(Last updated — in the Medical Training section below — on March 25, 2020)

Here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education, we’re naturally compelled to create and facilitate wilderness-based programs that foster personal growth, professional development, and the acquisition or improvement of one’s technical outdoor skills.

Our vision is that of a world supported by people and institutions naturally inclined to serve one another while protecting the natural environment. That holds true in times of uncertainty — like now — when we are all faced with difficult choices regarding what to do with respect to the virus named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes, named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

When it comes to the coronavirus, the task for a global organization like ours becomes complex. Our North Carolina headquarters has one set of orders and guidance from state officials for business owners, while many of our courses and trainings operate out of other states throughout the country — and even in remote destinations like Ecuador, Patagonia, and remote regions of Alaska.

Outdoor & Adventure-based Courses

In order to comply with multiple state and national directives, all of our domestic and international outdoor and adventure-based courses are postponed until further notice. If you are scheduled to participate in an upcoming trip and haven’t been in touch with our office yet about your participation, please feel free to call or email us:

  • Phone: (910) 399-8090
  • Email:

Custom Programs

We are honored to work with many private and independent schools, colleges and universities, as well as businesses and nonprofit organizations, on a variety of custom outdoor programs. Here too, all custom programs have been postponed until May 1, 2020. And if you’re not sure if your program is still on, we recommend you contact your own organization’s program director for further details. As a last resort, feel free to call us for details. We can be reached by phone or email:

  • Phone: (910) 399-8090
  • Email:

Medical Training

(last updated on March 25, 2020)

While our medical trainings taking place outside of the state of North Carolina have been postponed, trainings taking place at our campus in Wilmington, N.C., remain on schedule but with some variation. While this may seem surprising, please note the following:

The North Carolina Office of EMS (NCOEMS) — which is actively monitoring the impact COVID-19 is having on EMS Education in North Carolina — has approved The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education’s adjusted schedule of on-campus EMT training programs that are now supported by a thoughtful and fully supported online component.

That said, there are a few important new rules and procedures you should know about regarding our upcoming EMT trainings:

  1. While trainings will run in real-time, lectures — which are normally delivered during the first two weeks of an EMT training here on our campus — will be delivered online only. As a result, please note the following:
    • All lectures will be offered in real-time. None of the lectures will be pre-recorded.
    • Students will be required — as they would be during the two weeks of lectures on campus — to participate in quizzes, tests, and pop- assignments in real-time.
    • A variety of proven internet-based platforms, including Zoom, Moodle, and Google Classroom, will be used to deliver real-time lectures and student participation.
    • Assuming the COVID-19 health crisis is over, students may choose from among three date ranges (April 20-26, May 18-24, and May 25-31) to come to our campus in Wilmington, N.C. to participate in and complete the skills portion of their training.
  2. Once students arrive on campus to complete the hands-on skills portion of their training, campus class sizes will be managed according to local, state, and federal guidelines for public and private gatherings.
  3. While on campus, students’ temperature will be taken multiple times throughout each day, and any student exhibiting signs of illness will immediately be removed from their training.
  4. Students’ will be required to wash their hands multiple times throughout the days they remain on campus, according to CDC guidelines.
  5. For the time being, classes are only open to students traveling to Wilmington by automobile. This may change.
  6. As of now, students planning on traveling to our location by plane won’t be permitted to participate in our trainings. If you fall into this category, please call our office to reschedule your training.

For our part, all NCOAE staff members and instructors are following the same directives we have for students, including having temperatures taken throughout the day, washing hands according to CDC guidelines, and practicing social distancing whenever possible.

NCOAE’s In-House COVID-19 Safety Measures

Here on our campus, we have enhanced our own in-house cleaning methods by using approved disinfectant to regularly wipe down high-touch areas such as door handles, desks, bathroom facilities, training equipment, and other common hard surfaces.

We have also added more alcohol-based hand sanitizers at key locations around campus and are directing all of our employees to take important hygiene steps, including frequent handwashing and staying home if ill.

Additional Information for Students Enrolled in Medical Training

If you are sick or showing symptoms of illness, including but not limited to a fever of 100.4+, diarrhea, vomiting, severe cough, rash, sore throat, fatigue, lethargy, or malaise, do not come to the NCOAE campus in Wilmington. Instead, contact your primary care physician immediately to share your health status and seek guidance on your individual situation.

Updates and Requests for More Information

As the impact of COVID-19 continues to evolve, we remain committed to providing you with answers to important questions and to providing updates here on this coronavirus- focused page.

If you have any questions about The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education’s approach to issues related to COVID-19, please contact:

The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education
Attn.: Zac Adair or Liz Shirley
9809 River Road
Wilmington, North Carolina 28412 USA
Phone: (910) 399-8090

(Last updated — in the Medical Training section above — on March 25, 2020)