One of our youngest and most enthusiastic volunteer crew leaders is Emma Audrey Waibel. We’re excited to announce that Emma was just named a 2014 Rose Festival Princess, representing all East Metro Area high schools.
One of our youngest crew leaders Emma Audrey Waibel, 17, was just named a 2014 Rose Festival Princess.
But don’t let the tiara fool you—this Rose Princess is a fifth generation lumberjack who gets muddy every Saturday leading planting crews for Friends of Trees’ Green Space Initiative.
You’re a Rose Princess! How does it feel?
I’m just super excited to represent my community. This community has raised me, and I’m thankful to give back to them in this way.
We heard your speech really impressed the judges.
My speech was on the Rose Festival theme this year, which was making memories. Most of my childhood memories consist of traveling during the summer to logging shows with my family. It’s a really important part of my heritage.
Trees have always been important in our family, because my dad is a forestry teacher and I’m a fifth generation lumberjack.
How long have you been doing lumberjack sports?
I started axe-throwing as soon as I was strong enough to pick up a hatchet. I started log-rolling before I could swim. I would ask my dad, “Dad, what do I do if I fall off?” He’d say, “just start paddling.” Of course he was there with me, but that’s how I learned to swim, and I’ve been dog paddling ever since.
Emma is a fifth generation lumberjack—but the love of trees runs deep in this family.
What other Lumberjack events are there?
Horizontal and underhand chopping, cross-cut sawing, tree-climbing and a few other agility events. If I can find a partner, I also compete in cross-cut sawing.
What will you be doing as a Rose Festival Princess?
I’m looking forward to the Rose festival, that’s kicking off my summer. We get to be mentored by a really successful woman in a business. My mentor is the only environmental engineer on the list, which I’m super excited about, because that’s what I’m interested in. We also get to travel around the state and visit key parts that make Oregon Oregon. The part that I’m looking forward to the most—getting to make friends with all of these girls. They’re all such driven girls, so confident—my kind of girls.
Emma leads planting crews for FoT’s Green Spaces Initiative.
When did you start volunteering as a crew leader?
We did our first planting over a year ago. I kind of dragged my parents to the next few, and there was conveniently a crew leader training right when I turned 16 [she’s 17 now], so I was eligible to become a crew leader. We all went to the training together, and we’ve gone as often as we can since then.
I’ve gotten so many neat opportunities from the time I’ve spent with Friends of Trees. I’m just so proud that I plant trees every Saturday.
Photos Courtesy of Shannon McBride