Written by luna stephens
Outdoor-loving volunteers at Hidden Valley handle the temps for a rewarding experience
Youth brave the heat to give back, and learn while at it, at the Hidden Valley week of Summer of Service June 6 through 10. The week of volunteering involved preparing the campsites that Girl Scouts will use the following week.
“It just feels good to know that I’m helping out with all of the stuff for the younger girls in the community,” Grace Rockers said. “I’ve done Girl Scout camp here before, so it’s kind of nice to come back and help set it up.”
A lot goes into the work the youth are doing, work that makes having everything ready for the Girl Scout camp possible.
“I’d say I didn’t really know how much work they put in before camp started so it’s a cool experience to see,” Rockers said.
When Summer of Service is not going on, the volunteers at Hidden Valley are mostly adults.
“It used to take us a week with adult volunteers to set up out here,” said adult volunteer Karen Warner. “Now with these strong, energetic kids the work gets done a lot faster.”
While the work may be hard, the youth are obviously very capable and are also learning a lot.
I’ve learned how to use new tools, what a whole bunch of plants look like, learned about new plants” said Eliot Manning.
Manning said his favorite part was working on cutting things down and just getting the chance to work outside in general.
Conner Marsh said he’s interested in the environment and animals, and has gotten to learn a lot in that aspect during the week.
Chris Wilson and Keaton Stramberg have also learned skills like how to repair a hose, cut down a tree, and put up flags, they said.
With such a practical aspect, it’s great to see young people doing this kind of work. However, they don’t just learn outdoor skills, but lifelong skills.
“I just think it’s a great opportunity for kids to get involved in the community, they just don’t have that chance,” said Warren. “I just think the whole idea of kids being involved in their community, giving to the community, is a part of growing up. I think that if kids learn at an early age the importance of helping the community then they’ll do it when they’re older.”