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Signing up FAQs:
- What date should I apply for?
You can apply for any week that works for you and your calendar! Check with your school and parents to see when they will allow you to participate. Once you apply, we are counting on you to follow through. We run Outdoor School every week of the school year. We start the week after Labor Day and end the week following Memorial Day. We are closed during Thanksgiving week and over the December holiday break. Please input the Sunday of the week you are interested in.
- How far in advance can I apply?
You can apply anytime and we encourage you to plan ahead! Many volunteers sign up in the summer for the upcoming school year. Spring break weeks and the last week of camp tend to fill up by the end of August. Any applications sent over the summer will be collected and responded to in the order they were received once the school year begins. Many high schools require advanced notice if you plan to miss a week of school so also check with them. Once you have gotten a reply from your application with a date confirmation, please start getting the Cabin Leader Registration Packet
completed. If you are 18 or over (or will be when you volunteer), please use the Cabin Leader Registration Packet Over 18
and make an appointment to get fingerprinted.
- What if my school or parent says I can’t go even though I have been confirmed?
If you need to cancel for any reason, please reply to the confirmation email you received and let us know. The sooner you can let us know the easier it is for us to fill your spot and give the opportunity to another volunteer.
- What if I don’t know anyone else volunteering?
Many volunteers sign up not knowing anyone else that is participating that week. It is a great chance to meet new friends and grow as an individual. Our training is designed to help the volunteers get to know one another and bond as a team for the week.
- Can I use these volunteer hours towards court appointed community service (Sentencing Alternatives)?
Unfortunately, as a program where volunteers work directly with 5th/6th graders Walden West is not a location where you can fill your court appointed community service hours. We do NOT sign off on hours at the end of your week. The hours earned at our program can be used for service learning requirements at your school and towards other volunteer honors.
- Is there wireless? Can I get online?
We do not have wireless access for cabin leaders. You should not plan to get online while you are at camp. We will do our best to accommodate specific needs but generally do not have volunteers online while at camp.
- Does it cost anything to be a cabin leader?
It is free to volunteer! We will provide all food and housing for your trip including dinner at training. You will also receive a Walden West t-shirt and lanyard to wear on the first day of camp. If you are 18 or older and need to be fingerprinted, Walden West will cover the cost.
- Do I need any experience?
Experience working with kids is great, but not needed. We will provide in depth training the evening before the kids arrive to prepare you for your week.
- Is there an age requirement?
Cabin Leaders are generally between the ages of 15 to 22 years of age. You must be 15 or invited by a visiting elementary school teacher.
FAQS About Camp:
- How many students will be in my cabin?
Between 12 and 19 most weeks depending on how many students are at camp.
- Will I be working alone or with another Cabin leader?
Ideally, you will be working with a co-Cabin leader, but often we only have enough volunteers to have one per cabin. The cabins are very close to one another so help is never far away.
- Can I be a co-Cabin leader with my friend?
We will do our best to honor requests but cannot make promises in advance. You may tell us of any requests during the training.
- Will I have a boy's or girl's cabin?
If you are a boy, you will have a boy's cabin, but if you are a girl, you may have either one. You will find out your cabin assignment once you are at camp.
- Do the cabins have bathrooms?
Some of the cabins have bathrooms. Cabins without bathrooms are just a short walk to the bathrooms at the center camp.
- What time do we get up in the morning and go to sleep at night?
Wake up time is 7:00 am and lights out is 9:30 pm.
- How much free time will I have?
You will get a break from the students during their recess from 4:00-4:45 and also you will get one of the field classes off as a long break.
- When do I get to take showers?
You can shower during your breaks. Also, there is shower time at the Saratoga site in the morning and in the evening at the Cupertino site. You do not shower at the same time as the students but you should bring a swim suit to use during shower time since there are not always private showers available. There are separate female and male shower areas.
- What is the dress code? What about tattoos and body piercings?
Our dress code asks that volunteers wear clothes that are appropriate for 5th/6th graders.
- Clothing should cover your under garments and not be see-through.
- It should not expose upper thighs, midriffs or cleavage.
- No halter tops, tube tops, low cut, or spaghetti straps.
- Volunteers should wear closed-toed shoes around campus and on trail. Flip flops allowed in shower only.
- Distracting tattoos/piercings will likely need to be covered/removed. This will be on an individual basis.
- Clothing that contains offensive or obscene symbols, slogans or words degrading any gender, cultural, religious, or ethnic values is not permitted.
- We also do not want clothing that contains language or symbols oriented toward violence, vandalism, sex, drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, including tobacco logos.
- What can I do during my free time?
You may take a shower, hang out in the cabin leader area, do homework, write a letter, take a nap….
- Can I bring snack food?
Yes! Bring extra snack food if you want. It will be kept in the cabin leader area and is NOT to be shared with the students.
- Will I have time to study during the week?
You can study during your break times. If you need extra time or to get online for homework, just let us know. Cabin leaders often have good intentions of getting work done while at camp but often find themselves distracted. You may want to plan to do your homework in advance or on the weekend after your trip.
- What if it rains?
Rain usually does not affect our program. We just put on rain gear and keep right on hiking. Since rain can happen any week of the year, be sure to bring rain gear. An extra pair of shoes is important to have in case one pair gets wet.
- What is the food like?
Great! The camp cooks have had years of experience cooking for hungry students. A vegetarian option is available at every meal and special dietary needs are accommodated. Please let us know when you arrive if you have any allergies or restrictions so that we can help you.