Monday, December 5, 2011

So you want to be an Outdoor Educator?

We meet a lot of people in our travels who are interested in becoming Outdoor Educators, or working in the field of Outdoor & Experiential Education. This might even include positions as varied as Wilderness or  Eco-Tour Guides,  Advanced-Level Trippers, Expedition Leaders,  Adventure Leaders, Tour Operators, Logistics Coordinators, or even just Outdoor Enthusiasts.

We know as employers in this field, that there are some very definite must-haves for applicants who are interested in employment with many of the above-listed titles. The list of must-haves is even more important if you are looking to get a position beyond just basic camp counsellor roles and related pay-grades. The first and foremost amongst these must-haves is the necessity of possessing and maintaining current industry-standard certifications in things like Wilderness First Responder and Swiftwater Rescue Technician for those seeking to lead in a moving water environment. However, much like how nowadays you are no longer guaranteed a steady-paying job with an undergraduate degree, you must also possess more than just certifications. Experience is the name of the game, and without it you are unlikely to find work easily!

Seeing the need for a "one-stop-shop", Leaders of the Day have carefully crafted a modular program that serves all of these needs and more. Not only does our newly-updated Outdoor Educator Certification Program (OECP) allow you to combine the modules that are just right for you, your experience, and your desired work path, but we have strategically arranged them in such a way that allows you to tick these items off of your list in as short a time as possible and still be out in time for the peak of the summer season. Not only will you be able to contact a potential (or current employer) and tell them that you will have all of this new experience accumulated before the summer even starts, but you will have the rest of the summer to work and make money doing what you love more than anything - working outside!

Our Leadership Field Practicum delivers beyond just certifications and begins to add considerable experience to your resume... just what employers want to see.  Join us for an experience of a lifetime paddling the Harricanaw River starting in Quebec and paddling all the way to James Bay. Along the way you will learn all about low-impact camping, knot-tying, whitewater canoeing, risk assessment and group management, navigating with a map and compass, and of course the delicate craft of cooking over open fire, among other valuable skills. Once you reach James Bay, you will be met and water-taxied back to Moose Factory by First Nations community members. The next day you will say your goodbyes and board the Polar Bear Express Train as a group & travel back to Cochrane, ON where our team will meet and escort you back to base camp for a course-end graduation & celebration banquet!

As if that wasn't enough... we take things one step further. With our breadth and depth of experience in the field, Leaders of the Day Co-Founders, Tony Cox and I are invested in our students' success. We are happy to help you find the right fit in an employer or stream of Outdoor Education that reflects your strengths and talents. So much so, that we will observe each of you and make recommendations about where you might find a great fit with an employer. In some cases there can even be opportunities to further develop your skills as an intern or employee with Leaders of the Day.  In many cases we will be happy to make a call on your behalf and say really nice things about you too!

So there you have it. For more information about the different modules available with our OECP and the different skills taught within them, be sure to visit the OECP page on our website!

Thanks for visiting our blog. Stay tuned, as there is always more to come from Leaders of the Day and the Institute for Transformative Experience.

See you out there!
Jonathan Carroll
Co-Founder & Director
Leaders of the Day

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