Connect with us:

Walden West (at Saratoga)
15555 Sanborn Road
Saratoga, CA 95070

Volunteering FAQs

Click on a question to expand and read more. Click on the question again to close.

Signing up FAQs:

  1. What date should I apply for?
  2. How far in advance can I apply?
  3. What if my school or parent says I can’t go even though I have been confirmed?
  4. What if I don’t know anyone else volunteering?
  5. Can I use these volunteer hours towards court appointed community service (Sentencing Alternatives)?
  6. Is there wireless? Can I get online?
  7. Does it cost anything to be a cabin leader?
  8. Do I need any experience?
  9. Is there an age requirement?

FAQS About Camp:

  1. How many students will be in my cabin?
  2. Will I be working alone or with another Cabin leader?
  3. Can I be a co-Cabin leader with my friend?
  4. Will I have a boy's or girl's cabin?
  5. Do the cabins have bathrooms?
  6. What time do we get up in the morning and go to sleep at night?
  7. How much free time will I have?
  8. When do I get to take showers?
  9. What is the dress code? What about tattoos and body piercings?
  10. What can I do during my free time?
  11. Can I bring snack food?
  12. Will I have time to study during the week?
  13. What if it rains?
  14. What is the food like?

Click here

More Information


Cabin Leaders have a chance to be a part of campers’ life-long memories while meeting other cabin leaders and working closely with our staff.  In addition to the fun and rewarding work, volunteers will gain the following:

  • Earn up to 100 hours of community service
  • An evaluation that can be used in applying for college/jobs
  • Leadership/mentoring skills
  • Experience working with children
  • Environmental awareness


Cabin Leaders will spend the week with a group of 5th/6th grade students at Walden West. They will assist and participate in all camp activities.  Cabin leaders are required to stay overnight in cabins with students and hike on-trail with trail groups. Training and support will be provided. Volunteers must be:

  • 15-22 years old
  • Positive, mature role models
  • Meet their own high school requirements to volunteer (GPA, attendance,..)
  • Enjoy working with kids
  • Flexible/willing to adapt to program needs


To ensure the safety of everyone on our campus, including volunteers, the following must be completed to serve as a cabin leader:

  • Apply and receive a confirmation email for a week of camp.
  • Complete a Volunteer Registration Packet (turned in two weeks prior to your scheduled date)
  • All volunteers 18 and older MUST also schedule a fingerprint background check at the Santa Clara County Office of Education. It may take up to TWO WEEKS to clear your prints and background check. Once you are confident that you will be participating, go to LiveScan Appointment Scheduling and schedule yourself a 15 min appointment.
  • Cabin Leader Training (starting 3pm, the day before your scheduled week)


Mandatory cabin leader training is held 3:00 pm at Walden West (Saratoga) the day before students arrive, (this is usually a Sunday but can be a Monday on 4-day weeks). Dinner is provided. Bring any paperwork not already sent in and your luggage with you. You will spend the night at Walden West and be there to greet the students in the morning. Topics include Cabin Leader responsibilities and Child Safety.


An email will be sent to you three weeks before your scheduled date to confirm your arrival and note your transportation to camp. It is extremely helpful if volunteers can get a ride to camp - carpooling is a great idea! Registration starts at 2:40 pm. Volunteers must be at camp by 3 pm.

Volunteers must be picked up at our Saratoga site at 12:30pm on the final day. All volunteers must be signed out by approved transportation at Walden West and the alternate locations below.

Walden West van can pick up volunteers at 1:45 pm and return volunteers 1:30 pm at the following locations. You must let us by the Thursday prior to your start date if you will need a ride to camp and which site you prefer. Rides back to those same locations after camp are available (verify once at camp if you need a ride back).

  • Hillview Branch Library, Main Entrance (1600 Hopkins Dr, San Jose, CA  95122)
  • Sunnyvale Public Library, Main Entrance (665 W. Olive Ave, Sunnyvale CA 94086)

Directions to Walden West 15555 Sanborn Rd. Saratoga, Ca 95070. Beware of GoogleMaps, YahooMaps and GPS giving confusing directions. Camp is only about 10 minutes from downtown Saratoga up Highway 9.

Live Scan/Background Check

Volunteers (and participating adults) at Walden West  Outdoor Science School 18 and older MUST complete and clear a LiveScan Fingerprint/Background Check at the Santa Clara County Office of Education prior to arriving on campus.  Prints may take up to two weeks to clear, plan accordingly.

Student Volunteers must first:

  1. Fill out the Online Application at
  2. Receive a date confirmation email from 
  3. Download the Volunteer Registration Packet 
  4. Make sure you will be able to miss school, work, other events you may have that week

Once you are confident that you will be participating, go to LiveScan Appointment Scheduling and schedule yourself a 15 min appointment. 

In order to print you must provide your social security number and show a valid government issued photo ID (school ID cards do not qualify).


A Day at Outdoor School

Check out summer opportunities waiting for you at Walden West.