Last week I was able to have the wonderful opportunity to go to Bonnaroo Music festival with some of my lovely high school friends. This was my first music festival, and I was extremely excited and felt blessed that my friends had invited me along. I was also a tad nervous though. After checking weather reports and looking in to the camping situation, I realized I was about to be in the 100 degree sun for five days with seven boys, some of whom almost didn’t remember to pack a pillow. But as the fun days at the camp passed I started to realize that even though I was taking a break from assignments with Athens’ Own, that I was still exercising a lot of the habits that I have been acquiring all along in internship. I like to think of it as a Survival Kit that I carry with me wherever I go.
The first I thing from my kit I used was research and life-long learning. When I decided to attend the festival, the first thing I did was scour the Bonnaroo website looking for information about camping supplies, provided facilities, and lists of activities. I wanted to make sure that I knew everything possible to be safe and have a great time while there. While browsing, I also came across some information about their sustainability efforts, which caught my interest as well. I learned about the ways they promote low waste and low environmental effects at the farm where the event is held.
The second thing I brought with me from my Athens’ Own survival pack was preparedness for incidents. While I’ll always have my FEMA training in the back of my head, there was also a moment where I realized that spending five days at a camp could bring with it a lot of little emergencies. It was then that I thought to stop by the dollar store and to build a little camping first aid kit. I also picked up a few very large reusable water jugs that could be filled and left at camp if someone ever needed water and didn’t have someone to walk the distance to the refill station.
The last thing I brought with me was general wonder and the desire to share the things I’ve learned along the way. Similar to Alyse’s story about the “Ripple Effect” of teaching people new things and making an impact, I took the time to tell anyone who was interested in all of the different efforts that Bonnaroo was making to keep everyone safe and keep the environment safe too. I also wanted to make sure that everyone was aware of all of the safety measures they could take to make their weekend safer, even if it was just to help them get sunblock on their back.
My time at Bonnaroo was so much fun and everyone there was so kind and generous, it really was like living in a community that was focused on the wellness of others. Everyone made the effort to say hello to people and to make sure they had water, or people were even were willing to share food or supplies. I think that it was a great learning opportunity for me to see the real benefits f putting in action some of the things I have learned at Athens’ Own. And I will continue to bring my Survival Kit with me wherever I go.