I owe so much of who I am today to the Outdoor School Program! My career, husband, and leadership skills were all found at Outdoor School. Who would have known that a choice I made 15 years ago would have shaped me into the person I am today.
Becoming a high school Student Leader was the best thing that I could have done during my high school years. While at Sandy River as a Student Leader, I learned how to care for students, and that I had the power to impact people, even in the smallest of ways. I learned how to teach about plants and how vital it is for students to have someone to look up to.
Looking back, I realized that I, too, needed mentors at that time. At Outdoor School, I found an amazing staff who became my mentors, who supported and guided me to becoming the “real” me. Because of those three weeks in high school, I went on to work at summer camps and came back to Outdoor School as a staff member.
As a staff member, I was able to give to students and Student Leaders what was given to me: confidence, leadership, understanding, acceptance, joy, inspiration, support, pride in myself and others, and a love for nature and teaching. I became an elementary teacher because of the Outdoor School program. But more importantly, I was a part of something greater than I was.
Jennifer “Pheff” Basham, Sixth Grader: Sandy River, Student Leader: 3 weeks on Plants at Sandy River, Program Leader: 7 sessions on all field studies at Howard, Field Instructor: 1 session on Animals at Howard and 3 sessions on Animals at Arrah Wanna, Site Supervisor: 5 sessions at Adams Milk Creek