Join us for the 2017 Maze Theme "Charlotte's Web"
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Meet The Staff Lill Miller
Meet the CCAF Staff: Lill Miller
You’ve visited the farm and enjoyed the activities, now go behind-the-scenes and get to know some of our employees!
CCAF: Lill, how long have you been working at Cherry Crest?
Lill: This upcoming season (2016) will be my 21st year. I have worked part-time since the business opened, with only one year full-time (1998). The maze season was much shorter then and I was between banks.
CCAF: What was your job when you first started at CCAF? How has it changed since then?
Lill: I started at ticket sales, and also worked in the “snack shack.”
CCAF: What has changed in ticket sales?
Lill: There was much fewer things to do [when we opened]. You paid to get into the property & maze, if I remember correctly. But wagon rides and everything else was an additional cost. It wasn’t much, and our “cash registers” were carpenter’s aprons. As a complete attraction—probably everything [has changed] but the vision Jack and Donna had to provide an experience to remember. There’s not much else that is the same!
CCAF: Are there any jobs you haven’t done?
Lill: I’ve never done Stalk Talks or Maze Master or big tractor rides. I’ve never officially done custodial, but I’ve cleaned my share of toilets, sinks, and wiped down tables, etc. I’ve gradually moved to the food areas and have stayed there. I don’t remember which year, but at one point I was named the “Cotton Candy Queen” because on a busy Saturday, I started making cotton candy when I got there and except for potty breaks, I don’t think the machine stopped spinning. It was CRAZY!! I’m surprised we didn’t burn that thing up!
CCAF: What’s something you’ve seen change over the years you’ve been here?
Lill: With the way things are done, just about everything. It’s a much more professionally run business. I know the level of service has definitely improved in BIG ways—we have many more “adults” working now. I believe the experience of the maze and property as a whole is much more defined. At first it was a place to go for a few hours. Now it’s a destination where you can spend the whole day and evening!
CCAF: What keeps you coming back year after year?
Lill: It’s a GREAT place to work! I have a full time job [at the bank], working 40+ hours a week, that I love. But this is my FUN place!! On those busy fall days, it’s hard work, but I always want to come back. At the end of an 8-10 hour day, the back hurts, the knees ache, and you’re physically drained—but I always leave with a sense of accomplishment because I’ve been involved in giving someone an experience they won’t soon forget. It might have been through a short conversation or it might be that they loved the food I served them, or it may have had nothing to do with me, but just a conversation I overheard while doing my job. But for some reason, I leave smiling.
And I love meeting the guests who come from all over! Getting to chat with the kids who are awed by the space and things to do and seeing families enjoy time out. Yes, there is the occasional parent who yells and screams at the kids (and sometimes us) for no apparent reason, but for the most part people love the facility. I also love being with the staff. I’ve met some strangers who are now real good friends. That includes teenagers… kids that I worked with in the beginning that I now see bringing their own kids. And some of them remember me. ?