extend your classroom from the lakes to the mountains

Most schools start when the bell rings, but in our Outdoor Leadership program, your day is more likely to begin with the song of a loon or the thunderous clap of a distant storm. While your peers are shuffling to their seats and taking out their notebooks, you’re putting on your rock-climbing gear or sliding your canoe into the river. As your friends make their way toward the cafeteria, you’re sitting at the bottom of a waterfall, filtering crystal water for your team to drink.

Welcome to your new school. It’s a place as big as the Adirondacks and as deep as Lake Champlain. It contains as many opportunities to develop leadership and collaboration skills as it does trees and bears. It will challenge you mentally, physically, and emotionally, but when you’re successful, you’ll have the kind of self-confidence that transfers into your academic, home, social, and eventually your professional life.

how the program works

The Outdoor Leadership program begins with the Deer stage, where students build a basic knowledge and understanding of natural sciences, herbalism and ethnobotany, wild foods and medicine, and basic first aid. In addition, you’ll develop the skills and endurance  to successfully hike a moderate, 3-5 miles trail.

Students entering the Owl stage increase their knowledge and understanding of all those things, but to that they add the ability to strategically build at least five different types of fires, understand how to locate a proper site for camping, develop the ability to prepare and cook a basic campsite meal, and develop a set of traditional or primitive skills related to basket making, story telling, clay ceramics,processing hides and pelts, making rope, etc., and learning how to canoe and kayak.

The final stage of the Outdoor Leadership program is the Wolf stage, where students learn the advanced versions of all the skills they’ve started developing, as well as take on a leadership role by teaching students in the Deer and Owl stages, participating in internships, and leading students on multi-day backpacking expeditions.

Students who complete the Wolf stage earn a certificate in Outdoor Leadership.

more than the outdoors

As with all of our programs, students who participate in the Outdoor Leadership program are invited to explore other interests and take courses outside of the program. But if you choose to join the program, you’ll have, in addition to your other classes, a focused curriculum that provides you with a set of skills that you can put to work immediately, whether by applying for a job at a local state park or applying your newfound skills to hikes with your family.

For more information, contact us today.