The Field Leader program is designed to empower students to meet the challenges found in leading others outdoors. Challenges include ensuring physical and emotional safety, managing logistics, solving problems as they arise, and providing meaningful experiences.
Effective leaders are guided by values and beliefs. These attitudes influence their actions, which increase likelihood of success. Consequently, the Field Leader program focuses on instilling such values and beliefs to future Field Leaders. These include embodying mindful leadership, creating participant-centered experiences, including purposeful programming, ensuring systematic planning, promoting team building, enacting effective communication and pursuing learning through reflection.
These concepts are delivered to students through the study of the OCC’s event cycle:
Courses and modules include both classroom and outdoor lessons. Lessons include lectures, inquiry based learning, case study analysis, group discussions and field practice. Students’ own experience is used to deepen learning and strengthen the understanding of principles supporting good leadership. A final exam tests the knowledge elements of the course.
However, it is important to remember that values and beliefs can only be truly assessed by observing a person’s action over time. Consequently, OCC courses can only present and instill such attitudes. Organizations working with Field Leader still have the responsibility to ensure that their actions are coherent with industry best practices.
The OCC is currently developing additional training programs to help groups and organizations provide effective supervision.