Major: Recreation Administration and Parks Management
Hometown: Ben Lamond, CA
Program Position: AO Trip Leader and Special Projects Coordinator
As a kid Amber did a lot of camping and backpacking, so she was drawn to the Adventure Outings table during summer orientation. She chatted with AO staff and discovered that the program had job openings for assistant trip leaders. Amber lost no time in going through the rigorous application process which includes a standard written application, a traditional interview, and a five day interview in the field. She was hired and spent the fall semester training and preparing to help lead trips in the spring, a job she continued for three years.
The role of the assistant trip leader is a supportive one. Amber assisted the trip leader in all capacities including a second set of eyes towards safety. A key part of her job was to motivate and energize participants to get the most from their outdoor experiences. Amber’s trips including day hikes, backpacking and even an outdoor cooking trip at Lake Oroville.
In her fourth year with the program Amber decided to become even more involved with AO by wearing two hats. She is currently a trip leader and a special projects coordinator. The realm of special projects runs the gamut. Amber works with a graphic designer to prepare the AO calendar each semester; she schedules the trips to insure there are no gear overlaps; she works with the land and water coordinator and the equipment room on trip logistics; and, she assists with budgeting for the program. And when she’s not busy doing that or going to class, she leads trips! Her favorite trip was the recent Thanksgiving break trip to Yosemite Park (see photo above). Seven days of car camping at different sites and day hikes was highlighted by a complete Thanksgiving dinner for ten! Besides the location, what made the trip so special were the participants. “All but one of the participants were exchange students. They were from Japan, China, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia. After seven days everyone really bonded. There were a few language barriers, but demonstrations helped fill in the blanks.”
As a recreation major, Amber finds her work with AO to be a perfect fit. “My classes help with my AO job and my AO activities support what I do in the classroom.” Amber took a Kinesiology methods class on rock climbing and recently participated in a three day AO staff training on rock climbing at Mt. Lassen. And to further complement her outdoor leadership education, Amber has worked for two summers in Lassen National Park as an interpretive ranger.
After graduation in May Amber hopes to continue her involvement with environmental education. “I might work at an outdoor school where I can teach kids on wilderness outings rather than in a classroom.” That makes perfect sense because Amber is a naturalist at heart.
In Amber’s words:
AO has connected me with a huge group of like minded people who want to get out of doors. AO is one big family and has helped me grow as a leader and a teacher.