Stone Canyon highlights leadership in youth programs

With the outdoor education season quickly approaching, there is much to do to ensure Stone Canyon Outdoor EdVentures continues the growth and positive impact we’ve been able to provide the students of Douglas County.

One priority includes recruiting the best leaders to work with the students of DCSD. A vital component of the program is our team of High School Leads, who assist Program Instructors in the supervision of students and the delivery of outdoor education curriculum and activities.

The High School Leads consist of 10th-12th grade students who volunteer their time to support program staff.  All Leads must apply and attend training once they are selected. Their training includes workshops in behavior management, teambuilding, best practices for working with students with special needs, and managing homesickness to ensure the emotional, physical, and mental safety of our kids.

Although providing the best care for the elementary students remains the primary focus, Stone Canyon also strives to provide our Leads with life-long skills and outcomes. According to our Leads, the gains they receive go beyond the service hours.

"This is a chance to unplug from regular life and appreciate something much bigger than yourself,” said one of our Leads upon completing their service, “It teaches you to the importance of helping people."

When asked about the value of volunteering, another Lead stated, "I want to be a positive influence on kids that need a friend. If I can make even one kid feel special and worthwhile, then I will feel fulfilled."

Program Coordinator, Alicia Gerber oversees the recruitment and training of our High School Leads. Over the last year, she has seen a wide range of positive results from our volunteers.

“When the High School Leads come to Stone Canyon, they not only get an opportunity to be a positive role model but they also learn important skills that they can use in the real world”, says Alicia. “It is amazing how much these students grow and how much they learn in just three days.”

Dustin Handrich
Assistant Director