Trinity Introduces “Outdoor Experiential Education”

Experience-based Education Program Offered This Fall
​Hartford, Conn. (September 25, 2014) –Trinity students now have the opportunity to enroll in a new Outdoor Experiential Education (OEE) Instructor Training Program. The program is broken up into two four-month sections that focus on learning experientially through outdoor skill-based workshops and activities. Students will work on leadership skills essential to instruct outdoor trips.

“Outdoor experiential education is yet another program Trinity has created to engage our students around the conversation of leadership,” Director of Athletics Mike Renwick said. “In addition to offering student-trained and student-led trips into the wilderness, the program will provide a natural extension for those students who take part in the pre-orientation Quest Program. Within the world of recreation, experiential education combines meaningful, real-world leadership training with a healthy lifestyle, all the while having a little fun. We are extremely pleased to bring this growing form of recreation to the Trinity community.”

After the successful completion of this training program, qualified students will be hired as student instructors with the outdoor experiential education program. Student instructors will be responsible for planning, promoting, and teaching outdoor trips during the 2015 spring semester. Trips may include: co-instructing break-based trips, teaching skills clinics, instructing a weekend trip, or working with the Quest pre-orientation program. The course runs from September 16 to December 2, every Tuesday from 6:30-9:00 p.m. Expeditions will take place on October 17-19 and December 18 – 21.  Previous experience in the outdoors is not a prerequisite. All students are eligible to signup, though space is limited due to travel restrictions.

“In my 13 years teaching outdoor education courses, I have seen a dramatic increase in the number of collegiate outdoor leadership and recreation programs being offered across the country,” said Kevin Johnson, director of the Quest pre-orientation program, who will be directing the OEE program.  “Outdoor Experiential Education at Trinity combines the recreational and educational aspects of outdoor leadership through hands-on learning, including: courses, skills clinics, and wilderness trips. Students now have the opportunity to facilitate wilderness trips throughout the academic year. I am thrilled to have the support of the school in bringing this program to the Trinity community.”
Classes will be a combination of workshops and field experiences. The program will focus on learning the necessary wilderness and technical skills to be an effective outdoor instructor. Students will practice facilitation and teaching skills during scheduled weekend field based expeditions. Each student will have the opportunity to instruct courses during the semester after participation.

The Outdoor Experiential Education Instructor Training Program operates on a break-even budget. A $500 course fee covers the following costs: trip expenses, including transportation, food, gear rentals, lodging, and permits, as well as guides, maps, and textbooks.  The course fee does not include wilderness medical training and certification. Each student instructor must hold a current CPR and WFA/WFR certification to be considered for employment with the OEE program. Each year there will be opportunities to take a Wilderness Medicine Course at Trinity.  Financial Assistance is available for some programs.

For more information on OEE programs, contact Kevin Johnson, Quest director and recreation assistant director, at kevin.johnson@trincoll.edu or at (860) 297-5102.