Grounded. Humble. Informed. These are a few words that describe Fiume Drummond-Simnacher. The Education Programs Manager for Hostelling International USA (HI USA) in the Northwest region, Fiume is changing the lives of inner city youth who may have never seen the woods or the ocean. She is sharing the magic of intercultural exchange and Northern California’s biodiversity with youth through Outdoor Hostel Adventures (OHA), a HI USA environmental education program.
Hosting small student groups for overnight trips at the HI Marin Headlands hostel, Fiume teaches students to gain an appreciation and respect for nature. Her work instills an understanding of the basic principles of ecology and human impact on the environment, and provides a sense of place that fosters stewardship and ecological responsibility.
Blindfolding the group, she provides an all-encompassing sensory experience resembling how animals live in order for students to understand the natural environment around them. One by one, she tells each student to start walking the trail using the other four senses to navigate the path. Of course, she and the chaperones are there to make sure no one gets hurt.
This is just one of the many creative activities Fiume encourages her students to try. In addition to the woods, she also takes visiting adventurists to the Rodeo Beach where she demonstrates the amount of salt that is in the surrounding plants. Leading the group, she breaks off a leaf and puts it on her tongue to show how dry that part of the mouth will become. It’s a fun way to show kids the power of plants.
While educating underprivileged youth is among Fiume’s greatest passions, she is also a travel enthusiast and a perpetual seeker of intercultural experiences. She has lived in Argentina and Nepal, and has called the SF Bay Area home for nearly eight years.
With her innate curiosity about the natural world and humanity, over a decade of hands-on experience in youth development, and a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies, Fiume has influenced many to start exploring our Earth.
Outside of work, she enjoys kinesthetic and creative endeavors like bike riding, swimming, rock climbing, and getting dirty in the garden.
Year born: 1986
City: San Francisco, CA
Background: B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies, California Institute of Integral Studies
Profession: HI USA Northwest Education Programs Manager & Outdoor Hostel Adventures (OHA) Naturalist
Tools of Your Trade: First Aid Kit, endless curiosity, hiking legs, camera, and Macbook Air