Betty Andres became a VanDusen volunteer in 2005, after repeated visits with a keen photographer friend. “I thought: ‘What a wonderful place!’ Also, the timing was right — I was approaching retirement.” It fit with her background as well. She was a long-time teacher (including three years on secondment to UBC’s Faculty of Education), with a particular fondness for science.
Betty chose to become an Education Host, one of the volunteers who facilitate the VanDusen’s adult-ed courses. “I contact the instructor ahead of time, make sure we have what will be needed. On the day itself, I arrive early to check the equipment, then welcome participants, enrol any drop-ins, and, afterwards, collect the evaluations and tidy up.”
One of the benefits, she adds, is that, as Host, she sits in on the course. “I particularly like helping with yoga courses, and with ones that teach me something about gardening.”
However, Education Host is not Betty’s only role. Two Thursday mornings a month, you’ll also see her behind the Visitor Services desk. She began two years before the new building opened, before Membership Services and Visitor Services had settled into their current organizational formats. She rode through the changes, and her motivation now is the same as it was then. “I enjoy working with people, and I love to help visitors enjoy the Garden.”