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Volunteer Program

Pictures of different OA trips

Accepting Volunteer Applications starting Mid-Spring 2024

CSUSM Outdoor Adventures welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds and skill levels. The purpose of this volunteer program is to give students who are interested in the outdoor adventure program, the opportunity to develop interpersonal and leadership skills while building relationships with Campus Recreation’s Outdoor Adventure team.

This program is designed to give volunteers insight into the ways Outdoor Adventures plans and facilitates event programming. In this program you will find ample opportunity to gain the skills and experience necessary to help lead adventure trips.  We ask but one thing: a personal commitment from you that entails a dedication of time, energy, and resources toward developing your leadership skills. The success of any adventure depends upon the leadership of its guides. You can make the commitment within yourself and apply self-motivation to push through any obstacle.

4/12 Volunteer Application Deadline
If you are interested in applying for this volunteer program, please fill out the application by the deadline, April 12th 2024.

Apply to be a Volunteer!

If you have any questions, email the Outdoor Adventure team at

Volunteer Role Expectations

As a CSUSM Outdoor Adventures Volunteer, you are committed to the following basics of the program: 

Attend and Participate in:

  • 2-3 Trips per semester (depending on availability: 1 overnight/ 1-2 day trips) 
  • Weekly staff trainings/meetings 
  • Pre-trip meetings for your trips 
  • Post-trip debriefs for your trips 
  • Assist with: 
      • Logistical Planning of your trip (gear staging, clean up, etc) 
      • The learning experiences during trips: Cooking, LNT, wildlife and history, and equipment. 
      • Promotion of OA Trips through tabling, flyers, collaboration with centers, etc.  
  • Serve as a role-model, demonstrate positive group behaviors and enforce program polices while on trips  
  • Keep certifications up to date 
  • Check school email regularly and respond promptly 
  • At the end of the semester, volunteers will create a portfolio of all their work contributed as a volunteer and present on it at one of the final weekly meetings.  

As a CSUSM Outdoor Adventures Volunteer, you can contribute to the following extended options: 

  • Volunteers can work closely with supervisor to contribute to the AORE Campus Challenge initiative  
  • Volunteers can contribute to the Team building manual by researching various team building initiatives and inputting all necessary information of the activity to the manual. This includes a description of the activity, procedures, number of people needed, equipment needed, etc 
  • Mentoring- This transference of knowledge is critical to the success of CSUSM Outdoor Adventures. A true mentoring opportunity must be cultivated gently in order to expand how we work with each other to promote growth and change. You are encouraged to pursue learning and teaching opportunities to facilitate the perpetuation of knowledge.  
  • Volunteers will have the opportunity to team up one other volunteer and one OA staff member to create and facilitate clinic workshops for any students interested on campus. These workshops can be held during u-hour and topics of discussion can include: LNT discussions, how to set up a tent, trip planning/logistics, outdoor tips/tricks, backpacking discussions, etc.  
  • Volunteers can team up and work together to think of and execute 1-2 events throughout the semester. These events may vary from S’mores making or Dutch oven cook-offs, to collaborative events with clubs and orgs such as a beach clean-up or local hike etc. 
  • Logistical considerations for volunteer planned day trip and/or u-hour event will be discussed with student coordinator and program coordinator 

student with crash

group photo

General Volunteer guidelines 

  • Be engaged – If you see a problem with our systems, provide some solution-based suggestions. If you disagree with how we handle a situation, bring it up. This program is built around you and is here for you to grow as leaders and individuals. You will get out what you put in. 
  • Be open to learning – We are all here to better ourselves and this program. Just because there is a hierarchy of leadership, does not mean that teaching and learning is one way. We should always be learning from those above, below, and beside us. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone; a person grows the most in unfamiliar situations.  
  • Take ownership – If you make a mistake, own it. Everything can be turned into a learning experience. Take pride in your duties and show that you are passionate about the outdoors and our department. 
  • Be selfless – YOU are here to provide recreational and educational experiences for OTHERS. There will be many opportunities for you to learn new things, receive feedback, and grow. However, when you are working a program, the focus shouldn’t be on your own experience, it should be on the participant’s. Additionally, not focusing on the experience of the participants poses a potential risk to their safety. 
  • Be professional – Regardless of what experience level you are, our participants look to you for knowledge, tips, and tricks. You should dress the part, talk the part, and have the knowledge base to be successful at your leadership role. This doesn’t mean that you have to be the best climber, paddler, etc., but you will be required to have the basic knowledge about the activities and how we conduct them. If at any time you don’t know the answer, you shouldn’t give misinformation, but direct them to potential answers or find the answer yourself then report back. 

All University programs require student participants to follow standards of the CSUSM Student Code of Conduct in order to ensure a safe, respectful learning environment.

As the Policy states:

“The University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy living and learning environment for students, faculty, and staff. Each member of the campus community should choose behaviors that contribute toward this end. Students are expected to be good citizens and to engage in responsible behaviors that reflect well upon their university, to be civil to one another and to others in the campus community, and contribute positively to student and university life.”

Failure to abide by these standards could result in becoming ineligible to participate in Outdoor Adventure programs indefinitely.