Greater Latrobe Students Make the Most of their Vacation

Greater Latrobe Students Make the Most of their Vacation

Ian Steel and Amanda Adams (seniors):

Ian and Amanda worked for the Youth Conservation Corps which is a program where high school students can participate in saving the national parks of the U.S. as well as other forests, etc., by spending 8 weeks of their lives devoted to restoring and protecting nature (boardwalks, bridges, trails), as well as learn about the park they are saving, the wildlife and the environment.

Ian: “It was a really great job.”

Amanda: “It was a great experience.”


Jimmy Zimmerman (senior), Clare Harkins (junior), and Sarah College (sophomore)

Jimmy was a counselor at Outdoor Odyssey this year, as well as Clare Harkins. Clare was Sarah College’s mentor, and Sarah was a junior mentor this summer. Outdoor Odyssey is a program that was founded in 1998 and was designed to allow youth from the area to go through a unique week-long experience full of adventure, leadership skills, and teamwork that is then followed up throughout the year between a mentor and his/her team.

Jimmy Zimmerman (senior): “What I personally got out of it was an enhanced set of leadership skills and, most importantly, the genuine concern that you need to have to be able to work with almost anyone you come across. It’s an excellent program and I think both myself, my camper, and almost anyone who I’ve ever talked to that’s been involved in the program have grown as people because of it.”


Clare Harkins (junior): “I learned not to take things for granted, because some of the kids there had nothing.”

Sarah College (sophomore): “I learned how to better interact with the campers and I learned mentor qualities and how to be a role model.”


Derek McNealy (Junior):

Derek went to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for a week over the summer. Jackson Hole is a large valley encompassed by mountains. The Snake River flows through Jackson Hole from Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Teton National Park takes up most of the valley. While there, Derek hiked and did white water rafting, as well as quad riding in the mountains. He had an awesome time.

Johnny Syster and TJ Henry (juniors):

Both hiked 50 miles at the C&O (Chesapeake and Ohio) Canal in Maryland. The canal 184.5 miles long and building began in 1828. They also went to the Adirondacks, which is home to 6-million-acres of woods and lakes and rivers in New York,  and they travelled to Lake Placid, which is found high in the Adirondacks and offers a variety of outdoor things to do.

Johnny: “I learned that you need others to be successful and this experience brought me closer to the others in our camp.”

TJ: “I had a lot of fun on the trip.”

Jon Skoloda and Zach Daigle (seniors):

Jon and Zach participated in a leadership training at PASC- the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils, which is an organization that provides all-year opportunities and helps apply leadership and life skills to the lives of Jr. and Sr. high students. They want students to grow in a diverse environment and show support and positive encouragement for students and their ideas.

In addition, Jon participated in the American Legion Boy’s State, which was founded in 1935 and is among the highest regarded educational programs in the country. There, a high school junior participates in his local, county, and state government as a franchised citizen, and they do things such as elect government offices and hold court sessions.

Jon: “It is the greatest leadership camp available.”


Natalie Ryall (senior): Natalie did her third mission trip to Guatemala this summer. On her mission trips, she did children’s ministry and village preaching, where she shared the Gospel with the rest of her mission team.

“It has been truly rewarding and I have learned a ton. It made me sooo much closer to God and gave me a greater worldview and a heart to help people everywhere. There’s a reason why I’ve gone back three times.”