Through a volunteer service trip that CSUSB’s Office of Community Engagement (OCE) has started up to bring students, faculty, and their surrounding communities closer together, Camp SERVE is an opportunity for students who are looking to make a difference and help understand the needs of the community.
Students have come together to volunteer and have fun getting in touch with their community. Photo by Peter AlvarezBack on December 10-12, the OCE and Student Recreation and Wellness Center hosted its first-ever Camp SERVE trip. “It was originally thought of as an idea for brand new faculty coming to the campus who are not from around here, and it would’ve been a quick way to get them introduced to the communities around here,” explained OCE Director Diane Podolske.
There were some conflicts with that idea, so they decided to start with students first. Twenty lucky volunteers were able to serve in San Bernardino, Big Bear, and Palm Springs.
OCE Student Assistant Peter Alvarez stated, “It was a really great experience. I remember going back home and telling my family about everything we did, from the volunteering and meeting different people in the communities, to being able to go bowling and ride the San Jacinto Mountains Tramway while there was still snow up there.”
Starting with team bonding exercises at CSUSB’s Leadership Challenge Center, you are able to bond with random students and faculty quickly and make the rest of the trip even more enjoyable.
“I am new to the campus, so volunteering for this service trip was a great way for me to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people. It had me doing things I never thought I would do, like hiking in Big Bear and volunteering at a thrift shop in Palm Springs. I’m so happy I took advantage of this opportunity and was able to be a part of OCE’s first camp SERVE. I can’t wait for the Ensenda trip,” said transfer student Rosie Garcia.
“I just think a lot of students don’t always know what’s available to them because there are so much and when you commute, how do you get information? It’s a little risky, but not too risky and I think it’s a good way to help everyone understand the needs in the community,” said Podolske.
If anyone is looking to get out of their comfort zone and make new friends, this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage. The Office of Community Engagement and the Student Recreation and Wellness Center-Adventure Program are currently working on and taking spots for their upcoming 4 nights/5 days Ensenada spring break service trip from March 22-March 26, 2020.