Become a Leader

Backpacking Mystery Canyon, Arizona. Photo: Richard Fite

"It's always a thrill to help people who look at these trails in Canyon de Chelly and say that there is no way they can make it up them. I feel great being able to reply with a gentle, 'Just follow me, we'll take our time and we'll all make it together.' The new sense of accomplishment and self-esteem that one has after completing a trip is just wonderful."—Ann Daigle, leader

As a national or international outing leader, you will join others in exploring wild lands farther away from home, often exploring different cultures, conservation issues, and even perceptions. Because trips are often specialized around a unique theme or activity, you could be backpacking, kayaking, bicycling, or doing service work - it's up to you to choose, because you ultimately design and lead your very own trip.

Often, leaders on national and international trips have been past participants on the same trips or they come from chapter or other organizations where they have led similar, multi day trips. If you are able to spend longer amounts of time away from home and enjoy exploring other cultures; if you want to travel to wild places and you enjoy meeting others from across the country, you could make a great National or International Outings leader.

Think you'd like to be a leader? Great!

What are my responsibilities as a National Outings leader?

  • Create a new trip or update a former trip. A national or international outing takes 9-12 months to organize.
  • Develop a trip budget and write the Sierra magazine trip copy and detailed web brochure.
  • Secure all logistics including any permits, concessionaires and support staff as necessary.
  • Screen participants to see if their skills, interests and abilities are a good fit for your trip.
  • Communicate via phone and email with participants to provide new information and answer questions.
  • Lead your National or International outing.
  • Submit any post-trip papework and follow up with participants and volunteer leadership.

What rewards will I receive as a National Outings leader:

  • Designing a trip that reflects your interests and passions.
  • Spending time outdoors with like-minded people.
  • The satisfaction of leading the conversation on local conservation issues and providing a trip that helps others connect with natural wonders.
  • Exclusive discounts on premium outdoor apparel and gear through our pro deal program.

Steps to becoming a National Outings leader:

  • Be a current Sierra Club member and at least 18 years old.
  • Go on a National Outing and get a recommendation from existing leader(s). (Highly recommended, but not required.)
  • Complete the National Outings Leader Application.
  • Complete a wilderness first aid class (or higher).
  • Complete an adult CPR class.
  • Complete the Sierra Club Outing Leader Trainings: OLT 101 and 201.
  • Complete additional training as required by your Outings Chair.
  • Be an assistant leader on a National Outing.
  • Provisionally lead a National Outing under the guidance of an experienced mentor leader and be certified to lead by your Outing Chair.
  • Lead your very own outing!

Next Steps:

More questions? Contact