From campers to counselors; Students volunteer at Harford Glen

Aleah Bikle, Reporter

 From November 18- 22, four NH students traveled to the Harford Glen Environment Education Center for several days of volunteering as camp counselors for young student visitors.  Seniors Jordan Palmer, Charlotte McElwain, Rachel Freeland, and Brynn Schaedel teamed up to interact with other volunteers in a participatory program of environment education.  

   The group enrolled in the counseling opportunity to assist students and teachers during the residential outdoor education sessions.    The opportunity is open to any HCPS sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are interested, whether it be volunteer community service hours, college credit, or just for a new experience. 

      “I would recommend volunteering to anybody! It’s such a great time and if you are really into hiking, outdoor activities, and being environmentally conservative.  It is a great thing for students to try out, especially if you have a limited schedule and still want to help out,” McElwain explains.  

     Harford Glen offers three-day and five-day sessions to give students a chance to experience volunteering while still attending school and/or work.  “We met other students from Fallston and Bel Air High Schools who were there to enjoy teaching younger students about the importance of maintaining a stable environment,” Freeland says. “My friends and I got along very well with the others and we are still in contact with them today in a huge group chat,” Freeland says.  Schaedel also added “My favorite part of the whole experience was that I went in not knowing what to expect, practically a stranger, and came out with 8 new friends and an unforgettable time.  

     Palmer explains that she reminisced what Harford Glen was like when she was in fifth grade, but now, in the mindset of a counselor.  “I truly looked up to my counselors when I was younger and I wanted to be the same role model for other kids when I got older,” Palmer says, “I learned a lot about patience. Many kids were homesick and woke me up a bunch of times throughout the night to take them to the nurse.  For some, it was the first time they had ever been away from home and I had to be understanding of that.”