Exploring New Horizons Cabin Leaders





Become an Environmental Leader. Volunteer Now!

Exploring New Horizons is looking for high school students (and parents) to be a cabin leader for groups of 7-12 5th and 6th grade students during 4 and 5-day outdoor education programs at our Sempervirens site in Scotts Valley, CA (in the redwoods north of Santa Cruz). ENH has over 500 high school students volunteer as cabin leaders each year, gaining valuable leadership and communication skills, community service credit, and references for college or job applications. Acting as role models, cabin leaders ensure that their cabin group is working as a team and getting to meals and hikes prepared and on time. Our naturalists lead all hikes and activities and our cabin leader coordinator and staff will support you 24-hours a day throughout the week. During the program you will explore old-growth redwoods, tidepool, go on a night hike, dance at the Barnyard Boogie, and more. Meals, accommodation, and transportation are provided!

How to Apply

As of the 2021 school year, participating classroom teachers are now responsible for recruiting either high school or parent cabin leaders. If you are interested in being a cabin leader, please reach out to the elementary school which you would like to attend with and they will direct you to the 5th or 6th grade teacher in charge of outdoor school. Please let them know your:

  • first and last name
  • phone number
  • email address
  • high school name
  • grade
  • if you have been a cabin leader before
  • if there is a specific week you want to come with a specific grade school


Once you have made contact with ENH or a participating classroom teachers, please ask them what paperwork you need to fill out as not every school makes cabin leaders fill out the Cabin Leader Application Package. If they need you to fill out the Cabin Leader Application Package, please fill out the 2 forms in the Package. The package includes the following:

  • Application form
  • Responsibility contract
  • Packing list
  • Letter to parents of cabin leaders

While you can fill these out before printing the application, you will need to print two pages because they require a signature. Once you have filled this out, please scan (or take a clear picture of the forms with your phone) and email your paperwork to the classroom teacher.

Classroom teachers will give cabin leaders the link to an online health form to fill out before the trip.

Cabin Leader Training & Participation

If you are chosen as a cabin leader, the participating classroom teacher will notify you within a few weeks. If selected, you will meet at the elementary or middle school in the morning on the first day of outdoor school and ride the bus with the students to program. Once you arrive at the outdoor school you will go through a training and each day you will meet with our cabin leader coordinator and other cabin leaders in a professional learning community.

Other Important Information

Take a moment and familiarize yourself with the schedule for the week of outdoor school. View a Sample ScheduleAlso be sure to review the packing list included in the application package above.

As you are preparing for your week remember that you’ll need to bring lunch for the first day, snacks you may want during your time off, a watch (cell phones do not go out on trail) and a raincoat.