My name is Noah Doyle and I have been an AmeriCorps member serving with Nevada Outdoor School since May 2023. Before AmeriCorps, I was working full-time as a barista at a locally owned coffee shop here in Elko, Nevada. Almost all of my time in the workforce has been spent in either retail or food service, so I was very intrigued by the opportunity I found through AmeriCorps! I was initially introduced to the Nevada Outdoor School program through a friend of mine who works at the Elko office. I had previously heard little about AmeriCorps, their mission, and the opportunities that are offered through their programming and I was excited about learning more. Starting this job was one of the best things that happened to me this year. I was feeling stuck in my old position and like I didn’t have many suitable options available to me. I’ve always had a passion for creativity and teaching, so I was very eager to begin my service with Nevada Outdoor School.
During my service, I was able to learn and discover new things that I’d never considered before. One of the first things I got to participate in was our Watershed Field Trips for the different schools in the Elko area. Honestly, I had no idea what a watershed was before helping with this programming! It was also my debut working with elementary grade students, which went a lot more smoothly that I originally anticipated! I’ve experience working with high school students, and the two groups are vastly different. Having to adjust my teaching tactics was a challenge, but one that I had welcomed with open arms. Luckily, I seemed to be pretty naturally good at working with younger students, which only exaggerated the excitement I had for working my term going forward. Everything about my position holds an air of importance and I’ve been able to discover new things about myself as well! I’m now more confident than ever that I’d like to pursue a career in education sometime in the future. As someone who isn’t used to taking initiative in most projects, I was able to practice leadership skills through my service with AmeriCorps as well. The work I’ve done during my term has helped build my confidence and uncover more things about my personality that were previously buried under several layers of self-doubt and uncertainty.
My favorite part of being an AmeriCorps member is how meaningful the work I do is. One of my biggest struggles when it came to working retail, customer, or food service, was how menial and soul-sucking the jobs feel. I yearned to do more for my community, something that did more for the greater good than stocking shelves or bagging burgers and fries. I had felt so disconnected from my community and the people in it because I was seeing so little of it. I spent my days going through the same set of motions, talking to the same groups of people with little variation. Working with AmeriCorps means each day is different, and each project you work on is giving back to the community in so many different ways. I really enjoyed being able to employ my own ideas, use and refine my leadership and problem-solving skills. I love being able to meet new people out in the community and support events to encourage others to get involved with their community. The work that I do helps make my town and community a cleaner, better place for everyone living here or even just passing through!
Part of my job as an Outdoor Educator working with Nevada Outdoor School (NOS) is scheduling and running summer camp programs in order to teach youth Leave No Trace and the importance of doing your part to take care of the environment. I’ve had the pleasure of being a supporting member at a few different camps as well as creating and leading one of my own. Leading and supporting camps take similar but different skill sets. Support definitely takes less effort, but is an absolute necessity to have while working summer camps. Being able to keep multiple sets of eyes on your campers, and have that extra cushion to help manage your groups is life-saving. Leading camps can be very challenging because you’re in charge of creating the schedule and coming up with games and activities to help fill time in the schedule. There’s also the prospect of buying enough servings of food for any overnight camping we do. It’s also the responsibility of the lead to take charge of any sort of behavioral management or disciplinary action that may need to be taken during camp. There are a lot of different pieces to the puzzle that we’re in charge of putting together in order to provide fun and educational programming for our participants.
Overall, my service with AmeriCorps has been incredibly fulfilling and I’m planning to continue with another term of service once I finish this first term. I’ve developed so many wonderful relationships with my coworkers, and I genuinely look forward to the work that I do and the positive impact that my position has on the environment and community. There are definitely some frustrations that come and go while performing my duties, but I see each one as an opportunity to learn and grow and acquire new skills in order to help myself and others in the future. There are so many benefits that I’ve come into while serving this term for AmeriCorps and I can’t wait to pursue the future endeavors that AmeriCorps has given me the confidence to go after!
Noah Doyle (2nd from left) poses for a group picture with NOS Summer Members
Noah Doyle (Front) takes a selfie with his campers and Supports on Lamoille’s Hanging Valley Walking path