The Outdoor LEADERS Program is a program for teens and young adults to explore the professional world of outdoor recreation and environmental advocacy. Aimed at increasing access and removing barriers to explore the outdoors, our 8–month course will feature monthly in–person training workshops to help participants build outdoor industry work readiness skills and change the way we look at nature and how we enjoy it. Participants will have the opportunity to earn Wilderness First Aid certification, pursue individual focuses, and creatively enact a vision for the future of the outdoor community. Students will embrace challenges, overcome obstacles, and come together as a team in a journey of development and skill acquisition.

Earth Team and Big City Mountaineers have been partnering for over two years now offering outdoor trip experiences for youth in Earth Team’s Sustainable Youth Internship program. Now in its second year, we are excited to continue to grow the LEADERS Program and equip a new generation of students with the skills and confidence to thrive in the outdoors.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, November  15, 2023 at 11:59 PM

Before applying, please review the requirements.

Contact OLP Program Coordinator, Noah Slager at noah@earthteam.net if you have any questions.


Commitment to complete this 6month program is mandatory. This includes attendance at monthly weekend workshops, an overnight trip, and a multiday backpacking expedition (please note: prior outdoor experience is not required  and all gear will be provided).

Agreement to shadow BCM instructors and lead youth on a day hike, overnight trip, or multiday backpacking expedition with partner youth organizations.

Strong desire to build outdoor industry skills and gain useful knowledge for a possible career in Outdoor Education.


Participants will receive a stipend amount of $400 for completing all workshops and $400 for attending the trip series, for a total of $800. Previous BCM trip participants are strongly encouraged to apply.

Contact info

If you have questions please contact OLP Program Coordinator, Noah Slager at noah@earthteam.net

Want to learn more about the program? Please sign up for a virtual information session hosted by Earth Team and Big City Mountaineers staff.


Info Session Dates Coming Soon

Virtual info sessions


Monthly inperson workshops are scheduled for the third weekend of each month starting in February 2023 and ending in August 2023.

Training Focus Dates Outcomes
Introduction to Outdoor Education
Gain an understanding for leading youth programs, find your leader voice, and build skills to facilitate outdoor learning.
Wilderness First Aid Certification
Prepare for the unexpected in an engaging, hands-on introduction to wilderness medicine.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Active component throughout each workshop
Reflect on and discuss access and representation in the outdoor industry. Practice skills to address social injustice.
Outdoor Leadership and Risk Management
Learn how to make difficult decisions on behalf of a group, manage risk in the outdoors, and keep others safe.
Day Hike
BCM staff and field instructors will connect with participants and offer personal insights, guidance and support.
Overnight Camping Trip
May 18-19 2024
Go on a 1-night frontcountry camping trip led by BCM instructors and learn basics of trip planning, using camping gear, group camping management skills and risk management.
Multi-day Backpacking Expedition
June 15-19 2024
Go on a 7-day backpacking trip led by BCM instructors and learn the basics of expedition planning, navigation, and backcountry and group management skills.
Immersive Training Opportunities with partner Youth Organizations
June-July 2024
Opportunity to apply what you’ve learned during training sessions and lead other youth while shadowing BCM instructors.
Professional Skills
Build industry-ready skills, network with industry leaders, and explore outdoor careers. Learn from industry leaders about responsibilities they hold and job duties.
Professional Skills
August-September 2024
Content to be determined according to participant needs.


Students will see themselves represented in the outdoor industry. Earth Team and BCM staff will work with students to make connections in the fields that interest them, including pursuing opportunities for mentorships and internships.

Personal Connections to the outdoors

Students will experience outdoor spaces and activities in a way that allows them to integrate them into their daily life in the future. A deeper and more meaningful understanding of the work and role of people in creating these places.

A new vision for the outdoor industry

Students feel that they have the power to make a difference and that their voices will be valued however they choose to use them.

Outdoor TRips

Check out previous outdoor trips

What do people say?

This is one of the best things I have ever gotten the chance to do. I was looking forward to this all week and my expectations of fun adventures did not fail! This is one of the best experiences of my life!
Oakland Intern
The weekend trip made my love for nature to grow and I really appreciate what nature gave us. The trip also made me break out of my comfort zone by having me make new friends and do things that I have never done, such as camping. I really appreciate everyone who made me feel comfortable and happy.
Richmond Intern

Our partners

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