Outdoor Ed Cabin Leader- an opportunity for both volunteer hours and personal fulfillment

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Ritika Ghosh

Elementary students explore and learn about the great outdoors under the care of the cabin leaders.

Amador students have the chance to become cabin leaders for Outdoor Ed. Not only do students have an opportunity to help the community, but they can also enjoy an amazing experience and explore the wilderness. 

Experience gained

Cabin leaders first travel to the redwoods north of Santa Cruz in Scotts Valley, CA. They are assigned a group of about eight elementary students and a cabin. The cabin leaders then take care of their group throughout the trip. 

“[I made] sure that 24/7 all the kids were ready. We went to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and [were] ready for any activities that we did [like] hikes,” said Elyse Hockaday (‘23), a previous Outdoor Ed Cabin Leader.

The program aims to help educate elementary school kids about climate change and the environment. Volunteers help mentor and guide the kids through various outdoor activities, such as going to the beach and playing games.

“[Outdoor Ed] was really fun. It was probably one of the best decisions I could have made. The kids were super sweet,” said Hockaday.

Since the experience involves taking charge and leadership skills, many volunteers build a stronger sense of responsibility.

“We had to sleep with them in the cabins. We were watching them and just being responsible for them,” said Sophia Marcoux ‘(23), also previous Outdoor Ed Cabin Leader. 

Counselors must maintain the tech-free policy at Outdoor Ed so students can experience nature without distractions. (Ritika Ghosh)

Volunteer Hours

Additionally, volunteering at Outdoor Ed can have the added benefit of volunteer hours. All students at Amador Valley High School need them before they graduate.  

“PUSD students need to complete 20 service hours to graduate high school. It has to be a nonprofit organization. Service hours help students gain the valuable experience of serving others,” said Michael Jaramillo, Vice Principal. 

Outdoor Ed counts as a nonprofit organization. As cabin leaders, students can gain enough volunteer hours to meet the requirement and more. 

“We did [a] four-day trip. So we left Tuesday morning and came back Friday afternoon. I believe I got 75 hours in total,” said Marcoux.

To prepare, volunteers had to fill out an application on the school’s website. The opportunity is open for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. 

“It was honestly pretty easy to like, sign up, and get approval to go. The actual trip was really fun. And it was a good experience just to be able to volunteer and help my own local community,” said Marcoux