Guide Training Program

The Outdoor Program hires students that demonstrate exceptional leadership in their communities and a willingness to learn, grow, and participate in Outdoor Programming. Previous experience leading in the outdoors is not required, but a foundation of outdoor recreation is an expectation. OP Hadwen Guides lead and teach their peers in a variety of environments such as snow, water, mountain, or rock. Before becoming a guide for the program, students must complete the 1 credit Guide Training Course (ODST:251 Advanced Topics of Outdoor Leadership). All guides must receive a Wilderness First Responder Certification which could be acquired via a 1 credit course (ODST:3010 Wilderness Medicine) offered on campus January 10-16th and January 27-28th, 2024 or via an outside provider on their own time. 

See below for applications for Spring 2024 Guide Training.  Application Deadline, 5:00 PM, Monday, October 16th

Job Description:

  • Lead a pre-orientation trip in August before school starts
  • Lead or co-lead at least two trips or workshops per semester
  • Attend guide meetings periodically throughout the semester
  • Contribute meaningfully to the SLUOP community
  • Represent the SLUOP professionally and at a high standard while running programs

Course Description: 
ODST: Advanced Topics of Outdoor Leadership (Guide Training) is course designed to prepare participants to teach outdoor and leadership skills. With the nearby mountains and rivers of the Adirondacks as their classroom, students focus on backcountry and outdoor skills and teaching. Through readings, discussions, and field components, students will explore leadership skills including group dynamics, decision-making styles, and risk management. We will explore what it means to be a leader in the outdoors and how being a good leader requires creating an inclusive space where all voices feel welcomed and heard. We will also learn skills such as safe backcountry travel and etiquette, teaching principles and techniques, and considerations and concerns related to specific outdoor pursuits such as climbing, kayaking, biking, or skiing. This course is the foundation for training Outdoor Program student staff, known as Hadwen Guides. Hadwen Guides are paid student staff who work for the OP in a wide array of jobs, including pre-trip leaders, backcountry trip leaders, teaching assistants, facilities staff, and skills instructors for the rock, ice, paddling, biking, and ski programs. Individuals participating in ODST: Advanced Topics should be motivated, enthusiastic, have a desire to lead, and be committed to welcoming and leading all members of the St. Lawrence community.
Though not required, the following experience is recommended: ODST Core Course, Outdoor State of Mind FYP, ADK Semester, SLU OP programming, or previous experience in outdoor education/leadership. 

ODST: Wilderness Medicine is an 80 hour intensive course that covers many aspects of backcountry medicine. Participants in this course will return to campus early and take the course January 10-16th and January 27-28. Upon successful completion of this course, students will receive a Wilderness First Responder Certification. 

Tentative Class Schedule:

  • Class is Fridays 1-4pm
  • Wilderness First Responder Certification: January 10-16th & January 27-28 *note that this is an early arrival back to campus*
  • Three weekends: February 23-25, April 6-7, April 26-28 *these are subject to change*
  • Final Field Practicum May 11-17
  • Optional seminars in specific skill sets such as ice climbing, backcountry skiing, whitewater paddling, etc.

Cost: $650 (includes the Wilderness First Responder Certification). If students already have a WFR or opt to take it through a different provider, the course cost is $150 (this covers food and travel for field components). 

Opportunities for Funding: Scholarships are available for students who have shown leadership in their communities, are dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive space for outdoor programming, and have not, or would not, have the opportunity to participate in Guide Training due to financial barriers. See below for scholarship application. 

Guide Training Applications