Decision Making

This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2018 issue of Appalachia Journal. Pam Bales left the firm pavement of the Base Road and stepped onto the snow-covered Jewell Trail to begin her mid-October climb. She planned a six-hour loop hike by herself. She had packed for almost every contingency and intended to walk alone….

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Part 1: You are the leader on a 4-day winter backpacking trip in the White Mountains. Your group consists of seven participants of varied skill level. All have some experience winter camping. Your co-leader has Wilderness First Aid (WFA) and winter backpacking experience. This is day 3 of the trip. Today’s plan is to summit a…

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Through experiential learning in the outdoors, teens participating in the AMC’s A Mountain Classroom program have an opportunity to explore their own leadership styles alongside their peers. The skills and experiences obtained during their time at the AMC follows them back home and to school. The foundation of teaching and learning about leadership skills is…

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Let me start by saying, “You gotta go.” If you’re a new Education or Leadership Chair who needs some help in organizing trainings for your Chapter, you gotta go; If you’re an experienced leader who will be teaching (or are interested in teaching) leader-candidates soon, you gotta go; or If you’re an experienced leader trainer…

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As we head into the summer season, it is important to refresh those Wilderness First Aid (WFA) skills, which are essential to every outdoor excursion, big or small. As we all know, anything can happen out there so let’s take a moment to think about how you may handle common situations you might encounter in…

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I remember the look on his face. He was one of several participants in a role play exercise I was facilitating at a Boston Chapter Leadership Training program. In this role play, an individual was critical of a fellow participant who was having trouble keeping up with the rest of the group during a day hike….

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Like many who read this blog, I spend plenty of time in the outdoors, personally and professionally, and my mother frequently expresses concerns for my safety. I always assumed my mom was referring to the inherent risks involved with outdoor activities when she mentioned my safety — until recently. During one of our conversations, she…

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As Jo moved south on the Laugavegur trail in Iceland, the rain began moving off, slanting columns of water drifting east. The sun reappeared, but more rain could be seen upwind, sweeping slowly over the mountains. For now, things were fine, as a massive crescent rainbow filled the sky to the northwest. It was day…

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If you work in the outdoor industry, as a volunteer, seasonal employee, or full-time professional, you may be familiar with the term “incident report.” (If you are not familiar with an incident report form, you can find an example of one here.) In the outdoor industry, incident reports are meant to capture a detailed, succinct and…

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Leading teams of hikers and climbers on the snow and ice poses many of the same challenges as a three-season adventure, but the stakes are raised considerably. Shorter days make turn-around times more critical, surviving an unplanned night out requires more know-how, and a white-out blizzard can quickly disorient even a seasoned navigator. Below are…

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