By: Blonde Two

Yesterday, I was telling someone about the Two Blonde’s adventures with Dartmoor Rescue and explaining that they were all volunteers and gave up a lot of time for training, fund raising and call outs.  She commented that the whole “working together for the common good” thing was very British.  This got me thinking about the subject of volunteering.

We do seem to be very good at volunteering in this country, I have discovered that once you start asking people about it, you find a whole wealth of unexpected people of all ages doing unexpected things for no other reward than satisfaction and a sense of camaraderie.  How important these two things are though – what, in fact, could be more important than knowing that you are contributing to the community in which you live.  Could a community even be called a community if people didn’t give up their time to help others?

I had a real “Eureka” moment up at Ten Tors camp last year.  It was the Friday before the event, Okehampton Camp was buzzing with everyone there busy preparing and rushing around getting everything and everybody ready.  Lets face it – getting 2000 youngsters across Dartmoor independently and safely is an impressive feat of organisation.  I found a still moment (this was almost certainly in the Portaloo queue) and realised that every single person there and already out on the moors was a volunteer.  All of us working together to give these kids the best experience we could.  I am not sure if it usual to sit on a Portaloo and cry but I did that day and it wasn’t the lack of toilet paper!

I don’t know about volunteers in other countries but my friend was right, we Brits are very good at it and should be proud of ourselves.  Let’s blow our own trumpets, toot our own horns and generally show off about it for … well, at least three seconds … any longer just wouldn’t be British would it?

Some Dartmoor Volunteering Opportunities

Devon Wildlife Trust

Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor Zoo

Dartmoor Preservation Society