The best volunteer of Pannonian Challenge 2016.

Entries for volunteering on this years’ PannonianChallenge are in process, and if you’ve never volunteered before, perhaps this story will change your mind.
Young Juraj Padovan volunteered on Pannonian Challenge for the first time last year and told us about his rich experience, which led him to become the best volunteer of 2016.
We’ve had a pleasant chat and a quite good atmosphere through which we found out everything about volunteering on last years’ Pannonian Challenge.
18 year old Juraj is in his third year of Mathematics High school, and also has many activities and hobbies, from which his favorite is playing the guitar. He is a true example that it is never too early, nor too late, for any type of volunteering, all you need is a good will and a lot of positive energy.
Read how it all looked like last year, what Juraj has to say about volunteering, experience and conditions, and what he recommends to future volunteers.

1. How many volunteers were on Pannonian Challenge of 2016.?
‘’On Pannonian of 2016. there were officially 155 volunteers, but workers, friends, and riders from Osijek and its’ surroundings have helped a lot and contributed to the entire event.’’

2. How and why did you decide to do this? Was this your first time volunteering?
‘’The idea was given to me by a friend of mine that randomly mentioned how he too was going to volunteer. I actually applied so that I wouldn’t have to pay the tickets for the musical part of the festival, but also thought that this would be a great way of spending the summer productively and an amazing experience. Also, it’s been my first time volunteering. ‘’

3. How were the volunteers split?
‘’The volunteers were split by sectors: infrastructure, maintenance, pressing, competition and sports, sale of tickets, music and culture, info desk, IT, monitors, catering, and so on. Each sector had a supervisor, and the infrastructure and maintenance sectors had its’ team-leaders, who are more experienced volunteers that were supervisors to a group of around five new volunteers who gave information to them about worked hours. ‘’

4. What were your favorite tasks?
‘’I was in the infrastructure sector that, accompanied with the maintenance sector, worked mainly on the construction of the park and its maintenance, and many other tasks, like assembling the stands, stacking fences, cleaning the park…’’

5. Describe how your days passed by. Who was in charge, and for what?
‘’Days mostly went by with scorching weather, but with an amazing working atmosphere too. I’ll tell you something about tasks of those volunteering in the infrastructure sector, since I was in that one. It mostly helped the head workers that were assembling and were superiors and ready for construction of the park and workers that were superiors for assembling the stands. We are talking about tasks such as carrying different kinds of materials (parts of the park, stands, different tools), and sometimes taking over the responsibility for working independently with your team. Of course, any kind of given tasks would be done, such as carrying the fence, cleaning, etc.’’

6. How much time did you spend volunteering on Pannonian Challenge? How many working hours did you have?
‘’Considering that I couldn’t come at the very beginning because of a heel injury I had, my volunteering lasted for about a month. Once my plaster cast was taken off, I started volunteering and stayed in the park helping the workers during the volunteers’ breaks and got 300 hours of volunteering.’’

7. How was the experience of volunteering on this festival, what new did you learn? How was the rest of the team?
‘’To me personally, it was great even though not everyone will agree with me. Yes, there’s a lot to do, but to me that was not a problem. To me the best part of it, besides the amount of new people I met and friendships I made, was getting a knowledge in what you were assigned for. On Pannonian I would like to highlight learning to use a variety of tools, which is always useful. Also, I got to see how the organization of the entire festival is done. Of course, it wouldn’t be half as good if it weren’t for other people there. All of the volunteers I’ve met on Pannonian make a great team that I’m still in touch with (most of them).’’

8. What were the conditions of volunteering?
‘’The conditions of volunteering were consistent. Considering food and drinks, we were given juice, ice-cream, and sandwiches that were enough for one shift for most of the people. Volunteers had their own tent that was equipped with lazy bags, tables, and refrigerators filled with drinks and food.

9. What did you get when you were pronounced the best volunteer of 2016.?
‘’I got Pannonian gifts (t-shirt, badges, USB-drive, a repair kit for my bicycle, …) and a gift box from sponsors.’’

10. What would you say to future volunteers? – why volunteer?
‘’Everyone that wants to go to a festival (any kind of an event that needs volunteers), and lacks money to buy the ticket, volunteer. It turns out way better than just buying the ticket and going to the festival because you become a part of that festival, one of the people that made it happen, and the best part is that you meet a lot of people and make a lot of friends you wouldn’t otherwise.’’

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