Effective Outdoor Program
Design & Management Workshops
Designing and managing an outdoor program is challenging. This is especially true in today's economy where fiscal responsibility is paramount to survival. Aligning your program's mission with the mission of your parent organization ties your reasons for existence to those of your organizations making it less susceptible to devastating budget cuts. Operationally, an effective mission acts as a touchstone for all programmatic decisions; and further, it enables aligned critical and creative thinking that saves both time and money without a loss of new ideas.
While the term "safe" has many interpretations depending upon the lens—legal, participant, victim, staff, industry, culture, etc.—from which it is viewed, it is still commonly used by the media and the general public to describe an activity or program. Outdoor program safety—typically an important component of most mission statements—depends on the ability of the program’s administration to balance the risk inherent in each trip design with the competency of its field staff. There are three essential skill sets (outdoor, human, & educational) that must be taken into account when assessing the competency of field staff and a fourth (an administrative skill set) for administrative positions. Possessing the appropriate skill sets in and of themselves does not ensure operational effectiveness however, there must also be an organizing construct that allows staff to link the concepts and skills represented by each set into a cohesive whole. To be effective an educational model used to design and manage field activities and trips must be both flexible and practical.
The key to efficient management is communication and the key to effective communication within any industry is a systemic operational language and consistent structure. Operational language permits rapid and efficient communication with little room for error. A consistent and systemic structure permits trained staff to focus on their jobs. Our two day workshop examines the complex relationships surrounding outdoor program design & management from both the field instructor and program administration perspectives using digital presentations, interactive whiteboard lecture, video, and small group activities. The overarching goal of the workshop is to introduce a comprehensive outdoor program design and management system using clear operational language and concepts. The workshop is guaranteed to have an positive impact on how you administer and deliver your outdoor trips.
During our Effective Outdoor Program Design & Management workshop you will learn:
- How to design and manage a comprehensive outdoor program using a systemic model with clear operational language and concepts.
- How to write and align your outdoor program’s mission with the mission of your parent organization.
- How to design and diagram the structure of a trip and set realistic outcomes and site progressions for each activity and activity block.
- The basic structural components of field-based activities and understand their function.
- How to design skill based initiatives.
- The importance of site management theory and the basic structure of a generic site management training. Note that land and water-based site management skills cannot be taught in a classroom.
- An educational model for designing and managing activities in the field and how to adopt a similar model to meet your administrative needs.
- Understand the components of the instructor and administrative skill sets and how to use them to set appropriate hiring, promotional, and training standards for your program and trips.
- Understand the importance of accurate assessments and reporting in balancing the competency of your instructional staff with the inherent risk associated with your program/trip design.
Tuition includes Effective Outdoor Program Design & Management (text) and workshop small group exercise book (sent as pdf file prior to the workshop).
Most public workshops are two days long and are typically offered as a pre-conference workshop at the Association of Outdoor Recreation & Education and the Wilderness Risk Management conferences held annually at a different location around the United States. Workshops are occasionally offered at our classroom in Mazama, WA and through other sponsors.