Natalie Wood on Volunteering and the Willamette Writers Conference

The Bird

Natalie Wood has volunteered at the Willamette Writers Conference for the past two years. Her best volunteer story?

“The man with a giant tropical bird,” she said. “I remembered he created quite a stir.”

While the man with the giant tropical bird highlights the diverseness of attendees, Natalie’s own experiences highlight the diverse volunteering options one can find at the conference.

“I love how the volunteer assignments are versatile,” she said. “You can choose your comfort level with how much you prefer to interact with others.”

The last two conferences, Natalie has worked in almost all areas volunteers are needed. She has experience as a room monitor, working in the volunteer room and also at the information desk. She’s worked behind the scenes and also as the first person attendees see coming in for the conference. While that might seem intimidating for some, Natalie’s quick to point out how different attendees of the Willamette Writers Conference are in relation to other conferences.

“In the departments I volunteered for, the conference attendees were always very kind,” she said. “It seems like a weird thing to point out, but not all convention attendees are created equal. Sometimes volunteers blend into the background, but at WWC, people were always thanking me and going the extra step to let me know I wasn’t just a nobody with an apron and a name tag.”

Even if some of the attendees carry a giant tropical bird on their shoulder.

Connect with Natalie at the conference this year. Check out more about volunteering at the conference.