Trip Leader Applications


Outdoor Programs facilitators and trip leaders play a critical role in outdoor education here at Kalamazoo College.

Throughout the year, Outdoor Programs invites College campus members who are seeking leadership opportunities and have an interest in outdoor education to apply to become a trip leader or facilitator. Regardless of their relevant experience, Outdoor Programs wants to offer supportive, fun, challenging, and rewarding programs all while providing opportunities for campus members to gather experience for their own leadership development.

Trip Leadership

Interested in gaining more skills as a leader in outdoor education? Begin the process to become an Outdoor Programs facilitator or trip leader today:

  1. Complete an Outdoor Programs Trip Leader Application
  2. Attend the Spring Leader Training during Spring Break which includes the completion of Leave No Trace Trainer
  3. Wilderness First Aid and CPR certification.
  4. Attend a Level I training in the skill area that you wish to lead (the Spring Leader Training counts as a Level I training for hiking/backpacking). Individuals interested in leading paddling trips should register for the Intro to Canoeing PE course offered spring term, or attend the June Paddle Training which occurs directly after finals in the spring. 
  5. Gain the appropriate level of medical and CPR certification for the types of trips you wish to lead (see Trip Leader Flow Chart for more information about required medical training levels). Options include:
    • Basic First Aid, CPR & AED offered as a PE class during Winter
    • Wilderness First Aid & CPR (WFA) 
    • Wilderness First Responder & CPR (WFR) students who have demonstrated commitment to gaining skills through the trip leader process and have been active leading trips within the Outing Club/Outdoor Programs may apply for funding to pursue WFR certification
  6. You will be assigned to varying levels of leadership based on your experience and skill proficiency
  7. Continue building skills and experience by planning personal trips, participating in trips in new skill areas offered throughout the quarter, and gain experience instructing on trips you are qualified to lead

Trip Leader levels:


Prerequisites: None!
Registering for Outdoor Programs and Outing Club trips as a participant is a great way to gain skills in new activities and build proficiency with outdoor leadership concepts before moving into an Apprentice role.


Prerequisites: Basic First Aid and CPR or higher, Leave No Trace (LNT) Awareness workshop
Candidates can apply to become Apprentices after completing a Trip Leader application and gaining foundational skills in an activity in order to adequately manage yourself in the type of terrain or activity you intend to Apprentice in. This could be gained on personal trips, institutional trips and OP Trip Leader Training trips and workshops.

Assistant Trip Leader:

Prerequisites: Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or higher, LNT Trainer
Individuals will usually need to Apprentice within a skill area on at least two trips or achieve comparable experience before becoming Assistant Trip Leaders. It is also expected that Assistant Trip Leaders become certified to drive college vehicles if they meet the college’s minimum requirements.

Trip Leader:

Prerequisites: WFA or higher (WAFA/AWFA, WFR or WEMT preferred), LNT Trainer
Trip Leaders have acted as an Assistant Trip Leader in a specific skill area at least two times or gained comparable experience. Once an individual has become a Trip Leader in an activity, she or he is able to plan and lead trips during the quarter on her or his own. For longer and more remote trips, such as many break trips, Trip Leaders may need to gain additional experience and training, such as acquiring Wilderness First Responder, before becoming a full trip leader.

Trip Leader Trainer & Skills Assessor:

Becoming a Trip Leader Trainer involves serving as a lead Trip Leader within a skills area on several trips in a variety of environments and having a thorough understanding of Outdoor Programs policy and procedures. Trainer roles are reserved for student leaders who have achieved the highest level of experience and training with Outdoor Programs.

Gain Experience!

Outdoor Program Trainings & Clinics

Wilderness Medicine Courses with Kalamazoo College

Other Wilderness Medicine Courses 

Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO) course schedule     

Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA)  course schedule

American Red Cross course schedule

Other Training Organizations

Wilderness Rescue International (Swiftwater Rescue)

American Mountain Guides Association

Professional Climbing Instructors Association

American Canoe Association

College 12-passenger Van Driving Tests:

Occur on the second Wednesday of every month. Register by contacting Security Or, e-mail to set up a time to take the test

You must also complete a driving background check

Didn’t find what you were looking for? You can access more information about leadership positions at K on our LandSea website!