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 Cuyamaca Outdoor School Principal Receives Van Arsdale Award of Merit

Outdoor Education staff members: Faith Mitchell, Dustin Burns, Greg Schuett, and Bob Mueller

Cuyamaca Outdoor School Principal Greg Schuett was recently honored by the Community Campership Council with the William E. Van Arsdale Award of Merit.

Schuett, who has worked for the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) for nearly 30 years, says the most rewarding part of his job is listening to the visiting classroom teachers every Friday tell him how their students were transformed by the experience at Cuyamaca Outdoor School, known to more than 1 million alumni as 6th Grade Camp.

The award was established in 1993 in honor of Bill Van Arsdale, a past president of the Council and past director of SDCOE's Outdoor Education program. The award honors qualities Van Arsdale, who passed away in 1989, exemplified in his life: professional leadership, dedication to the welfare of children, and belief that young people should have an outdoor learning experience as an important part of their education.

"Greg has provided exemplary service to the students of San Diego County throughout his 28 years at Cuyamaca Outdoor School," said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. "Tens of thousands of children have benefitted from Greg's passion for connecting children to science and nature. For many students, this weeklong, overnight experience transforms how they feel about science and themselves as learners."

"I'm so pleased to see Greg honored for his creative leadership of Cuyamaca Outdoor School," said San Diego County Board of Education President Guadalupe González. "Greg and his team do a great job of incorporating trail experiences and citizen scientist projects to create hands-on learning that is meaningful, memorable, and fun."

The Community Campership Council, Inc., a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt charitable organization, was established in 1966 to coordinate a year-round Kids to Camp campership program. The goal of Kids to Camp is to make available a joyful learning experience in a natural setting for deserving children from diverse backgrounds; to expand their understanding of nature and the importance of conservation; and to foster wonder, give hope, and build confidence.