Create Your Own Custom Course

Interested in bringing a National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) training or course to your school, nonprofit organization, business, university, summer program or student group?

Questions? Call NCOAE Support (910) 399-8090


Our team of expert outdoor and experiential educators and wilderness medicine professionals can help! In addition to open enrollment adult backcountry courses — and training in emergency medicine, wilderness medicine, and Leave No Trace (LNT) — NCOAE offers custom programs to meet your highly specific needs.

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Course Information

Adventure First

Want something for your group that’s not listed on our website? We’ll customize a program just for you.

NCOAE offers domestic and international custom programming for private and independent schools, government agencies, college and universities, small and large businesses, and other organization interested in adventure-based outdoor experiential education. From custom outdoor education and wilderness-based training and development programs, to risk management consulting and policy development for wilderness-based medical education, NCOAE helps organizations like The Lovett School, The White House, The University of North Carolina, along with dozens of others, deliver outcome-based courses and training programs.

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Education Always

Image of NCOAE Custom group from North Carolina Center University in a circle on Black Balsam.

The advantages of these custom programs include:

  • Train your entire team at one time
  • Address inconsistencies in training from one employee to another
  • Cost-effective (group pricing vs. individual open enrollment pricing)
  • Save on travel costs — we can come to you
  • You choose the scheduling

Collaboratively designed to address your challenges and opportunities, our custom programs leverage The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education’s curriculum and world-class outdoor and experiential education specialists and wilderness medicine know-how to deliver measurable results that enhance your own programs and training. To explore custom program options for your business, school or organization, please complete the form below, or send an email to, or call us at (910) 399-8090 to speak with one of our custom program specialists.

Custom Program Clients

We help our clients achieve their interests in personal, professional, and academic growth.

From private day & boarding schools and colleges and universities, to public school districts and federal agencies, our clients share one thing in common: the sincere need and desire to connect their stakeholders to Wilderness and one another.

  • FAQs
  • Credits
What’s the difference between a Custom Program and an Open Enrollment Course or Training?

Custom programs, which are meant for groups of 9 or more participants, are built from the ground up with your organization’s goals and objectives in mind. Everything from itinerary, activities, dates, outcomes, and more is determined by you and your group when booking a custom program. Open enrollment courses are conceived by NCOAE staff on an annual basis with specific outcomes in mind, and are run according to a predetermined itinerary and are offered only on specific dates throughout the year.

How exactly do Custom Programs work?

Similar to one of our Open Enrollment courses or trainings, all Custom Programs are guided and taught by NCOAE-trained and certified instructors. To get the ball rolling, we meet with you and your leadership personnel to better understand your goals and objectives. Then, by either offering one of our existing itineraries and scouted locations, or by developing an entirely new itinerary and location, we document exactly what we’re going to do and where we’re going to do it. Enrollment is made easy by online registration that’s open to your group members only, and individuals can either pay for themselves online, or your organization can pay for the program all at once.

What are some examples of Custom Programs you’ve run?

A number of nationally and regionally prominent independent schools have turned to us to operate their annual outdoor education programs and expeditions.

Some of these same schools have asked us to evaluate their outdoor programs (a service that results in our staff undertaking an in-depth review of every aspect of the school’s outdoor program offering, and documenting our findings and recommendations in an actionable and easy-to-implement format).

Summer camps, conference centers, and retreat facilities have hired us to train and certify their seasonal and full-time staff in wilderness medicine.

School districts have hired us to consult on curriculum-based outdoor education initiatives.

These are just some of the custom programs we’ve lead. To learn more about our custom programming capabilities, call our national office in Wilmington, N.C.: (910) 399-8090.

As a Custom Program offering, can we hire NCOAE to review our school’s or organization’s in-house Outdoor Education program?

You sure can. In fact, program review/assessment — along with generating detailed observational reports that are packed with actionable recommendations — is something we excel at. To learn more about these capabilities, call our national office in Wilmington, N.C.: (910) 399-8090.

Who coordinates and runs NCOAE’s Custom Programs?

The same certified instructors and guides who run our Open Enrollment Courses and Trainings, guide, facilitate, and lead our Custom Programs. From an administrative perspective, the staff at our headquarters in North Carolina takes the lead on planning and contracting your Custom Program.

How does the cost of a Custom Program compare with the cost of Open Enrollment Course or Training?

Because you’re choosing to register a large number of people at once (9 or more), Custom Program costs tend to be lower than that which we charge an individual to enroll in an Open Enrollment course or training. In many cases, the price difference can be as much as 15-25 percent lower.

Where do you offer your Custom Programs?

The short answer is, anywhere you want to be! Since the location, dates and itinerary are entirely up to you, we can offer our Custom Programs all over the world, as well as in locations where we already offer programs, such as the Pacific Northwest, California, Alaska, North Carolina, Patagonia, East Africa, and the Himalayas.

What kind of organization is best suited to work with you on developing a Custom Program?

Any organization seeking an adventure education-based itinerary, or an itinerary packed with adventurous activities and experiences that take place in the backcountry, should consider talking with us. That includes:

  • Private, independent secondary schools
  • Public and charter schools
  • Manufacturers of human-powered outdoor recreation equipment and apparel
  • Conference and retreat centers
  • Summer camps
  • College and high school athletic teams
  • Businesses and corporate HR departments

To learn more about our custom programming capabilities, call our national office in Wilmington, N.C.: (910) 399-8090.

Can you ‘white label’ a program for us?

If by ‘white label’ you mean, integrate our programming knowhow and expertise under your branding, the answer is yes. Our team of certified field instructors and guides is happy to wear your branded apparel and speak your organization’s language throughout the experience.

Academic credit is available for NCOAE courses by transferring credit through Keystone College or by arranging your own independent study.  You will need to check with your institution to verify how it will accept the transfer of NCOAE/ Keystone College credit. If you need help in understanding credit transfer, please contact us!

Upcoming Dates / Reserve Your Spot

Flexibility in curriculum, pricing, location, and timing make NCOAE Custom Programs an excellent choice for facilitating your next group training or excursion.

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