Work for Outdoor Education

Carolina Outdoor Education Center

Outdoor Leadership Series 2016


FEE – $60

Carolina Outdoor Education Center’s Outdoor Leadership Series consists of nine workshops designed to give participants a working knowledge of the philosophical concepts and technical aspects associated with experiential education. Upon completion of the series, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion and be eligible to apply to become Apprentices. The Apprenticeship gives new staff the opportunity to experiment with the Facilitator/Instructor role, without being primarily responsible for the program. once Apprentices are comfortable and have demonstrated a minimum level of competency, they become paid Assistant staff and receive a full refund for their $60 Outdoor Leadership Series fee. 

Assistants assist in all aspects of leading a program and actively work to develop their judgment. Once Assistants are ready, they move up to Leads. Leads are directly responsible for the quality and safety of an expedition or challenge course. In addition to leading the program itself, Lead Facilitators/Instructors are responsible for the in-the-field training of Apprentices and Assistant Facilitators/Instructors are responsible for in the field training of Apprentices and Assistant Facilitators/Instructors. The number of qualified applicants, as well as, the number of available positions varies from year to year. Hiring preferences will be given to applicants that are able to commit at least two years to the program. Please contact the Outdoor Education Center if you have any questions or concerns about the Outdoor Leadership Series or employment with the Carolina Outdoor Education Center at 919-843-4632.

Participant Experience

Experience a full day on the challenge course. Trainees will be led through team building activities on the low elements in the morning and experience the excitement of the high elements in the afternoon. This will provide a helpful insight and a first-hand experience upon which to build during the rest of the training.

Experiential Leadership

What is “experiential education”? How can we create an environment for experiential learning to take place? Why do some groups function at a high level while others seem to struggle just to get along? This interactive workshop discusses key philosophers and foundational concepts of experiential education and is designed to help you understand groups and maximize your effectiveness as a leader.

Personal Mission Statement

“The greatest thing in this world is not where we are, but in what direction we are moving.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   – Oliver Wendell Holmes  

This workshop is focused on self-awareness. You will complete a series of activities that will help you identify your personal values and create a vision for your future based on your talents and aspirations. Participants will leave with a personal mission statement and a concrete plan to help them reach their personal and professional goals. 

Sequencing, Processing & Debriefing

Emotional Safety: This workshop gives leaders the tools to frame challenges, monitor groups during their experience and effectively transfer the learning back into everyday life. This is your opportunity to expand your understanding of experiential education and to explore the concepts of challenge by choice, activity sequencing, and debriefing an experience. 

Facilitation of Adventure Activities

This workshop will give you the opportunity to learn and practice ice-breakers, games, initiatives, trust activities and low element facilitation techniques. Trainees will have the opportunity to both lead and be led throughout the training. Experiencing both roles will provide valuable insight for when you are leading other participants.

Pre-trip Meeting/COEC Staff Question & Answer

This evening will be spent preparing for the upcoming weekend campout: packaging food, checking clothes, etc. We will also spend some time letting you get to know our current Challenge Course Facilitators and Expedition Instructors as well as discussing any questions or concerns you may have about working with the Outdoor Education Center.

Living in the Backcountry/Debrief 

This overnight experience is designed to empower participants with the technical knowledge to thrive while living the backcountry. You will learn to pack, adjust, and carry internal frame backpacks, select appropriate campsites, and set-up a tent and cooking tarp. Your team will learn to safely cook on camp stoves and prepare delicious backcountry meals! You will also learn to read the land and navigate using compass bearing and contour maps rather than relying on signs or trails. 

Other important aspects of instructing include…

Staff expedition — Spring Break

This trip serves as an essential staff bonding experience for those who go on to work with the Expedition Program. This trip also allows us to hone our skills going into the busy summer and familiarize everyone with the course area we will be using for the coming summer’s WAFFYS trips. This trip typically takes place during the second half of spring break. 

First Aid

Instructors are responsible for maintaining their first-aid certifications by attending courses that fit their schedule. Challenge Course Facilitators and Assistant Expedition Instructors are required to have Standard First-Aid & CPR. Lead Expedition Instructors are required to have their Wilderness First Responder (72 hours). Instructors are reimbursed for half of their tuition for WFR courses.

In Service Training

During the school year additional staff trainings are conducted to address specific technical skills including Challenge Course elements, rock climbing, sea-kayaking, and emergency response. Expedition Instructors have a five mile staff run once a semester to maintain physical fitness. In addition to trainings, staff are expected to invest personal time in developing the skills associated  with working our programs.

Spring Challenge Course Training Dates

Saturday, March 5th: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday, April 9th: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.