Editorial: We’re already ambassadors to our community

There are many ways to spend your extra time in Golden.

Have you ever thought about taking up a new interest, or volunteering some of your time to help the community?

When I lived on Vancouver Island, I worked as a tourism ambassador.

At first, I thought there was no way I would be able to afford the time to volunteer. The shifts were a bit weird, but it was only once a week.

In the morning I would make myself a big coffee in a to-go mug to take with me, and pack a few snacks for just in case. Then, I would head out to the office, grab my big yellow rain jacket (this was Vancouver Island, it rains a lot), and go out to my location.

Usually, I knew well in advance where I was going to be hanging out, and whether it was a short or long shift. Somedays, I could show up and be completely surprised, heading out to hang out at an event or something else.

I was really lucky in Port Alberni to have breathtaking views right on our front steps, much like Golden does. I would either volunteer my time in Cathedral Grove, on the M.V. Frances Barkley heading down the inlet to remote towns, or at the old sawmill.

Speaking to visitors is really easy. I thought it would be a lot harder, and one of the reasons I joined was to get out of my shell (and a bit of peer pressure from an older colleague).

We all love where we live. And, each of us is already an ambassador in our own way. We invite friends and family to town, and visitors ask us questions on the streets. Before the visitor centre opened for the season, many tourists would approach me while walking downtown Golden to ask about the sites nearby, or directions around town.

The ambassador program through Tourism Golden, Golden Community Development, and College of the Rockies is a great way to get outside, enjoy some fresh air, and brag about what a wonderful place we live in. Four hours a month is not that big of a commitment, and the job is easy enough.

Speaking from experience, I think ambassador programs are totally worth it. Visitors love having someone they can ask about where to go, what to eat, and what to see. And, Golden locals are so great and approachable already.

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