Two big events of the Russian Geographical Society ended recently - the first in its history Festival and the XV Congress. Volunteers rendered great assistance in their realization.
For seven days 180 boys and girls from different Russian cities were with us at the Russian Geographical Society Festival. They were helping to cope with thousands of different troubles, greeting guests at the entrance of the Central House of Artists, answering questions about the program and the location of exhibitions, helping our little visitors to walk along the "route of pathfinders" , regulating streams of visitors, handing out balloons and smiling. The volunteers dressed in costumes of the leopard and the polar bear brought special joy to our visitors.
Graduate and undergraduate students from the Faculty of Geography of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian State University of Tourism and Service, International Law Institute and participants of the archaeological and geographical expedition "Kyzyl - Kuragino" were among our volunteers.
Despite the long hours and a lot of people - 60 thousand people visited the Central House of Artists during the Festival - the guys were working smoothly, efficiently and responsibly.
Thus, in the zone of "Kyzyl - Kuragino" boys and girls were telling the guests about the history of the Scythians and features of archaeology, monitoring the "archeological dig" - only during the first 3 days children "found" about 7000 "artifacts" there!
Guys who were on duty at "Bathyscaphe" attraction had to become captains of the underwater vehicle - there were so many guests who wanted to see the underwater world of Lake Baikal that the volunteers had to divide them into teams. Young boys and girls working at exposures were telling visitors about the history of the Society and answered a lot of different questions.
Without the help of volunteers, we could not have made the Festival such a vivid and memorable event! Here is what the volunteers say about the Festival themselves.
Victor Borisov, 25, Moscow, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography, postgraduate:
- The thing I liked the most was that there were many people at the Festival who wanted to learn more about geography. I have only positive impressions of the event. Loved working with lots of people!
Ekaterina Aksenova, 18, Moscow, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography.
- I am interested in everything that has something to do with geography. Among the things I liked the most are such exhibits as "Bathyscaphe", "Borneo", an exhibition devoted to the Arctic where one could learn about the cleanup program of archipelagos of Franz Josef Land and master classes on the cuisines of the world.
Roman Gorbunov, 21, Moscow, International Law Institute
- I decided to become a volunteer to spend my time usefully, and do not regret it. My impressions of the Festival were extremely positive. Everything was left to chance, and visitors seemed to be not regretting about coming either.
The Russian Geographical Society has done a really great job to show visitors various aspects of Russia’s nature and geography.
The most difficult for me was communication with children, because they are very different in behavior and education. Among the things I liked most were: Ice Camp "Barneo" exhibition, interactive cinema and performances of participants on the scene.
Artem Kislovskiy, 20 years, the city of Zhukovsky. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.
- When I heard that volunteers are needed for the first Festival of the Russian Geographical Society I did not hesitate to submit an application. The Festival is a massive event, bringing together in one place people from completely different parts of our country. Each participant was a part of a big puzzle, and when you look at the whole puzzle you realize how big is our country. This Festival is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about geography, history and culture of our country. Organizers have coped with their task more than successfully. And another important thing was that I felt that I belonged there.
Valentina Belova, 20, Arzamas, Arzamas Branch of Nizhny Novgorod State University named after Lobachevsky.
- On the whole everything went well at the Festival. I would say that everything was at the highest level. The funniest thing happened to me when I was at "Kyzyl - Kuragino" exhibition where kids were searching "artifacts" in a sandbox. One boy got so carried away that he spent almost all day "working"! I saw drive in his eyes, he found almost all artifacts that I so carefully had hid. In the end, he scattered sand around the "excavation". I had to sweep it, but it was nice to see that the child was really fascinated. We would definitely need such a guy in the expedition!
Kseniaya Zikeeva, 17, Dolgoprudny, International Law Institute
- Working as a volunteer you meet new people, get experience, help, communicate with different people and get communication skills, which is important for my future profession (lawyer). I loved the Festival, and I wish it was not over. Every day I went to this event with joy, despite the fact that we had to get up very early.
I loved the attitude of volunteers to each other, as well as the relationship between the organizers and volunteers. I liked the atmosphere that prevailed throughout the Festival.
Olga Astapenkova, 19, Moscow, International Law Institute
- I am very sorry that the Festival ended so quickly. I admire this event. First of all this is experience. Second of all it is always nice to be in the center of such a big events. Thirdly this is drive! I am overwhelmed with emotions: exciting moments, shining eyes of elderly people, delight of kids. It's magical! The atmosphere at the Festival is beyond words. You just need to attend it!
Lots of events were memorizable. But the most one, perhaps, was the waltz with a grandfather to the sounds of Tatar songs, me wearing a costume of a leopard. After that it will be hard to astonish me)
I would also like to draw attention to our caring organizers, who helped cope with all the difficulties, motivated and inspired us, knew everything in advance and did everything to make us feel comfortable!
Konstantin Kovalchuk, 18, Moscow, International Law Institute
-Since I was a child I’ve been dreaming to help people. So when I was offered to work as a volunteer, I gladly agreed. Besides, contributing to such a wonderful organization as the Russian Geographical Society - is an honor for me.
The Festival is wonderful! Wish I had a chance to attend all the exhibitions and take part in many interesting events. Unfortunately it did not work out because of the amount of work. None of the exhibitions, which I had attended gave so much knowledge about ethnicity, geography, and culture, as this Festival did. Here you can attend scientific lectures, learn how to knit knots, test your knowledge in quizzes, try traditional food. Everything was very well organized and caused a stir among the visitors.
The day after the end of the Festival, on November 7 the XV Congress of the Russian Geographical Society took place. There our volunteers were meeting the delegates, accompanying them to the place of work and showing the exhibitions.
We heartily thank all the boys and girls for the fruitful cooperation! Especially worth mentioning Vladimir Litvinov, Tatyana Golub, Paul Starovojtova, Anastasia Podbolotova, Rasim Mammadov, Tatiana Sharypova, Andrey Katorgin, Anna Klochko and Valeriya Chuzhenkova.