Full Moon Programs require several volunteers to be successful. Picture 150 guests climbing the rough, steep trail to the Great House Pueblo. Then imagine those same 150 folks descending the same difficult trail in the dark. Some of them actually heed the warning and have flashlights. Just in case, a troop of hardy volunteers light the trail, augmenting the string of lanterns placed at strategic places. Because the lighting occurs after the program, volunteers get to enjoy the music and story, the sunset and moonrise before going to work.|
Lighting the trail is the most visible task along with the speaker and the volunteers who provide a brief tour before the program. We also need hosts to staff the Visitor Center and volunteers to help with parking. In fact, the lead volunteer also schedules the speaker, the music, and the volunteers to ensure a safe and enjoyable evening for all. We cannot control the weather, but it nearly always works out to be an incredible evening.
Night Sky Archaeoastronomy Programs feature telescope-toting volunteer astronomers as the main attraction at these dark-sky monthly programs. Visitor Center hosts make sure guests can shop and help is always needed for traffic control. This program begins at the Visitor Center amphitheater, then moves to the High Mesa parking lot where the telescopes are waiting. No hiking required.
Visions of Chimney Rock examines a particular topic in depth. Only a few volunteers are needed to manage the small groups signed up for these monthly programs. However, volunteers are welcome to participate and have fun.
Solstice and Equinox Sunrise Programs are for early birds. For these two once-a-year programs, volunteers and guests must arrive early enough to be in position at the Sun Tower to greet the sunrise. On the summer solstice, that's early. The hour is more accommodating on the fall equinox. The site is closed for the winter solstice and spring equinox.
The Sun Tower, along the cliff edge, is not on the regular tour. It's one of several solar and lunar alignments that will be explored as this program unfolds. The sunrise comes later at the Stone Circle so attendees get to enjoy the spectacle twice. In addition to a speaker, volunteers are needed to manage traffic.
Life at Chimney Rock
Every year, some talented volunteer offers to assume responsibility for organizing this once-a-year event. Fortunately, many volunteers pitch in. It takes a large crew just to demonstrate Native American arts and crafts (training is provided) on the two days of the festival in addition to regular tours. It is a great opportunity to try your hand at hurling the atlatl or pounding yucca. Volunteers also set up tents, manage parking, and operate the Visitor Center. The scheduler always makes sure volunteers have time to shop for Native American arts and crafts.
Native American Cultural Gathering
This unique gathering is sponsored by a separate non-profit group. Many CRIA volunteers also lend a hand to make this a successful event. Volunteers man the entry gate and Visitor Center, prepare meals and set up camp for the performing groups, monitor the site, and manage traffic. It's way more fun than it sounds as the drumbeats echo throughout the Monument and the performers don their colorful outfits. Tours are canceled to allow the Native Americans access to their ancestors' spiritual home for private ceremonies.
Puebloan Pottery Workshop
This annual event is offered by Greg Wood, a licensed educator and ArchaeoCeramist. The 3-day workshop takes place at the Monument but does not require volunteers. It would be a rewarding experience for volunteers to participate. Visit www.ancientarts.org.