Betsy Llewelyn – Creature Teacher
The sanctuary at Felix Neck is a flurry of activity throughout the entire summer. Fern and Feather campers arrive each morning and are busy observing, creating and learning. Kayakers head out with life preservers and paddles to explore Sengekontacket Pond. And on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings a special Seashore Discovery program awaits.
During the exuberance of the mornings a quiet, unassuming woman greets visitors in the Discovery Room. Clad in a beach hat covered in animal pins and water shoes, Betsy Llewelyn waits patiently for her seaside students. You can easily spot Betsy if you look for one special thing that sets her apart from the crowd. It is her horseshoe crab purse! You cannot get more authentic than that.
Betsy has been a volunteer at Felix Neck for three years. Her husband saw the Seashore Discovery event and asked her to join him, which they did. Having been around the island for most of her life, Betsy knew the majority of animals which were seen on the tour, but her quest for new knowledge about them intrigued Sanctuary Director Suzan Bellincampi. Suzan encouraged Betsy to become a volunteer, which she did. And Betsy says that decision “changed her life”.
When asked what her experience has been like, Betsy says “This has been and continues to be a fantastic learning experience. I do hope that I can impart to our visitors my enthusiasm, for Seashore Discovery and give them as much information as time permits. I want our guests to come away with a sense of wonder and amazement as to what goes on under the island waters. “
“My favorite part about volunteering for Seashore Discovery is that I get to play in the water. It’s like being 10 years old again and that was a very, very long time ago! I see some of the most amazing sea critters, learn about them, and try to figure out how everything fits together in their fantastic undersea world.”
Working with volunteers here at Felix Neck opens up one’s eyes to the power of lifelong learning. And the willingness to share that knowledge with others is an amazing gift. Betsy, and many of the Felix Neck volunteers, have that gift and want to share it with everyone they meet.
Lastly, Betsy says “We must continue to work at conservation. The sea is the greatest recycler there is, but we ask too much of it. Everything in it is used by one critter or another. An empty shell provides a home for another critter. We need to have a much greater respect for the sea critters. This is their world. We are merely visitors. When we mess up their environment, we need to clean it up!”
We are grateful to Betsy for her passion, teaching and always inviting volunteers to be part of our conservation community.