“How fortunate we are to have had the Williams’,” Docent Elloise Huschle tells visitors at the Capella by the Sea in Azalea Park.
Referring to Elmo and Lorraine Williams, Huschle regales guests with the story of Elmo’s resolve to construct the memorial to his wife and provide an architectural masterpiece to their adopted city.
A volunteer docent for the past four years, Huschle is a natural when it comes to story-telling, a useful skill at the Capella.
“I love the interaction with people,” she says. “It’s an absolute delight to work here.”
Watching her in action is also a delight as she recounts the stories with candor and affection. Sounding neither scripted nor rehearsed, she, instead, presents with an unfettered keenness to paint the picture. She dispenses tidbits about the history and construction of the site, the wild life which frequent the area (one of her favorites is the long-eared owl), and how the site is used for gatherings of all occasions.
It doesn’t stop there, though. She flavors the visitors’ experience with recommendations for restaurants, activities, and events in the area, including emphatically inviting them to return at year-end for the Nature’s Coastal Holiday light extravaganza.
An avid birder, one of her other favorite activities during her five shifts each week, is “to see all the birds around.” However, she notes there’s not much time for bird watching, reading or any other pastimes as the Capella is continuously busy.
Huschle particularly enjoys engaging with people who hail from international locations. She admits that language barriers do sometimes come into play, but she strives to “really listen” and finds that they are “always lovely people.”
Capella Docents volunteer through the City of Brookings for two-hour shifts at a frequency that fits their schedule. Other duties docents perform include light sweeping and web dusting. Currently, Brookings has 15 volunteer docents, but more are always needed. People interested in volunteering as a Capella Docent should contact Lauri Ziemer at 541-469-1103 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Huschle highly recommends the volunteer position to those who might be interested. “It’s just a happy time,” she trumpets.