Introduction & Who Qualifies

We are really looking for mature, outgoing, and responsible UW-Stout students capable of learning what it takes to become a Stout Adventures Trip Leader.


Stout Adventures provides several training opportunities throughout the year. Each one will take you closer to becoming a trip leader.  From earning your Wilderness & Remote First Aid Certification, to attending a multi-day practicum in the wilderness, you will learn what it takes to become a great leader.  This opportunity is not to be taken lightly.  You will be given a lot of responsibility; however you are rewarded with experiences many never receive in places many dream of visiting. As a volunteer trip leader, you are not paid, but all your travel related expenses are provided.


Informational Meetings

Those interested in becoming a Stout Adventures Trip leader are encouraged to attend an informational meeting.  Informational meetings are held each May and September.


Before starting the trip leader training process, perspective trip leaders must have participated in one trip, of at least three days in length, with Stout Adventures.  Having completed the trip with Stout Adventures, the perspective trip leader then will need to complete a Trip Leader Candidate Application/Nomination Form.  Current trip leaders may choose to nominate participants they feel would be a good trip leader using the form.


Where have our volunteer trip leaders explored?
Here is a short list of recent trips Stout Adventures has run with the help of volunteer trip leaders:
Backpacking Glacier National Park, MT
Sea Kayaking Prince William Sound, AK

Sea Kayaking the Apostle Islands, WI

Sea Kayaking Lake Powell, UT

Canoeing the Green River, UT

Backpacking Isle Royale National Park, MI

Sea Kayaking the Gulf Coast, FL

Rock Climbing on the North Shore of Lake Superior, MN

Rock Climbing the Red River Gorge, KY

Downhill Skiing Whitefish, MT

New Zealand

 North Shore Climbing



To complete the entire trip leader training process you must complete the following requirements.  Trip leaders-in-training will be evaluated each step of the way.  

  1. Attend and actively participate in all applicable meetings and classroom sessions.  Assignments will be given between classroom sessions, so please plan your schedule accordingly.  In some cases, classroom time may be made up in the field.
  2. Attend the 37 practicum in the wilderness in which your skills and instructional ability will be evaluated.  This practicum is offered every January or April. 
  3. Shadow at least one Stout Adventures trip.  In most cases a trip of three days in length will be required.  In addition, the Stout Adventures Coordinator may request that the trip leader-in-training shadow more than    one trip.  The purpose of the shadow experience is to observe how a Stout Adventures trip is facilitated and to practice your outdoor and teaching skills.Trip leaders-in-training will take an active role in the trip, and  even help teach some outdoor skills to participants.
  4. Obtain a Leave No Trace Trainer certification.  Stout Adventures offers this course every October and sometimes again during the summer. 
  5. Obtain a Wilderness First Aid Certification.  Stout Adventures offers the American Red Cross Wilderness & Remote First Aid course every October and sometimes again during the summer. 
  6. Successfully complete University Recreation’s Driver/Trailer Training.

If you plan to lead advanced trips which require a greater knowledge base and technical skills, you must complete extra training. Some of this training is offered by Stout Adventures, but in most cases you must obtain this knowledge outside of Stout Adventures. For example, at least one trip leader on a rock climbing trip must be AMGA or PCIA certified. In addition, for extended trips in remote areas at least one trip leader must hold a Wilderness First Responder certification. In some cases where a standard is not already set, trip leaders should discuss their prior experience and training with the Stout Adventures Coordinator.

Completion of these requirements does not automatically clear you to become a Stout Adventures Trip Leader.  Some individuals need additional experience to harness their leadership potential. Not everybody reaches solid leadership potential at the same time and sometimes trip leaders-in-training are never ready to become trip leaders. To be specific, Stout Adventures is looking to train outdoor leaders that demonstrate the following:

  • Outdoor Leadership Abilities
  • Decision Making Ability
  • Common Sense and Judgment
  • Communication/Facilitation Skills
  • Group Handling
  • Knowledge of Policies, Procedures and Guidelines
  • Hard/Technical Skills
  • Role Model