Outdoor Leadership Training Program

Higher Education for Today’s Outdoor Leaders

Registration for Fall 2020 will open on Friday, August 14th at 8 p.m. and close on August 26th at 5 p.m. or whenever the course registration limit is reached. The last info session is on 8/25 at 3 p.m. Join the Last Info Session With Google Meet!


If you missed out on the live info session from last semester, you can watch the recording of the info session now, just know that the information stated in that session may not apply to the unique circumstances that we are entering in 2020.

What is the Outdoor Leadership Training Program?

The purpose of the Outdoor Leadership Training Program (OLTP) is to empower students to choose their own path in becoming a leader and developing their outdoor leadership skills. This is a four credit special topics class (HW 272.001) that incorporates mandatory field experiences to create a well rounded environment for experiential learning. Two credits are received for each semester (Fall and Spring) and the course fills at 20 students.

Campus Recreation provides the experiential learning opportunities, and you provide the passion and drive to step out of your comfort zone and grow in your leadership development, outdoor skill abilities, have some fun and meet your peers who have the same interests! OLTP provides classroom and field-based education that will train you to be a competent outdoor trip leader and instructor. Additionally, participation in OLTP is mandatory to get the experience needed to be hired as a Campus Recreation Outdoor Programs trip leader.

In the Classroom

We believe that you need a foundation of knowledge to help you develop as a leader, but the Outdoor Leadership Training Program is open to everyone – no experience required! To help set our foundational values, OLTP includes classroom based sessions that provide a basis and a framework for becoming an outdoor educator and leader. The class meets during Fall and Spring semesters from 5:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. on Thursdays. Want to learn more? Check out the Fall semester course syllabus.

Outside of the Classroom

During Fall semester you will also earn 2 different certifications including “CPR” and “Wilderness and Remote First Aid”. Fall field experiences include an overnight camping trip where you will learn to camp, use our tents and tarps, and how to cook on backpacking stoves. This will be a great introduction to camping and prepare you for the Fall Break Backpacking trip where two groups of 10 students will head out to lead one another, learn and have fun in nearby Pisgah National Forest.

The Spring semester is comprised of a 6 day Spring Break trip and a weekend of advanced clinics. Over Spring Break you will spend three days learning whitewater kayaking fundamentals and three days of rock climbing basics. The advanced clinic offerings will give you the opportunity to hone in your focus on one of the two sports, and expand your knowledge of rescue and technical skills.

Do I need to register for the whole program?

Yes! Registering for the Fall semester of the course will get you 2 credits, and attendance is required for classes and all field experiences. This will automatically enroll you in the Spring semester as well. Under extenuating circumstances, exceptions can be made, but we strongly suggest taking the course in consecutive semesters.

Flexible methods of joining OLTP include:

  1. Pay for the entire program from the beginning and you are covered for all events for both semesters!
  2. Pay with payment plans, as little as $80 per month for 3 Fall months and 3 Spring months.

How do I get involved?

Email: Rowan Stuart at rstuart1@unca.edu or outdoorprograms.rec@unca.edu
Call: 828-250-2363
Stop by: SRC 202 or SRC 204

Registration for the program begins soon!