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Course Information

Instructor Info:Karen Warren
Office Extension x5470
Term: 2013S
Meeting Info: Wednesday
03:00 PM - 05:00 PM Harold Johnson Library KIVA
01:00 PM - 05:00 PM Harold Johnson Library KIVA

This course addresses outdoor leadership from both a theoretical and practical perspective. Readings and discussions will focus on such topics as leadership theory, safety and risk management, legal responsibilities, group development theory, gender and social justice issues, and the educational use of the wilderness. Pratical lab sessions will cover such topics as safety guidelines and emergency procedures, trip planning, navigation, nutrition, minimum impact camping, equipment repair, and the instruction of specific wilderness activities. Two weekend outdoor trips and teaching opportunities provide experiential learning in the class. The course is designed for students who desire to teach in the outdoors. Leadership experience is helpful and previous outdoor experience is required. 5-College students will be graded pass/fail.

Evaluation Criteria:





1.   Full commitment to class attendance and participation.  Many classes will involve group discussion of assigned readings.  Your active involvement and thoughtful input are needed for these to be a success.  You are also expected to be on time to class.  Missing more than two classes or either of the trips will preclude your receiving an evaluation.


2.   On Line Discussion and Reflection is an opportunity to record your emotional and intellectual dialogue about leadership as it involves in a community of learners.

   Each week one class member will host a discussion of issues and ideas relevant to the course.  The hosted discussion for that week will begin on Friday and carry through until the next Friday.  

            Please follow these guidelines:

  1. Discussion hosts –Each class member will host one on-line discussion session.  Hosts will announce their topic and pertinent questions in the Friday class.  They will be responsible for having the host post up by that Friday’s class.  Topics can range from formal to informal but should address outdoor leadership in some capacity. 
  2. On line participation-- You should make at least one significant entry on the discussion board by the Friday deadline.


The on-line discussion participation is a main evaluative tool for the course and also, potentially, a tremendous avenue for growth and learning.


3.            Plan your dream trip.  Make sure you include route, itinerary, cost, group and individual equipment, complete menu as well as an itemized list of food (weight and quantities), emergency procedures and evacuation plans, special considerations.  Be as detailed and realistic as possible. 

            Due March 7


4.   Teach two short sessions related to outdoor skills or leadership.  One will be content based and one process based.  One teaching session should take place outdoors. You should turn in a one-page outline of your session by at least the class before your session is scheduled.  You will have a chance early in the course to sign up for teaching slots.


5.            Outdoor Leadership Essay. This is a polished paper (at least 6 pages) evaluating one aspect of your own leadership skills and capabilities. Your sense of self as a leader, your personal teaching effectiveness, your role as a group facilitator, your struggle with leadership issues brought up in class, your problem-solving skills, your technical skill competence are different ideas that may be used as a focus of the paper.  Use specific experiences and examples to illustrate significant conclusions you've drawn about yourself as a leader.  I am concerned about what you say and how you say it.  So write clearly, organize your thoughts and be concerned with grammar, syntax, punctuation and spelling.  Write something you can be proud of.   Due May 4

Alternative projects for the on-line discussion board or essay are possible but must be approved beforehand with the course instructor


 6.            Weekend Trips.  Are a very important part of the course.  The first trip will give us a common base to refer to during our subsequent discussions.  Class groups will be responsible for planning and organizing the second trips.  Doing so will help pull together what we've been discovering about trip planning and leadership throughout the course.  Trips promise to be a lot of fun too!

            TRIP DATES  Feb 16-17 Sat- Sun am AND April 19-20 Fri-Sat am

Association for Experiential Education Conference,  Becket MA  April 6


7.            Self Evaluation on the Hub. due May 7.