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US: Outdoor Leadership

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Application Deadline

Program Type

  • OHIO Credit

Academic Focus

  • Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation

Program Feature

  • Field Work


  • United States

Program Term

  • Summer

For more information contact

Dr. Andrew Szolosi



REC 3240 is a 28-day course designed to teach students the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for effective outdoor leadership.  The course consists of three phases.  

  1. Backpacking on the Pisgah National Forest in NC.  
  2. Coastal kayaking along Cape Lookout National Seashore in NC. 
  3. Bikepacking in the Alleghany Highlands. 

Course topics include but are not limited to the following: basic wilderness living skills, specialized wilderness travel techniques, leadership, judgment and decision-making, expedition behavior and group dynamics, environmental ethics, safety and risk management, wilderness emergency procedures, natural and cultural history, expedition planning and management, and teaching and facilitation.  Students taking the course will be expected to develop lesson plans to teach on a variety of topics, to take various leadership roles during the course, and to maintain an expedition journal analyzing leadership experiences on the course. 

Highlights and Excursions 

  • Experience a multi-day backpacking expedition in Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. 
  • Experience a multi-day sea kayaking expedition along Cape Lookout National Seashore in North Carolina. 
  • Students who successfully complete the course will be awarded a Leave No Trace Trainer Certificate. 

Living Arrangements 

Students are responsible for their own accommodations while on campus on the first and last nights of the course. Students will share tents and sleep in sleeping bags while away from campus.  

Program Dates 

Summer 2020: May 16-June 12 

The course will start at 8:00 a.m., Saturday, May 16 and will depart Athens early Sunday, May 19 and will return to Athens on Wednesday, June 12.  

Study Away and COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, participation in study away and abroad involves real and potential personal, financial, and academic risk. The CDC advises that you should delay travel until you are vaccinated. Note that entry to some countries and participation in local program and free-time activities, including in the U.S., may be severely restricted or potentially unavailable to unvaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated travelers should additionally expect to incur extra expenses and onsite logistical challenges due to onsite testing requirements. For further information, contact ogoriskmanagement@ohio.edu


Students will take REC 3240 Outdoor Leadership for 9 credit hours.


The program fee for this program includes: Transportation, Backcountry Meals, Equipment (Sea Kayaks, Backpacks, Group Gear, etc.), Ferry Tickets; Campground Fees, and Camping Supplies.

In addition to the program fee, students should plan for 9 credit hours of tuition*, administrative fee, and out-of-pocket costs. Below is the student budget worksheet for this program, which outlines these costs.  

An itemized Student Budget Worksheet will be published when the next travel dates are available.

Items that are not related to the program (ie. additional entertainment, souvenirs, extra travel, contingency funds) are not included in the cost estimates provided and should be budgeted for separately.  


  • If you are nominated to this program, you will be required to pay a deposit to confirm your participation. The deposit is a down payment on the total costs to be billed by OHIO and is determined by the total cost of the program. 

Looking for Funding Opportunities? 

More information on financial aid and scholarships can be found on our funding pages.

Eligibility and Requirements 

Students are responsible for their own accommodations while on campus on the first and last nights of the course. Students will share tents and sleep in sleeping bags while away from campus.  

Students who will be on probation at any point during the program for a conduct offense that took place less than a calendar year from the program start date may not study abroad.  Click here to read the entire conduct policy 

Participants must have a at least a high school diploma or the equivalent (e.g. GED) by the start date of the program to be considered for eligibility.  Students enrolled in College Credit Plus (CC+) are not eligible for study away programs.