At the beginning of the school year, I visit the fifth grade class, give a pitch for Garden Ambassadors and pass out applications. This week I conduct interviews. The returning (sixth grade) senior garden ambassadors have already been chosen, and today two of them spent part of their lunch to help me water and harvest for tomorrow’s lesson.
The application asks three questions. Naturally all of the students wrote about having good character, demonstrating leadership qualities and being interested in all aspects of gardening. Here’s a few of my favorite lines from this year’s application.
What do you think are good qualities for a Garden Ambassador to have?
Good qualities for a Garden Ambassador are respect, motivation, and an open heart.
I think some good qualities for a Garden Ambassador to have are being willing to get their hands dirty.
Knowing how to decipher weeds from produce!
I think good qualities to have are a good memory and a helpful soul.
Good listening and you can’t mess around! When you’re talking to a guest, don’t mumble and talk clearly. Last year I created the Green Team and really enjoyed being a leader!
Why would you like to serve as a Garden Ambassador?
Because I think our garden is beautiful and I want to be a part of it!
This would teach me how to plant my own garden. It would make me so happy if I were chosen!
I am interested in different plant species and how wonderful they look and what they do for our ecosystem.
I remember seeing the Senior Garden Ambassadors and saying I want to do that, and now look, I might!
I’d like to serve as a garden ambassador because I believe we don’t grow the garden, it grows us. (I’d also love to play my violin in the garden to welcome special guests.)
I see it as an art form. A blank canvas waiting to be painted.
I want to do it to inspire the younger kids to become Garden Ambassadors.
What do you think you could learn from serving as a Garden Ambassador?
I could learn how to talk to the public or give a speech without being shy or nervous.
And finally, an addendum to one of the applications (I could clean out the gazebo if you were having guests):
“I’d like to serve as a garden ambassador because I believe we don’t grow the garden, it grows us.” WHAT?! This young one could teach me some things.
Hired!!! All of them!
No kidding! I did one-on-one interviews today, and each in their own way was so endearing! I visit classrooms on Monday to hand out booklets and official t-shirts!
My, my! So insightful! Can’t they all be chosen?
Yes they can, and I believe they will!
I love what you’re doing and best of luck finding new ambassadors! I wanted to quickly let you know about GEF’s $5000 grant for existing school gardens. The deadline is Sept 30 so check it out! http://greeneducationfoundation.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/the-green-thumb-challenge-5000-grant-deadline-is-sept-30/
Wow! We will be sure to submit an application. I so appreciate the information.
Great! I look forward to your application!
Beautiful!! I love the work you are doing, thank you for bringing kids into the garden.
It’s so cool to me that there are people like you—whom I’ve never met except in blog form—that can share the simple joy of today’s Garden Ambassador applications—and that are kind enough to take time to leave a reply! Thank you!
I used to teach Environmental Ed. years ago and LOVE working with kids. For a multitude of reasons partnering w/ the local school in such a project is not in the cards for me, but I believe it is enormously valuable. So even though I personally am not doing it, I celebrate that YOU are doing the work that is so important to our children.
I get this. I have friends working in inner city settings with kids, and although I don’t do it, my heart is there! Thanks so much for the love!
I’m so impressed by the maturity of those responses. You have cultivated such a wonderful program. I’m trying to do the same with high school students with some success. Nothing like the reverence that you have created. I love reading these posts!
I’d love to hear about what you’re doing and the success that you’re finding. Thanks so much for taking the time to read these posts! After reading those great lines, how could I turn any student away? 🙂