Throughout the course of our lives, we generally have a story about relying on the kindness of others. We can be at a proverbial low part of the day, month, or even year, and then someone comes along to brighten our spirit just by being who he or she is. For University of Findlay’s Mazza Museum and the kids that frequent its events, that person has been volunteer Will Templin. “Will is one of those kids you cannot help but like,” said Heather Sensel, the Museum’s museum/education/volunteer coordinator. “If he says he’s going to be here, he is. If you ask him to jump over the moon, he might look at you funny, but then he would try.”
Templin is a Mazza volunteer extraordinaire, but what’s that much more impressive is that he’s just starting his freshman year at The University of Minnesota, meaning that all of his volunteering was during his time in high school. At a time when many kids of that age are either too “busy,” or too aloof, particularly to spend time with children, Templin jumped at the opportunity to first lend a hand with Funday Sunday. And after he did it the first time, he kept on going. “I originally got involved in Funday Sunday because my mother had told me about it and I thought it was a good opportunity to volunteer,” he explained. “I really enjoyed helping the kids, and the activities were always a lot of fun. It was easy to keep coming back.”
And he didn’t stop at Funday Sunday.
Templin enjoyed helping out so much with the kids and Funday Sunday event, he ended up seeking out more opportunities with the Museum in the form of volunteering for the Young Artist Workshop, a week-long event held in the summer. “I really like to volunteer at art camp because it is such a unique experience for the kids. Also, it’s fun to just see all the different activities that have been set up for the event,” Templin said.
And sometimes, Templin has a hard time not feeling like a little kid again himself. It makes him both endearing to the children with whom he works, and entices him toward the unique projects that the kids get to be involved with. Sensel explained that, while the instructors and other volunteers thought highly of him, it was the students, especially, with whom he identified so well. “Respectful, funny, flexible, considerate, polite, responsible, likable, easy-going, hardworking, and a true joy to be around,” she said. “The students loved him.”
Part of the reason Templin is such a treasured part of the kids’ experience is undoubtedly his natural tendency to want to be one of them, particularly when they start to work on those aforementioned unique projects. “One of my favorite memories from working at Funday Sunday was when [Mazza Museum Curator] Mr. Chudzinski helped us make a high school version of one of the projects the kids were making,” Templin said. “The station was to make small, rubber band powered catapults with popsicle sticks and bottle caps and with Mr. Chudzinski’s help, we were able to make something a little more powerful.”
All good things must come to an end, however, as Templin heads to the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis to begin his college career. Both he and Sensel agree that the Mazza experience has prepared him well for his future. “He is one young man that will be missed here at Mazza,” Sensel confessed. “I have been overjoyed to have him volunteer for over the past two years, and, even though I hate to have him leave the Findlay area to go to college, I cannot wait to hear how he uses his talents in the future.”
“I really enjoyed all of it and hope I can do it again in the future. I will certainly try to make it back whenever I am able,” Templin said.
And, even though he’s on a completely different college campus right around seven hundred miles away, it’s a safe bet that he’ll find time to come back and help at some point. It’s just who he is.