Youth Volunteer of the Year Award for Visitor Services
Savannah Lebedeker has been involved in park programs at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park since she was a young child. She started as a summer camper and eventually became a counselor-in-training for the park's summer camp. She then joined the Junior Friends of MacArthur Beach program, a youth volunteer group run by the Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park. Since joining the program several years ago, she has attended nearly every meeting. She never fails to have a smile on her face and a positive attitude. Savannah has a strong passion for the environment and conservation, and she loves sharing that with younger children.
Starting in October 2020, the Junior Friends program switched to a virtual platform. This resulted in significantly less Junior Friends participating because the major appeal of the program is coming to the park for beach and mangrove cleanups. Despite this drastic change, Savannah has attended every meeting and contributed numerous ideas for virtual projects, and she never fails to bring a sense of humor and positivity.
Savannah is also vital for the success of our Summer Science Camp. Each summer, she participates in several weeks of camp as a Counselor in Training (CIT), educating and helping the younger campers. It is incredibly valuable to have trustworthy and knowledgeable CITs like Savannah at summer camp. Not only does Savannah make camp more fun for the campers, but she also helps it run smoothly and effectively. She is always willing to help where needed and even goes above and beyond to ensure the children are safe, engaged in the activities and having fun.
Since she first became involved in park programs, Savannah has put it hundreds of volunteer hours. As a high school junior, Savannah manages to balance school, college applications and extracurricular activities with her involvement in the park.
2020 Florida State Parks Volunteer Recognition Award Winner