Event Planner Extraordinaire!
Before I left my home in California for Maryland, I planned a goodbye dinner with 5 of my closest friends. Craving Indian food, I searched Yelp for the best place in town and made reservations the day prior. Immediately after, I sent out a group text with the date, time, place, and directions. Great, done. Easy. On the day of the dinner, half of my friends proclaimed their preference of Mediterranean food. Being the people pleaser that I am, I canceled my reservation and restarted the whole process. Little did I know, Yelp had listed the wrong address. On the day of the event half made it to the actual location while the others went to the incorrect address; it was a bit of a mess. 😳 Long story short, I am not usually the event planner.
In my last blog, I went over how I have never planned an event or played a leader role. Well I did it; I planned an event for Latino Conservation Week, albeit with help of my awesome supervisors, Lina Olivero and Abbie Wicklein-Bayne, it went amazingly well! I shared my ideas and consulted with my supervisors and we agreed on three activities: kayaking, an interactive watershed model presentation, and an interactive lesson on the various urban birds and how to build habitats for them.
We set the date for the Tuesday of Latino Conservation Week and began to recruit participants. Time ticked on, it was midweek, a bit of panic set in, as no one had called and RSVP’d. Lina suggested we take measures into our own hands and gave me a couple of contacts. We lucked out and Maryland Conservation Corps (CJC) from Department of Natural Resources, agreed on bringing around 23 youth to participate in the CJC event at Sandy Point State Park. On Monday night, I did what any person taking youth on a kayak ride does and looked at the weather forecast. Pictures of nasty clouds, rain drops, and thunder filled the screen of my phone. An anxious feelings flowed through my body; I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Tuesday morning, stormy weather predictions continued, we decide to cancel the event and reschedule for the following week on a Thursday. Calls and emails were made. Somber emotions engulfed. 😥 There was no other option but to reschedule, even a chance of rain or thunder makes for a dangerous kayak ride and it is better to be safe than sorry. As the day panned out and I switched my attention to other projects, the large window near my office mockingly whispered, “The weatherman lied, look at that radiant sun and clear blue skies.”
On the bright side, the extra week gave us a chance to look over details and allowed us to place any stray hairs in their proper place. Thursday, August 23rd was a beautiful day. The Sun was shining beautifully, humidity was low, and a sweet zephyr kissed your cheeks. Despite the fact it was a week after LCW, the LCW spirit lived on!
The celebration, from beginning to end was splendid! All the goals of LCW were encapsulated in the three activities. The youth had a memorable experience and expressed an eagerness for next year Latino Conservation Week. It was the epitome of collaborations. The event could not have been a success without everyone who was involved!
Besides being able to do my part to help other partake in LCW, I was able to learn, gain experience, and improve the pivotal skill of event planning. I truly feel event planning is an essential skill for both my personal and my professional life, whatever that may be. When I go back home, I will plan a get together dinner and it will be great. Additionally, next year, regardless of what state I am in, I plan on continuing the tradition and planning an event for Latino Conservation Week. Perhaps I’ll take the Latino Community to Yosemite next year or perhaps go on hike through Sequoia National Park! 😎