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Three Cheers for Our Volunteers

Sunday, September 25, 2011

By Alexis Powers

If you’ve been to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, chances are you’ve benefited from the guidance of a volunteer. These yellow-shirted, high-spirited individuals are strategically placed throughout the solar village to answer questions from visitors.

“We have a very devoted group of people working in a variety of roles,” says Mary-Lyn Chambers, the volunteer coordinator for Solar Decathlon 2011. “They mostly work as greeters, but also as docents, runners, and experts.”

Mary-Lyn explains that volunteers must have a positive attitude and a natural excitement about the values represented by the Solar Decathlon.

“That passion really translates to our visitors,” she says.

Thank you to this wonderful team for being so generous with their time and enthusiasm!

Photo of several volunteers gathered around a map of the solar village.

Mary-Lyn Chambers (center) briefs volunteers at the beginning of the second shift. (Credit: Alexis Powers/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Volunteers by the Numbers

  • 800 volunteers are contributing to Solar Decathlon 2011. (Only 300 volunteers contributed to Solar Decathlon 2002.)
  • As many as 100 volunteers are available each day in the solar village.
  • Volunteer docents provide 30-minute guided tours that summarize each house.
  • Two groups of volunteers work one four-hour shift each day.
  • About half of the volunteers come from our sponsor partners.

Alexis Powers is a member of the Solar Decathlon communications team.

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