Brianna Martinez – So many pumpkins!

close up of orange pumpkins for Halloween

Wow. So many pumpkins. October is a crazy month at Reiman Gardens.

Helping to run a pumpkin carving event was interesting, given that I had never carved a pumpkin before. I learned that there is more to it than just taking a knife to the pumpkin, especially at such a large scale. I don’t know what I was expecting but seeing all the pallets of pumpkins was eye-opening. 

I cut out a lot of pumpkin stencils. A couple of friends even helped me cut some, which was amazing. After the paper stencils were cut and organized, we had a ton of volunteers help us transfer the stencils onto the pumpkins. Drawing on the pumpkins turned out to be a lot more complicated than I expected, but I enjoyed doing it. By the end of the week, I figured out that tracing the large pieces and free handing the small details was the best way to go. And I carved my first pumpkin on October 15th, 2021!

The Spirits in the Gardens event was interesting to run because we had different types of volunteers; we had regular RG volunteers, clubs, and individuals. Having the different levels went well, at least from my perspective. People who were volunteering for the one time could go to our regular volunteers for help, and our regular volunteers knew who to find if they needed help. I was responsible for taking care of the clubs that volunteered – SCUM, Juggling and Unicycling Club, and Cosplay Club.   

Outside of pumpkins, we have been folding origami and bulb planting. We just had an ECON 101 class come in to help fold origami cranes. As someone who loves doing craft projects, it was funny to see some of the guys get so confused about how to fold the paper, and a little frustrating with how fast some students gave up. I would love to have an hour to just fold origami in class.   

I also planned the fall volunteer appreciation event, which we ended up canceling due to a severe thunderstorm. 🙁 I feel like I learned a lot just from looking for food and music in our budget. I called and emailed a lot of clubs and restaurants. A local restaurant has a program that donates to organizations for events like ours, and they gave us a $75 credit. We signed a contract with a local band that I learned about by emailing local clubs and schools/universities for music. It was interesting to talk with them and learn about planning the setup and figuring out our agreement with the band. It was disappointing to have to cancel the event, but since it was going to be an outdoor music in the gardens style party, moving it inside just wouldn’t work.