Published on April 16, 2019

Volunteer Enjoys Greeting the World from Wellfleet Bay's Front Desk

Shirl Webber and her dad's LL Bean boots-reduced

Any regular visitor to Wellfleet Bay has probably said hello to veteran front desk volunteer Shirley Weber. Shirl (as most people call her) has been working "front of the house" for more than 20 years.

Shirl and her family discovered the sanctuary when they built a summer home in Wellfleet 25 years ago and were drawn to the beauty of the grounds and all the interesting programs going on.

Shirl says her front desk seat has exposed her to some memorable natural history moments. “There was the time we were talking about a rare blue lobster that we used to have in one of our display tanks,” she recalls. “Just as we were discussing it, Bob got a call about a (even rarer) calico lobster someone wanted to bring over. What are the odds?”

Shirl encourages anyone who enjoys meeting people, especially those from overseas, to become front desk volunteers. Avid travelers over the years, Shirl and her husband Paul ventured as far as South Africa, Russia, and China. She says those experiences have been great conversation starters. “A family from China came in and because I’d been there I was curious about what part of the country they were from.”

Around the sanctuary, Shirl is also known for a pair of boots that have done a lot of traveling, too. The classic LL Bean duck boots were handed down by her father. “Those boots have walked everywhere—Philadelphia, New York, Maine, Pennsylvania…they’re 70 years old now! LL Bean has offered to put them in their museum!” Shirl still wears the boots and is planning to write a children's book about them.