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Employment Opportunities

by UNC Campus Recreation

Outdoor Education

Outdoor Leadership Series


Register: Online or in the Campus Rec Main Office (SRC 101)

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 Instructors are responsible for in-the-field training of Apprentices and Assistant 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.

Registration for the Outdoor Leadership Series opens on the first day of class off the fall semester. You may register for the Outdoor Leadership Series and pay by credit card online here: You can also pay with cash or your One Card expense account by visiting the campus Rec Main Office (SRC 101). The fee includes transportation, food, and equipment.

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 or by e-mail at



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 seems to struggle just to get along? This interactive workshop discusses key philosophies and foundational concepts of experiential education is designed to help you understand groups and maximize your effectiveness as a leader.

Safety Management                                                                     

This exciting workshop features real life scenarios and critical thinking exercises designed to familiarize you with the causes of accidents and how effective pre-planning can prevent them.

Sequencing, Processing & Debriefing                                                                     

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/Question & Answer                                                                   

This evening will be spent preparing for the upcoming weekend campout: packing food, checking clothes, etc. We will also spend sometime 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                                                                             

 This overnight experience is designed to empower participants with the technical knowledge to thrive while living in 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 a variety of 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.

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 and Lead Expedition Instructors are required to have their Wilderness First Responder (72 hours). Instructors are reimbursed for half of their tuition for first aid courses.

In service training

During the school year additional staff trainings are conducted to address specific technical skills including 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 leading our expeditions.