Outdoor Education

You are heading out for a day at the crag with some local participants, most of whom have never climbed on real rock before! It is an exciting time but there is a lot to consider including: Are your skills up to date? (For current training & learning opportunities with the AMC, click here.) How…

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So, you’ve decided to take the next step in your outdoor leadership path and register for AMC’s Mountain Leadership School (MLS). Excited, nervous, anxious? I know I was. Coming out of MLS you’ll likely end up defining it as one of the best experiences you’ve had in the outdoors, but you’ll definitely look back and…

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In the 1920s, when Benton MacKaye envisioned the long-distance footpath that would become the Appalachian Trail (AT), he foresaw a series of communities linked physically and figuratively to the 2,100-plus-mile route. The AT was recognized as a National Scenic Trail in 1937, and MacKaye’s dream of a conservation, recreation, and economic corridor has been evolving…

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You know how, when you hear people talk about food, you get hungry? You start to salivate, maybe your stomach begins to growl, and your attention wanders from whatever you’re doing to your next fantasy meal. That’s exactly what happened to this magazine’s editorial team when we dug into the pages of Real Trail Meals,…

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  For those who prefer the warmer weather, it’s coming – really! And longer days mean more time to play outside. In addition to trading in your snowshoes for hiking boots, why not dust off your wilderness first aid knowledge too? Below are a couple of scenarios to help: Playtime in the park It’s a…

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While staying at Joe Dodge Lodge, I explored the woods beside the beaver pond across the road. Deep snow earlier that week revealed recent animal activity— red squirrel middens, snowshoe hare scat, and wind-blown otter tracks along shore. I set up 2 wildlife cameras to see what might venture by overnight.   In the morning I set…

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  Part 2: Communication In the last installment, we discussed how people, or interpersonal skills, are an elusive component of leadership. As I mentioned before, the scope and complexity involved with these skills is hard to capture in a single word or phrase. Still, as leaders, mentors, facilitators, educators, or simply the intellectually curious, we…

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Woody Guthrie famously sang, “This land is your land / This land is my land,” but as wonderful as that sentiment is, it takes a lot of work to make sure the outdoors is protected for generations to come. It’s never too early to get kids engaged in stewardship efforts, be it through volunteerism, community gardens,…

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You’re at the put-in.  You have your leadership team, and the rest of the group is assembling.  All of the participants have been screened, but some you have not paddled with.  How do you assess their abilities?  How do you know how they will react if the environment presents a challenge?  How do you assess…

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Leadership Case Study: Group Management in the Alpine This case study was featured at Mountain Leadership School’s annual Instructor Post School Debrief in September 2016.  A vigorous discussion produced the conclusion points illuminated below. Join these experienced volunteer instructors at the oldest leadership training program in the nation for the 59th annual Mountain Leadership School in…

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