Adventures in Wilderness Leadership

This week-long program will teach participants how to effectively, confidently, and safely lead a group in nature by participating in hands-on activities such as backpacking, hiking, camping, and kayaking. Participants will develop skills to explore and enjoy the outdoors while leaving a minimal impact on the environment.
Curriculum includes:
  • outdoor preparedness
  • map and compass navigation (the basics)
  • group management
  • trail safety and emergency management
  • “Leave No Trace” outdoor ethics
  • campsite management
  • animal safety
  • trail nutrition and camp cooking
  • equipment care
  • water filtering
The instructor is Lara Oehlert, who has been camping and backpacking for years. She has hiked all over the U.S. and internationally in Costa Rica, Haiti, France, and Morocco. She has section-hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail in eight states and has backpacked in the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Lara is CPR and Wilderness First Aid certified and holds a certificate for completing the Mountain Leadership School for Backpack Leaders. She has a passion for enjoying the outdoors ethically with minimal impact camping. During the year Lara is the French teacher at WNA.
Tentative Schedule:
Sunday through Tuesday: on-campus, practicing campsite set-up and traveling to local state parks for hiking and kayaking.  Free evenings with a bonfire and s'mores, and a trip to Kilby Cream for local ice cream.
Tuesday and Wednesday: camp overnight at a state park.
Wednesday and Thursday: backpack trip preparation and fun activities on campus.
Thursday and Friday: campers and counselors will be dropped off for a one-night backpack trip, during which they will hike to the pickup location, carrying all necessary supplies.
Possible camp and hike locations (will be determined closer to the start date):
  • Catoctin Mountain Park (highest point in Maryland)
  • Cunningham Falls State Park
  • Susquehanna State Park
  • Gambrill State Park
  • Patapsco State Park 
Required supplies (participants must come with these items):
  • backpack (at least 30L size)
  • lightweight sleeping bag
  • 3-5 heavy duty trash bags for pack waterproofing
  • hiking shoes or boots (if you are purchasing new shoes, please wear them in before arriving to prevent foot injury)
  • rain jacket with hood
  • non-cotton socks and short and long sleeve tshirts (cotton pulls heat from the body)
  • 1-2 pairs of hiking shorts/pants
  • fleece or warm jacket
  • warm pants for night
  • sunscreen
  • water bottle or hydration bag (such as a CamelBak)
  • headlamp or flashlight
  • bandana
  • whistle
  • toiletries
  • bug spray (with DEET)
  • hand sanitizer
Optional supplies:
  • hiking poles
  • bug net
  • ear plugs
  • notebook
  • camera
  • compass with clear base
  • snacks
  • sleeping pad
  • gaiters (waterproof ankle and leg protectors)
Adventures in Wilderness Leadership
June. 23-28
Ages 13-18

$1,100 per camper (all-inclusive)
Questions?  Please contact Sasha Skulsky.

If you have already registered and paid the $75 deposit, but need to pay your remaining balance, please click here.