Explorer and cadet at Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. sets record for volunteer hours


For about two weeks after he turned 18, ending his 12-year run as a Cub Scout and Boy Scout, Cameron Mosher felt a strange sensation:

“I remember vividly being bored,” he says.

No surprise there.

Mosher was an overachieving Cub Scout and Boy Scout.

He attained the rank of Eagle Scout after building a white picket fence around a garden at Aliso Viejo Middle School, which he attended.

While in the Boy Scouts, Mosher served as an instructor in national leadership training. He also won the Vigil Honor, the highest award given to members of the Order of the Arrow, the National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America.

As a cadet and explorer for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Mosher, now 19, is continuing his exemplary ways.

Last year, he racked up over 1,800 hours of voluntary service as an explorer, performing such duties as crowd and parking control and helping to set up and tear down OCSD events, such as last week’s Medal of Valor ceremony.

“It’s been pointed out to me: ‘You know how much you could have made working (and getting paid) those hours?’” Mosher says with a laugh, adding:

“We explorers get paid in food.”

Mosher recently was feted for his achievement at the annual OCSD explorer banquet.

He first joined the OCSD explorer program when he was 17, at the beginning of his junior year at Aliso Niguel High School.

During only two months that year (2015), he accumulated 44 hours of volunteer work.

In 2016, Mosher racked up 819 hours — good enough for top honors among the OCSD’s nearly 210 explorers.

And last year, he absolutely crushed that total with his record-setting 1,800 hours.

Explorer Capt. Cameron Mosher accumulated 1,800 volunteer hours in 2017.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

The average OCSD explorer volunteers between 300 and 400 hours a year, said Sgt. Dan Daniels, who oversees explorers as head of the Reserve Bureau, Field Operations Command, at the OCSD’s Regional Training Academy in Tustin.

“He definitely stands out,” Daniels said. “He’s pretty special. If I had another 100 of him, I’d be set.”

Mosher attributes his drive for public and community service to his upbringing in Laguna Niguel.

His father, Christopher, is a former Marine who served in the infantry and as a member of the presidential honor guard.

Christopher Mosher, now an IT specialist, and his wife, Linda, run a tight household.

Cameron’s brother, Christian, 17, is close to attaining his Eagle Scout rank and Carter, 14, also a Boy Scout, isn’t too far behind.

“I’ve known since middle school I wanted to serve in some way,” Cameron says. “I just wasn’t sure if it would be in the military or some other form of public service.”

Mosher learned about the OCSD explorer program through a friend of his father.

His dream job now is to become an OCSD deputy.

“I’ve grown up in Orange County all my life, and I’ve made great friends and mentors here at the department,” Mosher said. “I understand it’s not an easy job, but I want to be there to protect and serve my community.”

For now, Mosher’s laying the groundwork to become a deputy. He is wrapping up his first year at Saddleback College, where he’s working on an associate’s degree in business administration.

He plans to apply for an OCSD deputy position after he graduates next spring and reaches the required minimum age of 20 years and 6 months.

Explorers at the OCSD are not paid, but cadets are. Mosher became an OCSD cadet in November 2017 to earn some greenbacks to balance out his volunteer work.

OCSD Explorer Capt. Cameron Mosher, 19, talks about his time with the OCSD and his desire to become a deputy.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

As an OCSD explorer, he’s one of two captains, the highest rank at the agency. Mosher supervises some 100-plus explorers for the OCSD’s North Division. He also leads the explorer’s Color Guard team.

Last year, Mosher was responsible for reviving the Harbor Division explorer program, which for about six months had become inactive, Daniels said.

And this year, Mosher has been instrumental in forming a new search and rescue explorer division, Daniels said.

So far this year, Mosher has accumulated about 450 volunteer hours as an OCSD explorer — a great clip, but it won’t best his chart-busting 2017.

“I never thought of it as trying to get the most hours,” Mosher said. “That was never my goal. I just wanted to do my job.

“I really enjoy doing what I do, and I love the people I work with. They are all great people and mentors. There is so much to learn. I want to learn and be the best I can be.

“The hours kind of just slip away.”