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A discussion group and survey examined trip-staff training practices among outdoor and adventure recreation/education programs. Of the 40 participants, 80 percent worked with university noncredit programs, with the remaining participants representing university for-credit, military recreation, nonprofit, and for-profit programs. Although the outdoor programs differed greatly, there were some emerging trends. The most popular types of trips had leaders and were instructional. The leaderless common adventure style of programming was decreasing in popularity. Programs paid staff with varying types of payment, which included incentives and benefits. Staff were trained in-house through a progression of skill instruction, shadowing, volunteering, assisting, and then trip-leading. One highly recommended system was a mentoring program. Training curricula consistently focused on policies, procedures, emergency procedures, trip-leading philosophy, leadership and group dynamics, technical skill instruction, and teaching and leading methods. The training progression allows programs to evaluate and assess skills in emerging leaders. Most programs required a medical certification: first aid/CPR, wilderness first aid, or wilderness first responder. Creative methods of using point systems and incentives helped attract and retain trip staff. Standards of behavior were upheld regardless of the type of trip staff used. Even volunteers could be shown the door. (Author/TD)

Descriptors: Certification, College Programs, Leadership Training, Outdoor Activities, Outdoor Education, Outdoor Leadership, Personnel Management, Surveys, Training Methods, Volunteers

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Autor: Zwaagstra, Lynn


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