Meyer to take the helm of Quarry Hill
In 2005, Pam Meyer began her job as a summer camp instructor at Quarry Hill Nature Center. Next month, she will take over as executive director.
Meyer will replace Roberta Tolan, who came to Quarry Hill three years ago and is leaving to start a consulting business for nonprofit organizations in California.
When Meyer and her husband, Travis Meyer, also a teacher and naturalist, came to Rochester from California to be camp instructors, they planned to stay only for the summer. Greg Munson, a longtime director of the camp, offered a full-time teaching job to the couple. However, they each had jobs they loved back in California.
"And to leave two jobs for one job, we just couldn't do it, even though we loved it here," said Meyer, who is originally from Plymouth. "And like a week or two weeks later, (Munson) came back and said, 'Well, if I had two positions in the fall, would you both stay?' And we said yes, and we've been here ever since."
During her six years at Quarry Hill, Meyer eagerly took on more responsibilities. In addition to teaching and developing curriculum, she began planning fundraisers and got into public relations and marketing for the nature center.
When Quarry Hill's program coordinator retired last year, Meyer stepped into that position as well. Then, in April 2008, Munson retired after 22 years as director. The Friends of Quarry Hill Board appointed Meyer as interim director, and she became assistant director when Tolan came on board in fall 2008.
"Everyone here has good insight into the programs here, but I've been particularly able to be in on more of the administration of Quarry Hill — the fundraising and how we operate as a nonprofit," Meyer said. "And that's been valuable, and that's what will help carry me through here in my new position."
Despite her new duties, Meyer said, she plans to keep on teaching. She is a teacher in training and at heart, and she said it is what keeps her focused on Quarry Hill's mission.
"Even just today," Meyer said during a break on Wednesday, "I had a class of kids, and we were out in the woods — we found owl pellets, we found a chickadee nest, we checked a bluebird box and there were eggs in it. That keeps me grounded, quite honestly. It's seeing the world through their eyes."