Outdoor Education  
< great outdoors >
"In wilderness lies the preservation of the world"

....................................................Henry David Thoreau

email newsletter

sign up
The best thing you can do for the natural environment is to discover it .....then show it to others.

Whether it be for personal challenge, leadership training or professional certification, outdoor education programs offer all participants the experience, inspiration and encouragement to live more sustainable lifestyles.

The LifeStraw Portable Water Filter

Here's a look at outdoor education programs and schools which help lead the way.
National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
Headquartered in Wyoming. NOLS is a non-profit educational institution teaching wilderness and leadership skills, with an emphasis on conservation. Courses range from 10 to 95 days in length, and take place at eight branches in seven countries and on five continents. Skills covered range from backpacking and sea kayaking, orienteering and mountaineering, with many more skills available in a wide wide variety of courses.

Outward Bound
Outward Bound is a nonprofit adventure-based education program that develops confidence, leadership, responsibility and wilderness skills through outdoor challenge and accomplishment. Courses types include mountaineering, mountain biking, sailing, sea kayaking, whitewater rafting, canoeing, backpacking, dogsledding, backcountry skiing/snowboarding and rock climbing. Environmental stewardship and Leave No Trace skills are taught on all courses.
Courses in the US are for ages 14 - 65+ and range from 4 to 81 days.

Colorado Mountain College
The CMC Outdoor Recreational Leadership program offers adventure with extensive training in leadership development. A two-year program offers an Associate in General Stuidies - Outdoor Recreational Leadership degree which is directly transferrable to several four-year colleges in the state. Offers a wide variety of outdoor education courses.

Wilderness Awareness School
Based in Duvall, WA. Offers training in the wilderness arts, including tracking, bird language, survival and native living skills, traditional herbalism, and naturalist mentoring. Program choices include home-based, residential courses located in WA and VT, youth programs and national workshops and expeditions. "Our mission is to preserve and care for the natural world by fostering people's understanding and appreciation of nature, community and self."

The Women's Wilderness Institute
The Women's Wilderness Institute offers high quality outdoor adventures and backcountry trips for women and teen girls in the Rocky Mountains and southwestern deserts and rivers. Over 50 courses per year for women of all ages and fitness levels.

SOLO: Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities
Located in Conway, NH. Offers training programs and professional certification in wilderness/rural/disaster emergency medicine, rescue and leadership. Offers instruction to individuals, guides, mountain rescue teams, and staffs from other outdoor education programs, including the National Park Service.

Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center
Located in Breckenridge, CO. Offers outdoor learning experiences to people of all abilities, including people with disabilities, those with serious illnesses and injuries, and "at risk" populations. The Wilderness Program offers single and multi-day experiences, and individual enrollment adventure trips. Their Adaptive Skiing Program offers varied skiing experiences for people with special needs. In operation since 1976.

CanAdventure - Wilderness Adventure for Struggling Teens
Located on Vancouver Island, BC Canada, CanAdventure Education is a wilderness adventure camp program that engages struggling teens in education, cultural awareness, skill development, and personal growth. CanAdventure offers an experiential curriculum that educates struggling teens through hands-on learning and wilderness adventure in a world-renowned environment.

Tom Brown's Tracker School
Tracker school is located in Asbury, NJ with associated courses in CA and FL. Students learn the basics of tracking, stalking, nature observation and wilderness survival. "If you are looking for a closer attachment to Earth Mother and the skills and philosophy that will help you live in harmony and balance with Creation, then come join us." Available to ages 18 and over.

Ancient Pathways
Desert survival and bushcraft living skills. Programs are designed for those seeking to develop proficiency in both primitive and modern wilderness skills. Courses are held throughout northern and central Arizona and at an outfitted basecamp near the Painted Desert, one hour from the Grand Canyon.

Temagami Wilderness Center
Located in Ontario, Canada. The Temagami District comprises more than 5000 square miles of pristine wilderness. Guided canoe trips, outfitting, winter activities such as snowshoeing and dog sledding. Instructional courses provided at the School of Expedition and Adventure Leadership.The SEAL program is a 97 day, all-inclusive semester program.

American Mountain Guides Association
Located in Golden, CO. The AMGA offers training courses and guide certification exams in three disciplines: rock, alpine and ski mountaineering. The programs address the needs of guides working in the mountains, and are structured to be completed sequentially over a two- to three-year period. The first step is a guide program, then an advanced guide course, followed by a certification exam.

Nantahala Outdoor Center
Located in western North Carolina, NOC provides instruction in whitewater paddling, mountain biking, adventure racing, wilderness first-aid, and river rescue. Other offerings include whitewater rafting on six rivers, group teambuilding programs, retail and mail order operations, and worldwide adventure travel.

Bay Area Wilderness Training Program
Located in California, BAWT offers professional wilderness leadership training workshops with an emphasis on safety and esteem-building for adult youth workers. Course completion allows free access to an equipment loan system so that youth organizations may outfit their groups for trips of their own - free of charge.

Voyageur Wilderness Programme
Based in Ontario, Canada. Quetico Park is 1,800 square miles of protected, pristine wilderness in Northern Ontario’s precambrian shield and boreal forest. VWP’s all-inclusive eco-field trips allow students and teachers to experience first-hand one of the world’s last primitive wilderness areas. Professional Development teacher workshops are also offered.

Wilderdom: Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center
Based in Australia, this is a website which provides a wealth of information about the ins and outs of organized outdoor education programs with smatterings of eco-philosophy, etc. "There's probably enough to get lost in and maybe find oneself again.

IslandWood Graduate Residency in Education, Environment and Community
Located in Bainbridge Island, WA. Offers a Certificate in Education, Environment, and Community from the University of Washington. Working with students, educators train to create learning environments that offer children the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of both human and natural communities.

Camp Summit
Located in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. Outdoor education and adventure camp providing experiential education and leadership programs. Overnight summer camping for kids & youths from 7 to 17.

...... . ... . .. .. .. ."In the end, we will conserve only what we love.
.. .... . . ...... . . . ..We will love only what we understand.
. .. .. .... . ... ... .. .We will understand only what we are taught."

Baba Dioum, Senegalese Conservationist