If you are a trip leader for the AMC, you probably started your journey as a participant as its one-of-a-kind leadership training experience. Hopefully, this prepared you well for leading trips in your favorite outdoor activity. If you are not yet a leader, perhaps you have attended an AMC outing, focused on safety & fun, facilitated by one of our many passionate leaders.
Developing high quality leadership resources and achieving training uniformity throughout the AMC Chapters has been a goal of the Outdoor Leadership Development Committee (OLDC) for many years. This initiative has gained significant momentum since the inception of the AMC’s Center for Outdoor Leadership & Learning (COLL). With COLL, the AMC continues making great strides in meeting its Vision 2020 goals of achieving unparalleled excellence in its outdoor recreation & leadership training.
This is an exciting time for the leader training community because the COLL Leadership Curriculum allows our AMC Chapters to more easily accomplish several important tasks. For example, the new curriculum provides a cohesive framework for instruction & support to new and experienced volunteers as they strive to become better trainers for incoming leaders. This improvement also ensures wherever the training is delivered, from Washington, DC to Maine, all participants receive the consistent, high-quality leader training that defines the AMC. The “crosswalk to leadership” is another improvement designed to help leaders transfer their leadership status between Chapters as they move around the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions. This “crosswalk” plan will help increase and retain the number of active leaders within our organization.
The COLL Hiking Curriculum also launched in early 2017 and provides a similar framework for instruction for Chapters offering technical skills trainings. The lesson formats can be used as stand-alone units or as part of a larger training. As we look to increase access to & promote understanding of the outdoors, this curriculum is an essential part of promoting self-awareness, preparedness and interest in conserving our wild places.
In the fall of 2017, AMC’s Leadership Training/Risk Management department, in conjunction with the OLDC, held two Train-the-Trainer (T3) weekends to help introduce the new curriculum formats to the Chapters. Leaders from 10 of our 12 Chapters attended. These representatives shared their stories of success and began building a community of trainers dedicated to supporting each other in their instructional practice and improving leader trainings.
The OLDC and COLL are in the process of planning another T3 weekend for 2018 to help build upon the skills learned in 2017 and to welcome new leader trainers into the community. If you have attended the 2017 T3 weekends, the OLDC welcomes you to return and build upon your skills. If you are new to training leaders or running an “Introduction to Hiking” skills training in your Chapter, we welcome you to become a part of our growing COLL faculty.
Note: To learn more about COLL, you are invited to attend the session, AMC’s Leadership Training Opportunities, at the 142nd Annual Summit in Norwood, MA on January 27, 2018. You can find a description of this workshop, and others, at: https://www.outdoors.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/summit-2018-workshops-3.pdf
Christine Fogarty is a dynamic instructor who has been teaching leadership skills for the AMC since 2005. She is the current Chair of the AMC’s Outdoor Leadership Development Committee (OLDC) and a Lead Instructor for the Center for Outdoor Leadership & Learning (COLL) initiative. As a passionate outdoorswoman, Christine also leads hiking and backpacking trips for the Worcester Chapter.