Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hometown: Manteo, North Carolina
Work and volunteer experience: I was a nurse for 40 years and retired in 2021. Since then, I’ve been a busy volunteer actively engaged with Fort Raleigh National Historic Site activities, and I am also an Elizabeth II crew member. I also support that historic ship with Friends of Elizabeth II activities. I belong to the Roanoke Island Garden Club and engage in its activities as well.
What do you like to do in your free time? I enjoy watercolors, gardening, history, and reading.
What do you like most about the Outer Banks? Roanoke Island is where rich history meets friendly folks in a small-town setting.
How did you end up in your current position with the National Park Service?
I started volunteering because my history buff husband was already a volunteer, leading “Lost Colony” walking tours. I found that I could use my interests (art, gardening, and history interest) here, too.
What does a typical volunteer shift look like for you?
A typical volunteer day varies, from leading visitors through a discussion about the Civil War and the Freedmen’s Colony historical events on Roanoke Island to working on a special project like painting watercolors to illustrate historical events for Fort Raleigh’s use. I stay busy with our volunteer-led historic display garden at Fort Raleigh, too. It always needs a little tending, which quite often leads to opportunities to explain the growing practices in the historical periods we reflect.
As a volunteer, which questions are you most often asked by park visitors?
Visitors are always curious about how the Freedmen’s Colony came about and what the experiences were for the many who came to it for safe shelter and a new start. Many visitors say our talk is the first time they learned about it.
Do you have any “insider” tips for visiting Fort Raleigh National Historic Site?
Let it come alive by taking the “Lost Colony” walking tour or joining the Freedmen’s Colony discussion!
What do you enjoy most about volunteering at Fort Raleigh National Historic
Every day is different. We have visitors from all 50 states and overseas. It’s a pleasure to meet and talk to so many different folks.
What is a favorite memory you have from volunteering?
Children who were helping plant seeds for the historic display garden walking away saying to each other, “That was fun.”
Why are our Outer Banks national parks important?
They help acquaint visitors with important milestones in America’s history. Knowing more about our shared history – the struggles and challenges our ancestors overcame – helps people understand and better appreciate our wonderful country, as we move forward into the future.
If you’re interested in volunteering in our Outer Banks national parks, click here for open positions!