Leadership Program Application: Summer 2021

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Leadership Program Application

Dear Applicant,


Thank you for your interest in the Outdoor Outreach Summer Leadership Program.  Each year, students 16-20 years-old from Outdoor Outreach (OO) programs are eligible to apply for participation in an eight-week leadership training program in which they learn the skills and components of being an Outdoor Outreach Instructor, of being leaders within the Outdoor Industry, and of being leaders within their communities. There is no cost for participants and acceptance to the summer program is highly competitive.


The Leadership Program is a paid training experience. Upon completion of the program, graduates will have had the opportunity to gain up to 1,000 dollars in stipends.


Please read through all of the following information before applying.


COVID-19: The health and safety of our participants and staff are of the utmost importance to us at Outdoor Outreach. As such, all planned activities and dates of the program are subject to change in response to changes in local State, and Federal health safety guidelines. All accepted participants will be required to wear appropriate PPE (i.e. a mask or face covering) if needed and as required by local, State, and Federal Guidelines for in-person activities and are required to follow all of Outdoor Outreach health safety procedures (i.e. hand washing and social distancing).


What is the Leadership Program?  The purpose of the program is to give young adults job training through an introductory internship with a focus on transformative outdoor experiences. This program is composed of both outdoor, and indoor, hands-on learning experiences with an emphasis on civic engagement and leadership skills. Past graduates have used this experiential experience to secure jobs in the outdoor industry and other employers, as well as to strengthen their candidacy for academic and work opportunities.  


What does it mean to be a Leadership Participant? It means that you are actively working towards learning and performing at a proficient level in the outdoor activities offered by Outdoor Outreach. It means demonstrating sound risk management decisions and being held to the expectations of a professional in the outdoor industry.  These expectations include arriving to work on time, communicating in a timely and effective manner, respecting students and staff, modeling professionalism in the outdoors, attending trainings and meetings, and furthering the vision and mission of Outdoor Outreach. Acceptance onto our Leadership Program does not equal employment at Outdoor Outreach.


Participants safely learn how to instruct a range of outdoor recreation activities in a variety of parks, beaches, and open space areas including, but not limited to:

    • Rock Climbing

    • Surfing

    • Mountain Biking

    • Environmental Stewardship

    • Kayaking

    • Camping

    • Snorkeling

    • Hiking

    • Backpacking

  • Joshua Tree National Park

  • San Onofre State Beach

  • Golden Trout Wilderness Area

  • Torrey Pines State Reserve

  • Cabrillo National Monument

  • Anza Borrego State Park

  • Ansel Adams Wilderness

  • San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Through participation in the Outdoor Outreach Leadership Program, we hope participants experience:

  • Increased confidence and ability to facilitate outdoor adventures for youth in a safe and fun manner.
  • Continued involvement and/or employment as an outdoor leader for Outdoor Outreach or similar organizations.
  • Increased perception of one’s ability to influence public policy and socio-economic barriers to accessing the outdoors.
  • Increased ability and willingness to communicate with decision makers and advocate the value and necessity of protecting outdoor spaces and sensitive ecosystems.
  • Increased self-confidence, self advocacy, self awareness, and positive self perception
  • Increased levels of professionalism and workforce skills
  • Increased ability to seek and qualify for employment opportunities
  • Motivation to become leaders within communities and enact positive changes


What is your Commitment to Outdoor Outreach and the Leadership Program?

  • An open mind and dedication towards our activities. We will be pushing our mental barriers by trying new experiences, which many of us may have never tried before.
  • Respectful and professional manners towards your peers and staff members.  
  • Completion of the Leadership Program:  This commitment includes both classroom lessons and field based learning lessons designed for participants to gain experience as a field instructors as well as experience with essential workforce skills and coordination of programs. 
  • Schedule: Activities and lessons will be held 5 days a week for 8 weeks from June 21st - August 13th.  Daily lessons will not exceed 8 hrs, exceptions to this schedule include an overnight camping trip and a 5-day backpacking trip.  


About & Applicant Information


Leadership Program Application


Thank you for your interest in the Leadership Program.  Please submit this application to Outdoor Outreach no later than April 5th, 2020 to be considered for the program.  If you have any questions feel free to call or email the Leadership Program Coordinator: Chris Santomero

Email: chris.santomero@outdooroutreach.org  Phone: (619) 238-5790














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Please take the time to carefully answer the following questions so the Outdoor Outreach team can further evaluate you as an applicant.