Saturday night was the annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet that the VIS puts on every year and which I was able to attend for my volunteering experience prior to becoming employed. Every year the banquet recognizes all the volunteers who have volunteered at least 25 hours over the past fiscal year, along with special awards and recognition for those who go above and beyond in their efforts. This is my fourth time attending and marks my third year coming up Mauna Kea, as my very first time volunteering was on the night of banquet in 2009.
This year we have what I hope will catch on as a new reward in the form of little pins for the hats we give volunteers who have enough hours to attend the banquet. The idea was thought up jointly between me and one of my co-workers, who happened to be in charge of the banquet this year. Since she was actually an art major before switching to astronomy she designed the pins and I hand-copied them on the computer using Inkscape to get them in a digital format where we could have them printed on pins.
Anyway, we weren't able to get too many of them physically created for the banquet (we hope to have them more fully realized next year), but I thought I'd share some of the pictures with you. When I get time I'll try to post some pictures of the pins that we did manage to get printed.
These, as you can probably guess, are for the number of volunteer hours people contributed per year. Five hundred and above are pretty rare; I think we had three people this year who had a thousand hours, all of them retired and able to come up frequently.
This one's for volunteering to do a summit tour. I really like the quiet, majestic look it has.
This one's for attending the banquet this year. I had a lot of freedom in choosing the font when converting my co-worker's hand-drawn designs to digital images, and I think this one came out nicely.
This is for participating in a trail maintenance operation, where we hike down the summit trail from the top of Mauna Kea to the VIS picking up trash along the way. Originally we had a different, much more detailed picture for this one, but when we got the first batch of physical pins in we realized that it wouldn't translate well (the pins are smaller than these pictures appear on the screen). My co-worker didn't have time to come up with a new design, so this is the only pin that I actually designed myself. I'm pleasantly surprised with how well it came out, actually.
And, this one's for the transit of Venus, naturally. Simple and elegant.
Edit (10/18/12): And here's a picture of the first four pins that I found on my phone: