Course participants sitting in a semi circle and chatting next to their tents.
Camera Matt Hage

Southwest Outdoor Educator


31 days


21+ yrs



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Gain skills to teach in the outdoors

On this course designed for current and aspiring outdoor educators, you’ll work on the skills you need to lead, manage risk, and teach in the wilderness. Wake up to the quiet of the desert and fall asleep hearing coyotes howl. Challenge yourself to meet goals while rock climbing and backpacking. At the same time, learn to manage these outdoor environments as a classroom. You’ll split your time on this course between backpacking and rock climbing. The backpacking section will focus on outdoor skills like Leave No Trace, first aid, and map reading in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. On the rock climbing section, you’ll head to Cochise Stronghold or Joshua Tree National Park to hone your technical skills and gain more experience teaching and in risk management.

Teaching your peers a class about local ecology is an opportunity to practice giving and receiving feedback. Seeing the behind-the-scenes prep for your course provides insight into program management. Navigating off-trail becomes a lesson in decision-making, while resolving group conflicts becomes a lesson in communication and group dynamics. By the end of this course, you’ll have a strong foundation in the outdoors, teaching, and leadership, and be ready to move forward in your career as an outdoor educator. 

Additional Details

Designed for those currently working in, studying or planning to enter the field of outdoor education.

Essential Eligibility Criteria

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What Our Grads Say

“This month spent in the depths of the Arizona desert was the most profound experience I have ever shared with others. It was emotionally, physically and mentally taxing. I have walked away a better version of myself. I am stronger, more patient, more compassionate and sure as heck know how to work with adversity.” 

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