MOFGA volunteer Hannah Comfort holds her niece at the Common Ground Country Fair

Meet MOFGA Volunteer Hannah Comfort

Summer 2024
By Betsy Garrold

Photo credit: Hannah Comfort

Hannah Comfort is the ideal candidate for coordinating the Children's Area at the Common Ground Country Fair, in part due to her endless energy. As a high school senior, she entered and won the Distinguished Young Women of Maine scholarship contest, giving her the opportunity to go to Alabama for a summer to practice her interviewing and writing skills. Comfort started volunteering in the Children's Area of the Fair around this time. The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted her attendance at the Fair but not her enthusiasm. She served on the event’s planning committee starting in 2020, and in 2022, when the Fair was back in person, she became an area coordinator.

Another reason that Comfort is well suited to the role? She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and is working on a master's degree in educational leadership. Her early career in education was during the pandemic, and an older mentor told her that "if you can teach under these circumstances you can teach in anything." Comfort describes her third-grade students as sweet, independent and curious. She sees these same characteristics in the children at the Fair. The many areas within the Children's Area allow kids to seek out what is interesting and meaningful for them. The Kids Cosmos area, for example, teaches sustainable arts and crafts and skill building. Comfort says children see the nail-hammering area as the best place because of the trust they are given to use hammers, which is something that a lot of children do not experience.

"It's hard to capture the feeling of 'fair magic,’ but it's real. The kindness, conversations and bonding that goes on among the volunteers who run the Fair and attendees is a big part of the magic that happens every year. The volunteers take such pride in this great event they help to put on every fall," says Comfort.

In the summer, Comfort is director of the outdoor discovery camp at Viles Arboretum for children ages 6 to 14. The focus of the camp is turning these young people into environmental stewards. They spend the whole day outside on the grounds of the arboretum.

When not at school, the arboretum or MOFGA, Comfort gardens, and takes yoga and dance lessons. She has been tap dancing for over 20 years, and her class does regular recitals. Just one more example of the boundless energy of this amazing young person!

MOFGA is so fortunate to have found just the right person to help coordinate the Children’s Area. The Fair’s director, April Boucher, says, "It's been wonderful to have Hannah volunteering in the Children's Area over the past few years and grow into the leadership team in the area. We're so thankful for all the skills and care that Hannah brings to the team and this important area of the Fair."

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