We need volunteers for our Himalayan Programme

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We need volunteers for our Himalayan Programme

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By Swathi Chatrapathy

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

This is a special learning program in the Himalayas with an International School in Mussoorie. 

We believe it will make a big difference to the way you look at a trek.

First the quick basics.

The program is between April 23 and April 29.

It will be held on three of our slopes: Dayara Bugyal, Kedarkantha and Deoriatal-Chandrashila.

(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.)

This time, we will be taking just 20 volunteers. The chances are a bit tight, but it’s worth it.

What is the Outdoor Leadership Programme?

In our Experiential Learning Programme students learn and practice leadership and teamwork skills. This is something no classroom training can impart. The experiential learning program focuses on building resilience, confidence and the ability to overcome difficulties in young learners.

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

So where does volunteering come in?

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

In fact we don’t call you a volunteer. On the outdoor leadership program you are called a Program Coordinator. At the end of the program, you’ll also receive a certificate acknowledging your role.

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 program -- 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 with the program. 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 program.

How does volunteering help you?

Being an insider and being an active member of the team conducting the program is a big opportunity.

You not only get to trek in some of our most beautiful locations in our country, you also get to be part of a futuristic learning program.

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 program for both students and us, the organisers. You’re conducting the program for young people, many of who 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.

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 program coordinators for two reasons.

First, program coordinators must be good with children. We have students from the age of 9 all the way till 17.

Second, program coordinators 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. Program coordinators need to be physically and mentally capable to handle these situations.

We have a specific eligibility criteria.

Every volunteer:

  • Must be between the age of 25 and 32. 
  • 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 fit the bill, ~Contact.FirstName~, you’re welcome to apply as a volunteer. If you know someone who might fit the bill, let them know.

What would your travel plans look like?

The programme is happening between April 23rd and April 29th.

Your responsibility is to reach Dehradun on April 23rd by 6 am. Your reporting at the basecamp would be by the evening of April 23rd. To prevent last-minute delays, we highly recommend that you reach Dehradun by the evening of April 22nd.

Volunteers will be back in Dehradun on April 29th by 7-8 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. All stay, food and trek costs are borne by Indiahikes. Your travel cost -- including the cost of travel from Dehradun to base and back -- needs to be borne by you.  

If you’d like to apply as a volunteer

We have a two step process to select volunteers.

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

Step 2: 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/HqVWq7LWsgNWxGMf8

We’ll get back to you within 2 days if you’re shortlisted after filling the form.

If you have any questions, please take a look at the FAQ we have put together on this page.

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.

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