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At the National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE), we know adventure. And, we know what it takes to become an Outdoor Educator. If Outdoor Education interests you, consider our 31-day North Carolina course to help you decide whether a professional career in the outdoors is for you. We think it could be.
- 31 days
North Carolina offers the perfect setting for a month of immersion in the wilderness with considerable environmental diversity. You’ll explore the Grand Canyon of North Carolina, Linville Gorge, one of only two wilderness gorges in the Southern U.S. You’ll summit Black Balsam Knob, a 6,240-foot peak in the Pisgah National Forest. And, of course, the Atlantic Ocean.
During this 31-day Outdoor Educator Instructor Course, you’ll find yourself exploring North Carolina while you paddle, climb, hike and surf. Starting on our North Carolina-based campus, you’ll spend powerful days learning and exploring in NCOAE’s backyard, with all of our resources at our fingertips.
This outdoor educator course takes potential wilderness instructors to a variety of remote areas in the North Carolina Appalachian Mountains, including Pisgah National Forest, the 30-mile-long Art Loeb Trail, Cedar Rock, Stone Depot, Lower West Rights, and the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. And, we’ll explore the beach and get a chance for some ocean wave riding, in addition to using the sand as a classroom to cover topics related to marine conservation, ocean safety, and surfing.
Much of your time will be spent mastering skills required to explore these mountain areas, including learning the basics of camp set-up, rock climbing, backpacking and other technical outdoor skills.
During every other moment, you’ll be learning, sharpening, and practicing the skills to plan and lead adventure-based experiential education trips.
- Duration: 31 days
- Minimum Age: 18
- Tuition: $5,985.00
- Wilderness First Responder certification
- Leave No Trace (LNT) Trainer certification
- Expedition planning
- Wilderness Risk Management
- Remote wilderness camp craft
- Backcountry navigation
- Expedition cooking and food planning
- Experience best practices in environmental and civic responsibility
- Teaching-level knowledge of the NCOAE core curriculum
- Join us in our backyard as we explore the Appalachian Mountains, the Pisgah National Forest, and at the Atlantic coast.
- Additionally, we’ll drop in on the Linville Gorge wilderness area, and spend days in the wilderness, developing skills in backpacking and climbing.
- We’ll also head to the ocean, gaining paddling and surfing skills. We want to share our home with you.
- Solo experience: Outdoor education instructor training would be incomplete without a solo experience. During your solo, you’ll have time to reflect on your training, complete required assignments, and enjoy the peaceful solitude of the wilderness.
- Wilderness First Responder WFR): You’ll learn the skills and tools necessary to perform the highest medical treatment as it relates to trauma, environmental, and medical issues that arise in a wilderness context. The WFR credential is the industry standard for outdoor education instructors, which is why this component is a valuable asset for your career path.
Why Take This Course
- To further your knowledge and development as an outdoor educator/field instructor.
- Discover in just 31 days whether outdoor and wilderness education is the career path best suited to you.
- Acquire skills for an exciting job that takes you to pristine destinations in the great outdoors instead of an office cubicle.
Where You’ll Be
- North Carolina beaches
- Pisgah National Forest
- Linville Gorge Wilderness
- Black Balsam Knob
- Shinning Rock Wilderness
The Outdoor Educator Course is a month-long wilderness adventure during which future outdoor and adventure educators receive training in wilderness medicine (wilderness first responder), backpacking, mountaineering, and rock climbing, and how to teach and guide novice wilderness explorers in the development of these same skills. You’ll also explore the theory of adventure education, become familiar with teaching skills and styles, and master site management, hazard recognition, and risk management.
You’ll visit a variety of remote areas in the North Carolina Appalachian Mountains, including Pisgah National Forest, the 30-mile-long Art Loeb Trail, Cedar Rock, Stone Depot, Lower West Rights, and the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. Along the way, you’ll explore these mountain areas with students in tow, teaching the basics of camp setup, rock climbing, backpacking, and other outdoor skills.
We’ll be living in tents and enjoying our evenings in different areas most nights, identifying the stars and sharing highlights of our learning.
For the Outdoor Educator course, we pack a lot into your 32 days in North Carolina. We do this through combining the highlights of local topography, geography, and culture with our exceptional Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course. This shorter, more intense course allows for a wide variety of activities against the backdrop of lush greenery, winding rivers, and some of the oldest mountains in the world. If you’re looking for a less intensive stay in North Carolina with more time for additional exploration and adventure, we suggest you consider joining us for a semester.
The WFR course involves a variety of technical medical information and hands-on training. Most graduates say the hands-on training is the most important part of the WFR course. The “real life” scenarios help you to understand how to use medical skills outside of the classroom. While the material is challenging and the course is demanding, our NCOAE instructors are some of the best in the industry. They want you to succeed, and they’ll take the time to ensure you thoroughly understand each concept during the course.
We offer this course in a variety of locations and during different periods throughout the year to accommodate the destination and schedule that works best for you. You can explore Patagonia, Alaska, Africa, or the Pacific Northwest at various times of the year.
Your tuition with NCOAE covers all major costs related to your room, board, and lodging, except when specified in the itinerary. You may request an optional meal out when we are in an urban area, which you would need to pay for separately. Additionally, you’ll need to budget a small stipend for your personal items, including souvenirs, extra snacks, and gifts.
Since we will be carrying all of our food on our backs, we’ll be eating many of the items that begin in their dehydrated forms; water weight is not something we want to carry. Expect meat, vegetables, fruits, grains, and even fresh baked bread and pizza! Of course, you’ll be making them all from scratch — learning to cook backcountry gourmet on the trail.
Your work during our Outdoor Educator Instructor training course may be eligible for up to five college-level credits through the Keystone College.
- EXPL 2110 — Experiential Learning: 3 credits
- PHED 1125, F2F 001 — 1st Aid/Safety: 2 credits
In our beautiful home state, you’ll acquire self and group assessment and management skills. This 31-day course will additionally expose you to a unique variety of environmental settings to enrich your outdoor educator instruction. You will surf, paddle, hike and explore mountains and rivers, and encounter remote flora, fauna, and landscapes.
Where do you want to go (physically, mentally, socially, academic, etc.)?
This course will prepare you with the self-reliance and skill necessary to be an adept backcountry leader and instructor. You will learn effectual communication skills, understand the importance of making positive personal choices for your life, and help you understand how to become an influential member of your community.
You will return home with the skills to help lead others and guide in the wilderness, using your newfound skills.
How will NCOAE help you get there?
The NCOAE Outdoor Educator– North Carolina course is the affordable adventure option if you are seeking extraordinary outdoor skill development, including: wilderness medicine, wilderness risk management, backpacking, climbing, backcountry cooking and living, and expedition planning.
Best of all, you’ll advance your opportunities — to work in the wilderness, and to affect positive changes in the world.
This Outdoor Educator – North Carolina course and academic adventure is only offered through NCOAE, which is why we’re excited to offer it in our home state.
You’ll develop your personal leadership style, gain wilderness skills, and learn effective tools for communication. Finally, you will acquire skills with self and group assessment, group management, and develop the ability to teach and share your appreciation of the natural environment with others.