By Declan Chin
The Outdoor Science School trip for fifth grade classes has been a source of lasting memories for the entire South Pasadena School District. Now, 14 seniors have the chance to pay it forward and return as counselors to Monterey Hills Elementary School’s OSS trip next week. Teachers, counselors, and students will travel to Malibu on September 28 and return on October 2.
“I was definitely scared for the interview, but the fact that it was as a group took a bit of pressure away from it,” senior Alexa Esler said. “The teacher who interviewed us was very friendly and made the process a lot easier. I am so excited that I was chosen and am looking forward to the experience.”
Although most students participate for the week off school spent poking around hiking trails and observing tide pools, some have special reasons for applying.
“I want to do some form teaching in the future,” junior Sungyool Park said. “I feel like getting the experience of working with kids could be very valuable to me in helping me choose a focus.”
There is minimal training for counselors at Outdoor Science School. In the group interview, counselors were asked specific questions to ensure that they knew how to respond to situations. Also, each SPHS counselor will receive a packet of information and a brief orientation when they arrive at the camp, before having five to nine kids assigned to them each. This leads many counselors to have certain fears going into the week away from school.
“Last year, there were a series of injuries throughout the week. By the end, almost one kid from every cabin was hurt,” returning counselor senior Isabelle Edens said. “There is a smaller number of counselors going this year, so I hope we can work extra hard to prevent what happened last year from happening again.”
Arroyo Vista and Marengo Elementary will have their OSS trips staggered throughout the school year.