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Leader Training for Academic Year '20 - '21

With students being remote for the fall, we are moving to an online format for those parts of Leader Training that are typically taught on campus and do not require being in-person.

Sign up for OA Leader Training at MyPrinceton.edu. Spaces are limited and are first-come, first-served. Here are the courses that will be offered:

Outdoor Technical Skills

This is the classroom portion of the Leave No Trace and Technical Skills Course. Students completing the course and the written assessments will receive credit for these components of OA Leader Training. There will be a hands-on portion that includes in-person skills (e.g. lighting backpacking stoves) that will be offered as an additional in-person requirement when students are able do in-person training on campus.

  • Part X starts with Leave No Trace and Land Awareness. Traveling in the outdoors requires learning how to respect the land through utilizing the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace and understanding the history of the land you are traveling through and the original inhabitants through a Land Acknowledgement process. Week 1 continues with Planning an Outdoor Trip. Learn about how to research trip areas, how to read a map and plan your travel route for each day including places to camp, scenic vistas, water stops and more.  
  • Part Y focuses on what to bring on your trip. You’ll learn about personal clothing and layering systems, tents, stoves and cooking equipment, water purification and selecting a good campsite. You’ll also learn basic backcountry safety skills, how to learn about the area you’ll be going and recognize potential hazards that you can be prepared for. The workshop will also include decision-making strategies for evaluating conditions and making safe choices. 

Leadership Workshop Series A, B & C

Developing effective Leadership skills are essential for all anyone serving in a leadership role. The Leadership Workshop series from Outdoor Action are designed to help you develop your best leadership style and learn how team building, conflict resolution skills and effective debriefing are all critical elements of building a team that can work together. Whether you are on sports team, a member of a student organization, or a budding entrepreneur, maximizing your leadership portfolio will maximize your impact. 

You’ll learn how to build a full value contract that identifies the core values of your group and encourages commitment and responsibility. You’ll learn about the Experiential Learning Cycle and the Learning Zones Model to help you create a positive learning environment in your group that challenges everyone and gives them choice. You will learn about your personal style of leadership and how to modify your leadership style to work with the specific needs of your group. You’ll learn about Tuckman’s Five Stages of Group Development and what your group will need from you as a leader at different stages of its evolution. You’ll also learn techniques for group processing and debriefing that will help your team grow and stay on task. 

We encourage students to complete all three sections. 

Completion of the entire workshops and any online modules fulfills portions of the OA Leader Training required for students wishing to become OA Leaders.

Managing Safety

Creating a safe space to operate programs, both physical safety and psychological safety, requires understanding the dynamics that create unsafe situations. The Managing Safety Workshop will provide you with an understanding of how to evaluate and manage risk potential by identifying hazard factors and implementing safety factors that address increasing risk levels whether it is creating a safe environment in a physical setting like a team project, international travel or outdoor trip, or if it is dealing with the risks of institutional racism and bias. Managing risk is a dynamic process of identifying and evaluating hazards (‘the bad stuff’) and implementing a series of positive factors like training, site management, policies and procedures, and traveler judgment (‘the good stuff’) to counterbalance both expected and unexpected risks.

Particularly applicable to anyone traveling in remote locations, backpacking or required to manage safety of others


Join the largest student leadership group at Princeton!

  • Did you have a great time on your Frosh Trip?
  • Want to be an OA Leader next year & help first-year students have a great start?
  • Want to meet new people?
  • Do you enjoy the outdoors?
  • Want to learn new skills?

OA Leader Training is a great way to meet FUN people while you easily complete the training and lead an OA Trip. We are looking for motivated students, graduate students and faculty or staff to become leaders for the Frosh Trip in September. Don’t consider yourself outdoorsy? Outdoor Action will teach you the skills you need to be competent in the outdoors. Our priorities are to find people who are excited about working with others and learning and teaching new skills, and who bring a diversity of experiences and backgrounds to the program. The more our leaders represent the Princeton campus, the more accurate an impression the Frosh will receive. The Outdoor Action Leader Training program is recognized across the country as one of the most comprehensive college outdoor leadership programs. Once you complete all of the requirements this year, you are eligible to apply to lead a Frosh Trip in the fall!