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Adventures In Volunteering - A Part Of Our Heritage

Published: Nov 1, 2023 @ 11:16 AM

As snowflakes danced delicately through the wintry air, Jeff, a diligent University of Calgary student, found himself embarking on a unique journey. The opportunity arose during the festive Christmas season when he engaged in a group volunteering experience at Heritage Park. Little did Jeff know that this experience would not only deepen his understanding of Calgary's diverse history but also leave an indelible mark on his own life.

Nestled on the outskirts of Calgary, Heritage Park stood as a living monument to the city's past. As Jeff walked through the gates adorned with festive decorations, he was immediately transported back in time to an era marked by horse-drawn carriages, Victorian architecture, and the rustic charm of a bygone age. Luckily, he didn’t need a DeLorean with a flux capacitor to make the journey!

Jeff's volunteering involved various tasks, from decorating traditional Christmas trees to assisting with historical reenactments. Immersed in the spirit of the season, he found himself interacting with visitors and embracing the myriad stories that Heritage Park held within its walls. Each day brought a new adventure, one day he would find himself immersed in the role of a cashier in the penny candy store, another day he would be the editor-in-chief at the local printing press!

One particular afternoon, as Jeff stood amidst the historically preserved buildings adorned with festive wreaths, he met a historian who shared captivating anecdotes about the early settlers' struggles and triumphs in establishing Calgary. Jeff's eyes widened with curiosity and admiration, realizing how much these stories resonated with his own personal journey of establishing himself as a first generation Canadian navigating the Calgary community.

The Christmas ambiance added a special touch to this historical exploration. Wreathed in the scent of freshly cut pine and the sounds of carolers, Jeff discovered a harmonious blend of past and present. The experience became a poignant reminder of the deep cultural roots woven into the fabric of the city. Through this experience Jeff could also envision where he fit, as an integral part of Calgary’s rich culturally diverse tapestry.

As the volunteering days passed, Jeff found himself not just partaking in the park's activities but contributing to its preservation. His involvement in reviving historical customs and practices ignited a sense of pride in being a custodian of Calgary's heritage.

The experience at Heritage Park during the holiday season turned out to be a transformative journey for Jeff. It wasn't just about learning the history from books; it was about living, breathing, and experiencing the past firsthand. The vivid encounters with Calgary's diverse legacy left an indelible impression on Jeff, shaping his perspective and instilling a newfound sense of belonging for the eager young volunteer.

At the end of his assignment, Jeff's time at Heritage Park during Christmas became more than just a volunteering stint. It became a voyage through time, an eye-opening experience that unraveled the layers of Calgary's diverse past, and a personal journey that left Jeff with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the vibrant historical mosaic that Calgary proudly embodies.