Join AMC


Outdoor Leadership Training - Boston Application
Outdoor Leadership Training - New York/New Jersey Application

The mission of the AMC's Youth Opportunities Program (YOP) is to make the outdoors accessible and meaningful to urban and at-risk youth. YOP operates as a resource center for youth agencies throughout the Northeast, teaching youth workers the skills they need to independently take their youth outdoors.

Our signature Outdoor Leadership Training (OLT) prepares youth workers to lead groups on trips that are fun, educational, safety-minded, and organized. We also provide our YOP-trained members with essential support services such as free use of outdoor equipment; trip planning assistance; subsidized overnights at AMC lodging destinations; and participation in customized trips.

Through our partnerships with community groups, youth programs, schools, and more, YOP ensures that young people enjoy meaningful outdoor experiences with adults who know them and their unique needs. Since 1968, YOP has served over 175,000 youth and trained thousands of youth workers. Join the dynamic YOP community and open up a world of opportunity to the youth you serve!

Outdoor Adventures
YOP supports a wide variety of outdoor experiences from short walks to backpacking expeditions. Activities include:
  • Nature walks
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Backpacking
  • Canoeing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Cross Country Skiing
Benefits to Youth
Young people who participate in outdoor adventures benefit in countless ways as they step into new environments. These outdoor adventure experiences provide youth with the opportunity to develop:
  • Leadership skills
  • Self-confidence and self-respect
  • Trust
  • A sense of responsibility for self, others, the community, and the environment
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Teamwork experience
  • Decision-making skills

Outdoor Leadership Training - Boston Application
Outdoor Leadership Training - New York/New Jersey Application


Outdoor Leadership Training

Outdoor Leadership Training - Boston Application
Outdoor Leadership Training - New York/New Jersey Application

Designed specifically for youth workers, the Outdoor Leadership Training (OLT) teaches the skills you will need to lead outdoor trips with youth. No previous outdoor experience is required! Graduates become YOP members and benefit from all of YOP's services such as free equipment use. The training consists of a pre-trip meeting and four or fives days of hiking and camping. Through experiential learning, this exciting and intensive training allows you to gain leadership experience, practice outdoor skills, and learn valuable information about leading youth on outdoor adventures.

Topics Include:
  • Leadership styles
  • Group management
  • Navigation
  • Time management
  • Environmental awareness
  • Proper clothing
  • Equipment use
  • Nutrition and menu planning
2014 Rates
The Outdoor Leadership Training is highly subsidized by the AMC in order to make it more affordable for youth workers to participate. Scholarships are also available. Equipment, meals, lodging, AMC guidebook and/or maps, YOP Outdoor Leadership Manual, instruction, and AMC membership are all included.
  • Boston Backpacking OLT: $160
  • Boston Camping OLT: $130
  • New York/New Jersey OLT: $120
Application Process

Download an OLT application packet below or contact us for more information. Early registration is strongly recommended. Please select the appropriate application based on the location where you wish to take the Outdoor Leadership Training: The PDF packets contain a cover letter, in-depth information, equipment list, application, medical and release forms.

Outdoor Leadership Training - Boston Application
Outdoor Leadership Training - New York/New Jersey Application

YOP Services

Trainings for Youth Workers and Trips for Youth Groups – Boston
Trainings for Youth Workers and Trips for Youth Groups – New York

We provide a complete continuum of services to help youth workers independently lead young people on outdoor adventures. The first step is to become a YOP member by attending our signature Outdoor Leadership Training. Youth workers who successfully complete the training become YOP members and benefit from the following services:

  • Free Outdoor Equipment Loans: borrow backpacks, tents, clothing, hiking boots, sleeping bags and more! YOP has everything a youth group needs for an enjoyable outdoor adventure.

  • Discounted Lodging at AMC Destinations: enjoy heavily reduced rates at AMC lodges, huts, and campgrounds. We offer a wide variety of options for every skill level and make it more affordable to bring youth on overnights in unique wilderness settings.

  • Trip Planning Assistance: get expert advice on destinations, equipment, routes, activities, menus, and risk management. YOP staff help youth workers plan effective and fun trips.

  • Advanced Skills Workshops: gain new skills in activities such as canoeing, wilderness first aid, trip planning, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.

  • Youth Adventures: bring your youth on a YOP-facilitated adventure. YOP members and their youth are eligible to participate in day trips, overnights, and multi-day excursions. These trips are co-led in partnership with YOP staff and are a great way for youth workers to get more comfortable outdoors with their youth while learning best practices and getting logistical support.

  • Summit Sites: YOP forms partnerships with youth organizations in target cities such as Boston, Lowell, Lawrence, Worcester, and New Haven. Selected groups receive intensive long-term support including training scholarships for youth workers, program planning and implementation, free trips, staff training, and more.

  • Teen Wilderness Adventures: YOP provides full scholarships for individual youth to attend AMC’s Teen Wilderness Adventures. Young people must be recommended by a YOP member and must have participated in YOP trips in order to be eligible.

  • Youth Worker Network: join the dynamic YOP community and share strategies and resources with other youth workers.

  • AMC Membership: YOP members receive a one-year free individual AMC membership upon completion of the Outdoor Leadership Training and a discounted rate thereafter.


yop-open-houseYOP serves youth agencies throughout the Northeast and operates out of AMC’s Boston headquarters, New York City, and the Mohican Outdoor Center in the Delaware Water Gap, just 1.5 hours outside of New York City.

For information about YOP and to register for a training, please email us or contact one of the locations below.

For Boston and New England area:
YOP Leadership and Training Manager
Appalachian Mountain Club
5 Joy Street
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-391-6637
Fax: 617-523-0722

For New York City, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania:
YOP NY/NJ Manager
5 West 63rd Street
Suite 220
New York, NY 10023
Phone: 646-292-5253
Fax: 212-874-0275


Calendar of Events

Check out our calendar of trainings and events!

View Calendar

Program at a Glance

Youth workers, teachers

Outdoor adventures for urban & at-risk youth

Model:   Training & support for youth workers to independently lead trips