Outdoor Education Volunteer Opportunity: Anne Arundel County’s Nature Escape Program

Hello!

The children of Anne Arundel County (and almost everywhere!) are experiencing extraordinary adaptations to their curriculum platforms for the Fall 2020 school year. Thousands of elementary-aged students will log onto computers each day of the week during specific times to attend their virtual learning classrooms from September through December.

The Recreation & Parks Department recognizes an opportunity to offer much needed screen-free guided outdoor learning and free play experiences for local children as a creative, immersive, and energetic outlet during these unprecedented times. Dubbed Nature Escape, the program will be designed by Department Rangers & Naturalists with additional guidance from Teacher Specialists at Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center

Each Wednesday from September 23 through November 11 (8 weeks) from 1pm to 3pm, a park ranger or naturalist along with a vetted volunteer or additional staff member will guide up to 13 children ages 6-10 through the Nature Escape program offering a blend of guided and unstructured nature experiences. Each week, the same program will occur simultaneously across several participating regional parks and natural areas with the general theme changing weekly.

We are seeking volunteers for this unique new program. Our hope is that it will support children in continuing to grow their relationship with the natural world despite the cancellation of nearly all fall outdoor field trips across the county for the remainder of this year.
Expectations:
  • Volunteers commit to assisting with the program every Wednesday from Sept 23 through Nov 11 for 3 hours including setup and break down (24 total program volunteer hours) at one of our county regional parks: Quiet Waters Park, Kinder Farm Park, Mayo Peninsula Park, Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary.
  • Volunteers will either attend or watch the recording of a weekly short briefing on that week’s theme and program outline presented each Monday.
  • Volunteers will be joined by another guide and be provided with a program outline and associated resources each week.
  • All guides and children will be required to wear masks throughout the program and follow county health regulation guidelines for COVID-19 safety precautions.
This is a wonderful opportunity for those who wish to step up to help children connect with nature in Maryland and create a positive, healthy experience for children in a world affected by more than its fair share of challenges at the moment. If you are interested, please fill out the short form by Monday, August 31, 2020 and we will be in touch with you shortly.
Questions? Email Recreation & Parks Naturalist Liana Vitali at rpvita23@aacounty.org.
We look forward to working with you!