Volunteer with Indiahikes for a School's Learning Programme in the Him...

Volunteer with Indiahikes for a School's Learning Programme in the Himalayas

Category Experiential Learning

By Swathi Chatrapathy

2024-03-03

We are looking for volunteers for an Outdoor Leadership Programme this April, 2024.

This is a special learning programme in the Himalayas for an international school in Mussoorie. We believe it will make a big difference to the way you look at a trek.

But first, the quick basics.

  1. The program is between April 19th and April 26th, 2024.
  2. It will be held on four of our treks: Deoriatal-Chandrashila, Brahmatal, Ali Bedni Bugyal and Kuari Pass. (Volunteers cannot make a choice on which slope they would like to work on. It will be decided based on your strength and background. This assessment will be done based on interviews with you.)
  3. This time, we will be taking just 30 volunteers. Given we get over 400–500 applicants usually, the chances are a bit tight, but it will be worth it.

Having said that, volunteering for an experiential learning programme is deeply rewarding. You not only get to trek in some of the most beautiful locations in our country, but you also get to be part of a futuristic learning programme. 

Such volunteering is rare. We only open these opportunities once or twice a year at Indiahikes. 

Register here for Volunteering

What is the Outdoor Leadership Programme?

In this Experiential Learning Programme designed by Indiahikes, students go on a trek, and learn leadership and teamwork skills. The focus is on building resilience, confidence, and the ability to overcome difficulties in young learners.

We do this through a trek that is specially designed to bring out these aspects.

Where does volunteering come in?

As a volunteer, you play a crucial role in helping us administer the programme, working closely with us in the reflection sessions, and gradually drawing out natural learning from the outdoors.

This is not an easy volunteership, which is why we are very choosy about whom we take. You need a certain amount of wisdom to administer the programme; that comes only with work experience. Which is why we are looking at 2-3 years of minimum work experience. You also need trekking experience, without which you cannot relate to the programme. You also need to be very fit, because it involves being active all the time, going up and down the slope whenever required.

This means waking before others, sleeping after all are tucked away in their sleeping bags, and helping with facilitating the programme.

Click on the image to view the Video

How does volunteering help you?

Being an insider and an active member of the team conducting the programme is a big opportunity. You not only get to trek in some of our most beautiful locations in our country, but you also get to be part of a futuristic learning programme.

Volunteering for the OLP also carries a lot of weight. You get to test your leadership skills in a natural setting. It is a true experiential learning programme for both students and us, the organisers. You’re conducting the programme for young people, many of whom are doing a Himalayan trek for the first time, battling circumstances completely out of their comfort zones.

As a volunteer, a lot of the program’s success depends on you. That is why at Indiahikes, an experiential learning program is not just transformative for the students it is equally transformative for us, the organisers, too.

At the end of the volunteership you also earn a certificate.

What are we looking for in our volunteers?

We are extremely picky about our volunteers for two reasons.

First, you must be good with children. We have students from the age of 9 all the way until 17.

Second, volunteers play a big role in administering the whole programme. This requires good people skills, discipline, and leadership ability.

Third, the entire volunteering period is a 6-day marathon with hardly any time to breathe, eat, or sleep. Volunteers need to be physically and mentally capable to handle these situations.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Must be between the age of 25 and 40. 
  • Must have at least 2-3 years of work experience
  • Must have done at least one Himalayan trek with Indiahikes
  • Must be extremely fit
  • If you have worked with children before, that is a bonus.

What would your travel plans look like?

The programme is happening between April 19th and April 26th.

Your responsibility is to be at our pick-up point in Rishikesh on April 19th by 6 am. To prevent last-minute delays, we highly recommend that you reach Rishikesh by the evening of April 18th.

Volunteers will be back in Rishikesh on April 26th by 7 pm.

You will also be required to attend a few online training sessions, which will be organised on Saturdays, taking into account that you might be working during the week.

Indiahikes will sponsor your volunteership throughout the trek, covering all lodging, food, and trek costs. Indiahikes will also cover the cost of your travel from Rishikesh to Rishikesh. You will have to travel to Rishikesh and back on your own.

Please note: Even though the programme is a volunteer experience and Indiahikes will bear all your expenses, any last-minute dropout of chaperones is a significant setback to the programme. 

Therefore, to confirm your volunteering, you must pay a refundable deposit of Rs 5,000. This will be refunded within 7 days after you return from the trek. If you cannot make it to the programme, this deposit will not be refunded.

How to apply:

We have a two step process to select volunteers.

Step 1: A questionnaire to get to know you and your skills

Step 2: If you're shortlisted, a video interview to assess your potential as a volunteer

Please fill out this form if you’d like to apply as a volunteer - https://forms.gle/tCrTYHWtF7wJDYMv5

We’ll get back to you within 72 hours if you’re shortlisted after filling out the form.

If you have any questions, please drop in a comment below.

Swathi Chatrapathy

Chief Editor

About the author

Swathi Chatrapathy heads the digital content team at Indiahikes. She is also the face behind India's popular trekking video channel, Trek With Swathi. Unknown to many, Swathi also writes a weekly column at Indiahikes which has more than 100,000 followers.

A TEDx speaker and a frequent guest at other events, Swathi is a much sought after resource for her expertise in digital content.

Before joining Indiahikes, Swathi worked as a reporter and sub-editor at a daily newspaper. She holds a Masters's in Digital Journalism and continues to contribute to publications. Trekking, to her, is a sport that liberates the mind more than anything else. Through trekking, Swathi hopes to bring about a profound impact on a person's mind, body and spirit.