Training for New Rocks Estate Volunteers June 3, 10, 17 and 24
BETHLEHEM, N.H.—Brody Tuite is a relatively new volunteer at The Rocks Estate, but helping out at the Christmas tree farm, which also serves as the Forest Society’s North Country Conservation and Education Center, is something of a Tuite family tradition.
“I’m a third-generation volunteer at The Rocks,” said Tuite, whose grandfather, father, and brother have also volunteered time on the farm. “I like to have the chance to give back to a great organization, and I really enjoy working outside.”
While Brody, 29, is one of the youngest volunteers at The Rocks, his grandfather is probably the oldest. At 94 years of age, Bob Tuite shows up several days a week to run the wood splitter, a job for which he’s volunteered for many years.
“We try to match our volunteers to what they like to do,” said Nigel Manley, longtime manager of The Rocks. “Bob comes up to run the splitter for a few hours in the mornings, then heads home. He keeps us in firewood, which is great.”
Other volunteers – The Rocks has about 40 – load wagons at Christmas time, ride along as interpreters on the wagons, or work in the gift shops. One man teaches visitors during the springtime Maple Experience how to tap trees, while others present the history of maple sugaring. Volunteers work with children who visit with school groups, park cars on busy Christmas tree weekends, work on maintaining the trails, or help with bus tours.
For Brody Tuite, the chance to work outside and interact with visitors to The Rocks provides something very different from his regular job in the insurance industry. At The Rocks, he loads Christmas trees onto cars during the winter and this year started driving tractor-pulled wagons of visitors to the sugar house for the springtime Maple Experience program at the farm.
Like other volunteers, Tuite appreciates the chance to volunteer for jobs that match his interests and also fit into his schedule.
“We have volunteers who help out once or twice a year, as well as people who are here more regularly or through the busy holiday season,” said Manley. “We really rely on our great corps of volunteers to keep things running smoothly, and we are always happy to welcome new volunteer members to the crew.”
In that light, The Rocks will offer new volunteer training in June. The training includes four sessions during the evenings of June 3, 10, 17 and 24. The first two sessions will involve general Forest Society training and an overview of the history of The Rocks Estate. Depending on what type of work they’re interested in doing at The Rocks, volunteers will attend one of the final sessions to cover specifics related to each volunteer job.
Manley encourages anyone interested in helping out at The Rocks – whether for two days a year or for an entire season – to attend the volunteer training. Once volunteers sign on to help out at The Rocks, they tend to keep coming back.
“The Rocks is just a great place to begin with,” said Sam Chase, who has been working as a volunteer during the Christmas and Maple seasons since 1994. “The whole setting is a lot of fun, from Nigel to the other volunteers. And the history of the place is just really interesting.”
Another third-generation volunteer, Joel Tuite, echoes that sentiment. He has been tying Christmas trees to cars for the past few years and expects to continue to volunteer into the foreseeable future.
“The Rocks is such a great institution. It’s open all the time for people to just go up and go for a hike and explore. So I’m happy to help out when I can,” he said. “You get to see a lot of the same customers year after year. And you get to work with a bunch of great people.”
For more information about volunteering at The Rocks or to sign up for the volunteer training, contact Clare Brown at (603) 444-6228 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rocks is the North Country Conservation and Education Center of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (www.forestsociety.org). The Forest Society is a non-profit membership organization founded in 1901 to protect the state’s most important landscapes and promote wise use of its natural resources.
The landmark 1,400-acre Rocks Estate includes numerous buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers Agri- and Eco-tourism opportunities throughout the year. For more information please visit www.therocks.org For reservations and other inquiries e-mail email@example.com or call 603-444-6228.