Every Summer Has A Story - SOU Portraits: Brod
1. What's your name, major and where are you from?
Hi, my name is Brod McLaughlin and my major is Outdoor Adventure Leadership. I am from Butte Falls and definitely feel like an Ashlander now!
2. What are you up to this summer?
Any special internships, jobs, projects you'd like to tell us about?
I spent the first part of the summer with an amazing internship at the Siskiyou Field Institute. It was my second summer interning with them and getting to work with youth. It started off with an 8 day backpacking trip in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, guiding a group of high school boys and teaching them backpacking and wilderness skills. After the 8 day trip I went right into a 5 day overnight camp with middle school-aged students. This was a really intense and exhilarating experience working with youth 24/7 for 5 days straight! I learned a lot from this experience and got to play alongside the kids in the creeks and the forests...my passions combined.
After the 5 day camp we had a 3 day backpacking trip in the Siskiyou National Forest with another group of middle school students where we hiked into Buck Lake and tried our best to make it to Devil's Punch Bowl but our water filters broke and we had to turn back! The kids took the news of our plan change really well and we all had a fabulous time together.
The last week of my internship I had the opportunity to teach on my own for the first time--an unexpected but rewarding and challenging adventure that was not anticipated! At first I was really nervous about teaching on my own but then quickly learned that I love creating my own lesson plans and getting to implement my leadership skills that I've learned from SOU.
Since the completion of my internship I've had some down time so I've been spending time with my family and playing at the parks with my 4 year old sister. My sister is a beautiful little human, I love having her around because it's helping me appreciate the small things in life and I feel like I'm seeing the world through brand new eyes when we're together. Family is a big part of my life and I love each of my family members so much! They mean the world too me.
Upon returning to Ashland I have been working with the Raider Welcome Team during Raider Orientation and Registration events. I get to introduce new students to campus life and all we have to offer. I love meeting new people and hearing people's stories and making friends! It's really exciting to see bright new faces coming to SOU and seeing others who are excited about furthering their education.
3.Anything you're excited about for this upcoming year?
I am SO excited to get to go to Nepal through the partnership of Civic Engagement and the Outdoor Adventure Leadership department!!! I can't wait to travel internationally for the very first time and to experience a new culture that has always interested me. I am most excited to broaden my perspectives! While in Nepal we will be working with a non-profit, Initiative Outdoors, who have a program called Guiding Disadvantaged Youth to Professions. This program focuses on helping to build self-confidence in Nepalese youth through outdoor experiences such as backpacking, rafting, and trekking adventures.
This trip sounds like the perfect fit for me and I am stoked to be working with groups of people making a difference.
When we get back to SOU, I am thrilled to get to be the Queer Resource Center student staff manager! I am pumped about additional responsibilities that I will take on in this new role and am looking forward to the growth of our staff and of myself in this position.
Lastly, I am looking forward to graduating from SOU!!! I am grateful for all of the opportunities that I have had here; I feel very privileged to have come to this university, to have learned all that I have learned, and to have such a variety of opportunities from which I have grown.
When I look back at my years at SOU I know I will always have a smile on my face and a full heart for the love and acceptance that I found here.
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