100 Years of Advancing Destinations

Restoring the Past. Preserving the Future.

Author: Jim McCaul
Posted: October 09, 2013
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Our marketing intern Chelas Poirier recently made us proud by volunteering at the Tourism Cares volunteer event at Plimoth Plantation. She was kind enough to share her experience of hard work and passion for the tourism industry.

On September 27th, alongside 15 of my GW Master of Tourism Administration colleagues and 300 volunteers I participated in the Tourism Care volunteer restoration event at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Tourism Cares preserves iconic travel experiences and is the largest volunteer organization for tourism professionals in the world. Being a Massachusetts native, visiting Plimoth Plantation numerous times throughout my childhood, this event was near and dear to my heart. 

Collectively, we restored 300 feet of the timber palisade surrounding the village, cleaned historic gravestones on Burial Hill, painted the Mayflower II’s outdoor decks, cleaned debris and stacked necessary deadfall firewood for the Wampanoag Homesite, and made enhancements to the museums visitor center. In just a few hours, we donated more than $160,000 in volunteer labor and saved the Plimoth Plantation staff more than 2,000 hours of work!

I participated in building a replica on the 17th century timber palisade. The palisade surrounds the Plimoth Plantation, a reproduction of the original colony as it was in the year 1627. Every year, Plimoth staff replace a section of the 1500-foot palisade using the same techniques employed by the Pilgrims. This activity was the most labor intensive and my muscles were feeling the repercussions the next day. That said, it was incredibly rewarding to see the transition from beams and stacked wood to a free standing fence over the course of a few hours.  

Having the opportunity to take a hands-on role in this restoration event was incredibly gratifying. It reminded me why I love the tourism industry and reignited my passion for preservation of historic sites. I am looking forward to participating in many more Tourism Cares volunteer events in the future!

Tourism Cares is a non-profit organization supported by the travel industry with a mission to preserve the travel experience for future generations. Tourism Cares achieves its mission in three ways:

  • By providing scholarships to students studying travel, tourism and hospitality in the United States and Canada
  • By awarding grants to natural, cultural and historic sites around the world
  • And by hosting volunteer give back programs at sites in need of care