whatsoever have to volunteer their time and energy. It feels like they re-build a Disneyland for Davis every year, and as a friend of one of the Assistant Directors for this year’s Picnic Day, I know that there are tons of long meetings and seemingly endless planning days. If you go to Picnic Day, which you should, don’t forget the hard-work that went into all of the fun activities and opportunities you see.

And if you get the chance, try to volunteer for Picnic Day, if only to show your support for the initiative and hard-work students put in to make such a big day happen. Whether you volunteer for the Parade, the Children’s Discovery Fair, or any other event, you are sure to feel that fulfilling and compassionate vibe many Picnic Day planners incite. As a volunteer, I had a lot of fun. I got to meet new people, watch the Parade as I worked, and feel energized from the positivity Picnic Day always exudes.