A new COSI volunteer

Everyone that knows me or has read my blog knows I’m a big fan of COSI, our local science museum. Not necessarily just for visiting but definitely for their volunteer opportunities along with all the classes, camps and special programs they offer. COSI has played a huge roll in Daniel’s life, starting when when he was 10 as a volunteer which turned into an internship then finally his current job. he learned public speaking at COSI where he has to give demonstrations in front of huge crowds of people. He’s come a long way from the shy little 10 year old who’s fist job at COSI was a greeter at the front doors, since he never talked to people I wasn’t sure how that was going to work but it did and he moved up the ranks.

Now its Thomas’ turn, he has been counting down the years until he would be old enough to volunteer. He technically was old enough last year but Daniel suggested waiting an additional year since sometimes the young volunteers don’t last. COSI has gotten a little more strict with their volunteers, they are treated like employees, so any goofing around or not following the rules can get you written up or even fired (yes, you can get fired from volunteer positions, we also have some experience with that in our house.) In an effort to make this as positive for Thomas as it was for Daniel I decided to wait an additional year before I let him apply.

He filled out his application over the summer, mailed it in then waited and waited. Finally we got the call asking him to come in for his interview. For the interview they want the child to demonstrate an activity to a group of COSI employees while teaching them how to do something. Daniel showed them how to do something with a ring thrower and Beth taught them to tie a bowler knot. This is a big decision, what to teach, it has to be something you’re good at and something that’s easy to demonstrate without too many steps.

Thomas threw around a few ideas before finally deciding on teaching them how to hula hoop. It has been the summer of hula hooping after all. Thomas lucked out in that COSI was actually closed for a deep cleaning when he came in so instead of having a panel of employees at his interview he only had 1 person. They did have to change rooms for the hula hooping instruction but all went well.

After his demonstration he made a quick stop in the hallway, where I was waiting, to let me know that he made the cut, he is now officially a COSI volunteer. I went in with him for the final paperwork and to chat with his interviewer, Terri. Thomas had put on the application that he was interested in working in Little Kidspace but after they talked about his goals (to learn public speaking) and what ages he likes to work with (kindergarten and up so he can teach them how to do things) they decided that working with the science carts out on the floor would be a better match.

Now he just has to go in for his orientation, do some paperwork at home and explore COSI while thinking about how he would be able to help visitors with simple questions that he may be asked (like where’s the closest bathroom, elevator or the cafeteria.) Since Thomas has been going to COSI regularly since he was born I think he’ll be able to answer those questions and more without to much prep.

Good Job Thomas, I am so proud of you. I’m sure you’ll have just as many great experiences at COSI as your brother has!

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