Outing Leadership Training Workshop

Conducted at different locations around the country every year
Check out the calendar to find a workshop near you.

Workshop Goals

This workshop is designed to welcome new (and seasoned) Sierra Club leaders who want to connect people to the outdoors. This workshop will have a focus on recruiting and training new leaders for Sierra Club programs and campaigns:

  • Leading all types and lengths of outings: simple day-hikes, paddles or camping trips all the way to multi-day backpacking or paddling expeditions, lodge-based trekking, international travel and more.
  • Leading different groups of people: military and/or veteran community members, family and friends, youth and young adults, local community members, newcomers to the outdoors or even participants from around the world.
  • Leading within a specific program or campaign such as:
    • Inner City Outings  - outreach program to connect people, specifically youth with limited access to the outdoors
    • Local Outdoors - trips in an around your local community
    • Military Outdoors - Trips for the military, Veterans and their families 
    • National/International Outings - the multi-day trips as seen in Sierra magazine
    • Our Wild America - Campaign to protect, conserve, and restore public and private lands to retain natural systems and benefit present and future generations, especially in a climate-changing world.

By the end of this workshop, you should be able to:

  • Plan safe and successful multi-day outings.
  • Enhance your competence and confidence in leading groups.
  • Enhance your competence and confidence in achieving good group behavior.
  • Inspire your participants to continue exploring and protecting the wild places that they visit.

This workshop is designed to focus more on the interpersonal skills associated with outdoor leadership. These "softer" skills are vital to being a successful leader. These skills include learning how to manage your group, how to create a positive group dynamic, and how to practice a safety-based planning and delivery of your outing. Every participant should come back "Safe, Happy, and Inspired."

  • Most of the sessions pertain to the interpersonal or "soft" skills of being a leader. These include Interpersonal Leadership Skills and Group Management.
  • Other topics include Conservation education planning, Trip Planning, Outings Nuts and Bolts, Leave No Trace and an Emergency Response Scenario.
  • You will be given a participant binder that contains detailed information relating to each session that is taught.
  • The agenda for the workshop is very full. We will have breaks between sessions and a longer break Saturday afternoon before dinner.
  • A few sessions will be conducted in a large group while most others will be conducted in more intimate, interactive small-groups.
  • This workshop will fulfill the Sierra Club's OLT 101 and OLT 201 requirements.
  • You will be asked to fill out an evaluation at the end of the training event.

Tentative Agenda

3:00-5:00 pm:Check In Begins
6:00 pm:Dinner & Ongoing Check In
7:30 pm:Welcome & Group Activity
9:00 pm:Social Time (optional)
7:30 am: Breakfast
8:30 am:   Using story to connect America with the Outdoors
 Trip Planning & Pre-Trip Screening
 Interpersonal Leadership Skills
12:30 pm: Lunch
 Interpersonal Leadership Skills & Group Management
4:00 pm:Break
6:00 pm: Dinner
7:30 pm: Telling your story to connect America with the Outdoors (continuation of morning activity)
7:30 am:Breakfast
8:30 am:Pack & begin clean-up
9:00 am:Emergencies & Evacuations
10:30 am:Leave No Trace
11:15 am: Outings Nuts and Bolts
12:00 pm:Workshop Close
1:00-5:00 pm:Optional Basic First Aid (4 hours).

Basic First Aid: We will be offering an optional four hour Basic First Aid course on Sunday afternoon. The first aid course fee is $15 and covers materials and certification card. The $15 registration fee will need to be paid at the Sunday first aid training. This four hour class will be taught by an American Safety and Health Institute instructor and at the end of the course students will receive an ASHI Basic First Aid card. This course will not renew a Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder certification.

This course fulfills the Sierra Club minimum first aid requirement. Make sure to check with your Outings Chair of your local group, chapter or National Outings subcommittee to make sure that they don't have a higher first aid requirement such as Wilderness First Aid.