Learn valuable leadership skills and gain confidence in your ability to be a leader of peers on trips in the outdoors! You will learn lifelong skills on this continuous 20 day backpacking experience. The Leadership training backpack provides excellent instruction for older teens on managing groups, dealing with conflict, traveling confidently in the outdoors, and reacting to unplanned situations. Many graduates of this program have gone on to work with the AMC, or to lead outing trips for their college. You will focus on gaining the knowledge and experience outdoor leaders need to be successful, from route, food, and equipment planning to group development and decision making. An on-the-trail certification in Wilderness First Aid will prepare you to deal with emergencies in the backcountry. You will be able to practice your skills by leading your group and handling simulated emergencies. At the end of the trip, the instructors will provide the group the opportunity to lead their own final expedition, making the decisions and leading themselves for the last days of the trip. This experience is a rewarding opportunity to put to use the culmination of skills learned over 20 days on the trail. For ages: 15-18.
Day 1: After an introductory meeting with instructors, group and parents, gear is checked and issued. After Lunch the group heads to the trailhead and begins their hike to the first campsite.
Day 2-8: The group makes their way through the mountains, moving camp each day and refining their wilderness skills as they go. They will learn about navigation, camp craft, LNT, leadership, decision making and work as a team. Each participant will have the chance to be a "leader of the day" working with another peer to co-lead the group, practicing and refining their leadership skills. On day 7, the group will layover and hike to a nearby trailhead to resupply food and equipment
Day 9-11: The group will set up a base-camp at a backcountry site where their Wilderness First Responder instructor will meet them and lead 3 days of WFA curriculum with ample practice scenarios.
Day 12-15: The group will resume backpacking and participants will continue to have opportunities to practice leadership and decision making and gain more independence from the instructors as they master and build confidence in their backcountry abilities.
Day 16-20: The group will have the chance to independently plan the remainder of their trip. They will plan the route, and arrange all the details of the trip. They will be "shadowed" by their instructors, who will hike no more than a half mile behind. The group, will have a sense of being on their own. This is a rewarding capstone of their trip.
*Prices include instruction, transportation during the course, all meals from lunch the first day through lunch the last day, group equipment (tents, stoves, pots/pans, etc.), and all camping fees during the program.
Nearby AMC Destination
Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
(best time to call: 8:30am - 4pm, Monday - Friday)
Chelsea brings twelve years of adventure programming experience to her role at the AMC. She began leading wilderness trips for teens in 2006 and went on to work in both field and program leadership positions around the United States and South America. Chelsea joined the AMC in the role of Teen and College Adventure Programs Manager in the summer of 2016. Chelsea holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from University of North Carolina in Asheville.