With the first snow now mostly melted from the ground, we still can’t believe that winter is here. This summer and fall were a blur! As the days get colder and colder, we often spend time wishing for those warmer days. Each summer our food preparation area gets a little crowded, and we see a myriad of new faces as people take advantage of their extra free time and participate in volunteer and internship opportunities at the PRC. Some of these volunteers and interns are temporary, having to leave at the end of the summer to return to school and work, and some also come from quite far to spend their summer days with us alongside our faithful year-round volunteer crew.

Workdays go by in a flash—summertime is actually our time for “spring cleaning,” because we are able to get those larger cleaning projects accomplished with all our extra volunteer and intern help. Each of our volunteers and interns are eager to contribute to the care of our near 50 primates, no matter how dirty or labor intensive.

We can always tell when winter is around the corner, because the chimps reduce their big mealtime displays reserved for those new summer faces, and caretakers begin to reclaim our routine meal preparation tasks that are usually solely performed by volunteers and interns in the summer months. We often immediately look forward to the next summer and hope that our familiar faces return again. We especially look forward to the return of retired Florida resident Wally Littell, who makes the long RV trip each summer bringing along his special “produce/work shirt” that is now a summer fixture at the sanctuary. This past summer was Wally’s 7th summer volunteering with the PRC, keeping our food preparation area spic and span and scrubbing our produce bins for the next produce pick up. 

As we endure the winter weather, we remember and are eternally grateful for the volunteers and interns, whether new or recurring, who donate both their time and energy over the summer months. Now that the doors and windows are closed up for the winter season, we count the days until we can feel the warm sun, greet new faces, and see Wally drive down and occupy his designated parking spot!

Please click the Get Involved tab on our website to find out more information about our volunteer and internship opportunities. Spots are limited, so apply today!