Trails for everyone, forever

Home Our Work Connecting the Next Generation Outdoor Leadership Training Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

The Outdoor Leadership Training program offers free gear lending, money for transportation and other trip costs, and training workshops for adult trip leaders. Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below.


>> Return to the Outdoor Leadership Training main page

____________________________________________________________________________________

Program Overview

Why is Washington Trails Association committed to working with youth workers and teachers?

Washington Trails Association understands the importance of getting young people connected to the outdoors and the positive impact it can have on their development. With the generous support of members and donors, WTA is proud to facilitate the Outdoor Leadership Training program. This program empowers youth workers and teachers to get the youth they serve outdoors. By providing training, appropriate gear, funding assistance and a supportive community, WTA is excited to partner with organizations and schools in the community to get more youth outdoors. The young people who connect to the natural world and public lands today become the explorers, stewards and champions of tomorrow.

Who is the program designed for?

The Outdoor Leadership Training Program is designed for adults age 18 and up. The workshops and program offerings are intended to support teachers and adult youth group leaders who want to, or already do, lead snowshoeing, hiking, camping and backpacking trips for youth age 10-18.

WTA focuses recruitment, resources and outreach on communities that have historically faced barriers to outdoor exploration. The priority audience is organizations serving youth who attend schools where 40 percent or more of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch and/or schools that have a student body with at least 40 percent students of color.

If I want to volunteer to help, how can I get involved?

If you are interested in volunteering your time to support the Outdoor Leadership Training program, please contact Jean Bartholomew at 206-785-6442 or jbartholomew@wta.org.

>> Return to the Outdoor Leadership Training main page

____________________________________________________________________________________

Hiking Workshops

Are workshops being held during the covid-19 pandemic?

Yes, we are hosting hybrid in-person and online hiking and camping workshops in 2021 to provide skills building opportunities in a safe and comfortable setting, while maintaining community health practices to reduce virus transmission. Hybrid workshops start with a webinar in the week leading up to the event, to set the stage and cover curriculum topics and resources online. A shortened in-person event will allow the group to gather outdoors, gain experience, practice activities and explore the event location for future outings. In 2021, we do not plan to host overnight or multiday workshops, but our Hybrid Camping Skills workshop will still cover all the fundamentals of car camping with a group, including equipment set up. Also, our 2021 workshops will not encourage carpooling outside of members of the same pod or household. Otherwise, reading the FAQs below will still give you a good idea of what to expect on a workshop this year. 

How often are Hiking Workshops held?

Hiking Workshops are held monthly on select Saturdays in April and May, with an additional Hiking Workshop in October.

>> Check out the upcoming workshops page

Is there a fee for training workshops?

Yes, there is a $40 fee for Hiking Workshops. These fees help Washington Trails Association cover some of the cost of workshop supplies and resources. Payment instructions will appear on the sign up confirmation page and in the confirmation email. If the workshop fee is a barrier to your participation, scholarships are available. Look for application instructions when you register for a workshop.

Is there a group discount?

For group workshop registrations, there's a $5/person discount for schools or organizations that register more than one individual, so Hiking Workshop registrations are $25/person for a group of 2 to 5. Please submit a separate sign up for each participant, but groups can pay for multiple participants at the same time. Payment instructions will appear on the sign up confirmation page and in the confirmation email.

For groups of 5-15, consider a Custom Workshop tailored to your program.

How do I apply for a Workshop Scholarship?

Scholarships are available to reduce the workshop fee by 70%. If approved, a $10 per course day placement fee is still required to confirm participation. They are awarded based on need and the applicant's ability to use workshop skills to facilitate an outdoor experience for youth. Application instructions and a link to the Scholarship Application Form will appear on the sign up confirmation page and in the confirmation email.

How are Workshop Scholarships awarded?

Scholarships are limited for each workshop. Washington Trails Association will review applications and award recipients based on their described interest and financial need. Special consideration will be given to those applicants who are currently working with youth in a school or community based organization, particularly those with plans to lead an outdoor trip.

Can I apply for more than one Workshop Scholarship?

Workshop Fee Scholarships are limited to one scholarship per individual, per year. However, individuals with a financial barrier to participating in multiple workshops are encouraged to apply for additional scholarships and will be placed on a wait list. If scholarship spots remain available one month ahead of the workshop, applicants will be notified regarding their approval at that time.

Do I need to have outdoor experience to attend a training workshop?

No! You do not need to have any outdoor experience to be involved in this program. Workshops are designed to provide an entry into outdoor activities, but also provide valuable information for experienced outdoor trip leaders.

Where are the Hiking Workshops held?

The Hiking Workshops take place outdoors and on trail at Tiger Mountain or Point Defiance Park. We meet at 9:30 am at the High Point Way Trailhead, near Issaquah (20 minutes east of Seattle on I-90) or the Dalco Passage Viewpoint parking lot at Point Defiance in Tacoma. 

There are vault toilets near the parking lot where we start and finish the workshop, but we spend most of the day out on the trails in the Tradition Plateau area. However, since we cover a lot of topics through activities and discussions, we don't actually hike too far. Generally, we hike approximately 2-2.5 miles on easy trails. There are some uneven surfaces, so sturdy shoes or hiking boots are recommended.

What about the weather?

We hold workshops rain or shine. If you plan a youth outdoor trip far in advance, you'll run into the same worries, so we'll practice being well prepared with appropriate clothes. Also, WTA staff will send reminders of exactly what to bring so that you're comfortable during the workshop: we will be hiking and moving, but we also stop frequently for discussions, so we recommend bringing warm layers and winter gloves and a hat. However, if dangerous conditions exist, we will either cancel or cut short the workshop.

What takes place during a Hiking Workshop?

We start the Hiking Workshop with introductory activities and discuss trip planning and preparation. Then the participants are split into two groups. The first group gets a chance to plan and lead a hike for the morning and the second groups takes over in the afternoon. Along the way, WTA workshop facilitators lead activities and discussions about leadership, trail etiquette, food, managing risk and emergencies. The facilitators and participants also share their favorite games and activities to lead with young people outdoors. With this experiential, discussion-based format, everyone gets a chance to share, lead, reflect, learn and think about how to apply workshop topics to their future trips.

Can I carpool to a workshop?

WTA does not organize carpooling to the workshop, but we encourage it. We'll ask you your preference about carpooling when you register, then we'll share the contact information of interested participants.

Should more than one person from an organization attend?

Yes! If you plan to co-lead outdoor youth trips with other adults from your school or organization, we encourage as many co-leaders to attend as possible. It will help you to have another person thinking about trip logistics and how to apply them to your groups situation, especially if you will be co-leading a new type of program for you or your group. If you are interested in training more than 5 people from your program, check out our Custom Workshop to have a specialized training for your group.

What if I don't currently work with youth?

If you don't currently work with youth, but hope to in the future, we would love to have you join us for a workshop. If you're an emerging professional, or looking to get more involved with leading outdoor trips, the workshop should be a great professional development opportunity. And then when you do find yourself working with a youth group and want to get them outside, you'll have access to the Gear  Library and Funding Assistance.

>> Sign up for a Hiking Workshop

Hiking 1 x786

Hiking 2 x786

Hiking 3 x786

Hiking 4 x786

Hiking 5 x786
Hiking Workshop Photos by Shane Welch

____________________________________________________________________________________

Snowshoeing Workshops

HOW OFTEN ARE SNOWSHOEING WORKSHOPS HELD?

Snowshoeing Workshops are held on select Saturdays in February and March.

>> Check out the upcoming workshops page

IS THERE A FEE FOR TRAINING WORKSHOPS?

Yes, there is a $30 fee for Snowshoeing Workshops. These fees help Washington Trails Association cover some of the cost of workshop supplies and resources. Payment instructions will appear on the sign up confirmation page and in the confirmation email. If the workshop fee is a barrier to your participation, scholarships are available. Look for the application link when you register for a workshop.

IS THERE A GROUP DISCOUNT?

For group workshop registrations, there's a $5/person discount for schools or organizations that register more than one individual, so Snowshoeing Workshop registrations are $25/person for a group of 2 or more. Please submit a separate sign up for each participant, but groups can pay for multiple participants at the same time. Payment instructions will appear on the sign up confirmation page and in the confirmation email.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A WORKSHOP SCHOLARSHIP?

Scholarships are available to reduce the workshop fee by 70%. If approved, a $10 per course day placement fee is still required to confirm participation. They are awarded based on need and the applicant's ability to use workshop skills to facilitate an outdoor experience for youth. Application instructions and a link to the Scholarship Application Form will appear on the sign up confirmation page and in the confirmation email.

HOW ARE WORKSHOP SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED?

Scholarships are limited for each workshop. Washington Trails Association will review applications and award recipients based on their described interest and financial need. Special consideration will be given to those applicants who are currently working with youth in a school or community based organization, particularly those with plans to lead an outdoor trip.

CAN I APPLY FOR MORE THAN ONE WORKSHOP SCHOLARSHIP?

Workshop Fee Scholarships are limited to one scholarship per individual, per year. However, individuals with a financial barrier to participating in multiple workshops are encouraged to apply for additional scholarships and will be placed on a wait list. If scholarship spots remain available one month ahead of the workshop, applicants will be notified regarding their approval at that time.

DO I NEED TO HAVE OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE TO ATTEND A TRAINING WORKSHOP?

No! You do not need to have any outdoor experience to be involved in this program. Workshops are designed to provide an entry into planning and leading outdoor activities, but also provide valuable information and reflection for experienced outdoor trip leaders.

WHERE ARE THE SNOWSHOEING WORKSHOPS HELD?

The Snowshoeing Workshops take place outdoors at Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park in January, and at Gold Creek at Snoqualmie Pass in February. We meet at 9:00 am and participants are encouraged to carpool. We spend most of the day out on snowshoe trails. However, since we cover a lot of topics through activities and discussions, we don't actually travel too far. Generally, we hike approximately 2 miles on easy trails. The workshop ends at or before 4:00 pm.

WHAT ABOUT THE WEATHER?

We hold workshops rain, snow or shine. If you plan a group outdoor activity far in advance, you'll run into the same worries, so we'll practice being well prepared with appropriate clothes. Also, WTA staff will send reminders of exactly what to bring so that you're comfortable during the workshop: we will be moving around, but we also stop frequently for discussions, so we recommend bringing warm layers and winter gloves and a hat. If dangerous road or trail conditions exist, we will either cancel or shorten the workshop.

What snowshoeing gear do I need?

None -- we’ve got you covered! All participants will be asked to use the snowshoes and poles from WTA’s Gear Library, which we’ll provide at the workshop. Waterproof boots, gaiters, winter gloves, warm hats, rainwear, warm layers, a backpack, and water bottle are recommended. The snowshoe bindings don't require special footwear, but sturdy, warm and waterproof hiking boots are best. WTA can provide all of these items for the day if you need to borrow anything -- we’ll ask participants in advance what they might need to borrow.

WHAT TAKES PLACE DURING A SNOWSHOEING WORKSHOP?

We start the Snowshoeing Workshop with introductory activities and discuss trip planning and preparation. Then we head out onto the trails where participants get various chances to lead the group. Along the way, WTA's workshop facilitators lead activities and discussions about responsibilities, trail etiquette, food, managing risk and emergencies. The facilitators and participants also share their favorite games and activities to lead with groups of youth and families outdoors. With this experiential, discussion-based format, everyone gets a chance to share, lead, reflect, learn and think about how to apply workshop topics to their future trips.

CAN I CARPOOL TO A WORKSHOP?

WTA does not organize carpooling to the workshop, but we encourage it. We'll ask you your preference about carpooling when you register, then we'll share the contact information of interested participants. Carpool drivers should be prepared for winter travel conditions -- the mountain roads that reach the Snowshoeing Workshop venues require that vehicles carry tire chains. We'll check in with drivers ahead of the workshop to ensure we have a safe driving plan.

SHOULD MORE THAN ONE PERSON FROM AN ORGANIZATION ATTEND?

Yes! If you plan to co-lead outdoor youth trips with other adults from your school or organization, we encourage as many co-leaders to attend as possible. It will help you to have another person thinking about trip logistics and how to apply them to your group's situation, especially if you will be co-leading a new type of program for your group.

WHAT IF I DON'T CURRENTLY WORK WITH YOUTH?

If you don't currently work with groups of youth or families, but hope to in the future, we would love to have you join us for a workshop. If you're an emerging professional, or looking to get more involved with leading outdoor trips, the workshop should be a great professional development opportunity. And then when you do find yourself working with a youth group and want to get them outside, you'll have access to the Gear Library and Funding Assistance.

>> Sign up for a Snowshoeing Workshop

Snowshoeing 1 x786

Snowshoeing 2 x 786

Snowshoeing 3 x786

Snowshoeing 4 x786

Snowshoeing 5 x786
Snowshoeing Workshop Photos by Emma Cassidy

____________________________________________________________________________________

Camping Workshops

Are workshops being held during the covid-19 pandemic?

Yes, we are hosting hybrid in-person and online hiking and camping workshops in 2021 to provide skills building opportunities in a safe and comfortable setting, while maintaining community health practices to reduce virus transmission. Hybrid workshops start with a webinar in the week leading up to the event, to set the stage and cover curriculum topics and resources online. A shortened in-person event will allow the group to gather outdoors, gain experience, practice activities and explore the event location for future outings. In 2021, we do not plan to host overnight or multiday workshops, but our Hybrid Camping Skills workshop will still cover all the fundamentals of car camping with a group, including equipment set up. Also, our 2021 workshops will not encourage carpooling outside of members of the same pod or household. Otherwise, reading the FAQs below will still give you a good idea of what to expect on a workshop this year. 

How often are Camping Workshops held?

Camping Workshops are held on select weekends in April and June.

>> Check out the upcoming workshops page

Is there a fee for training workshops?

Yes, there is a $60 fee for Camping Workshops. These fees help Washington Trails Association cover some of the cost of workshop supplies and resources. Payment instructions will appear on the sign up confirmation page and in the confirmation email. If the workshop fee is a barrier to your participation, scholarships are available. Look for application instructions when you register for a workshop.

With the Camping Workshop fee, participants will receive a one-year membership to Washington Trails Association, with all of the benefits of membership, including a one-year subscription to Washington Trails magazine.

Is there a group discount?

For group workshop registrations, there's a $5/person discount for schools or organizations that register more than one individual, so Camping Workshop registrations are $55/person for a group of 2 or more. Please submit a separate sign up for each participant, but groups can pay for multiple participants at the same time. Payment instructions will appear on the sign up confirmation page and in the confirmation email.

How do I apply for a Workshop Scholarship?

Scholarships are available to to reduce the workshop fee by 70%. If approved, a $10 per course day placement fee is still required to confirm participation. They are awarded based on need and the applicant's ability to use workshop skills to facilitate an outdoor experience for youth. Application instructions and a link to the Scholarship Application Form will appear on the sign up confirmation page and in the confirmation email.

How are Workshop Scholarships awarded?

Scholarships are limited for each workshop. Washington Trails Association will review applications and award recipients  based on their described interest and financial need. Special consideration will be given to those applicants who are currently working with youth in a school or community based organization, particularly those with plans to lead an outdoor trip.

Can I apply for more than one Workshop Scholarship?

Workshop Fee Scholarships are limited to one scholarship per individual, per year. However, individuals with a financial barrier to participating in multiple workshops are encouraged to apply for additional scholarships and will be placed on a wait list. If scholarship spots remain available one month ahead of the workshop, applicants will be notified regarding their approval at that time.

Do I need to have outdoor experience to attend a training workshop?

No! You do not need to have any outdoor experience to be involved in this program. Workshops are designed to provide an entry into outdoor activities, but also provide valuable information for experienced outdoor trip leaders.

Where are the Camping Workshops held?

The Camping Workshops take place outdoors at camp and on trail at Lake Sammamish State Park and Dash Point State Park. We meet at 11:00 am on Saturday and end around noon on Sunday. There's an open-air shelter, vault toilets and potable water at camp, but there are no showers. We'll cover a lot of topics through activities and discussions around camp, but we also take a hike on Saturday afternoon. Generally, we hike approximately 2 - 2.5 miles on easy trails. There are some uneven surfaces, so sturdy shoes or hiking boots are recommended.

What about the weather?

We hold workshops rain or shine. If you plan a youth outdoor trip far in advance, you'll run into the same worries, so we'll practice being well prepared with appropriate clothes. Also, WTA staff will send reminders of exactly what to bring so that you're comfortable during the workshop: we will be hiking and moving, but we also stop frequently for discussions, so we recommend bringing warm layers and winter gloves and a hat. However, if dangerous conditions exist, we will either cancel or cut short the workshop.

What takes place during a Camping Workshop?

We start the Camping Workshop with introductory activities and discuss trip planning and preparation. We cover setting up a camp kitchen for a large group and setting up tents and other gear depending on the site and size of your group.

For the Saturday afternoon hike, the participants are split into two groups. The first group gets a chance to plan and lead a hike away from camp and into the State Park and the second groups takes over to lead us back to camp.

Dinner on Saturday night and breakfast on Sunday morning are cooked in the camp kitchen by the participants, with food and recipes provided by WTA. We'll also demo a campfire with treats and discuss evening and night-time activities.

On Sunday morning, the group will cover how to efficiently break down and clean up your camp and site, following Leave No Trace principles and ensuring that gear is dried and appropriately cared for. WTA provides gear including tents, sleeping bags with liners and sleeping pads from the Gear Lending Library so that participants get a chance to see and use the available items and how they work.

Along the way, WTA workshop facilitators lead activities and discussions about leadership, trail etiquette, food, managing risk and dealing with emergencies. The facilitators and participants also share their favorite games and activities to lead with young people outdoors. With this experiential, discussion-based format, everyone gets a chance to share, lead, reflect, learn and think about how to apply workshop topics to their future trips.

Can I carpool to a workshop?

WTA does not organize carpooling to the workshop, but we encourage it. We'll ask you your preference about carpooling when you register, then we'll share the contact information of interested participants.

Should more than one person from an organization attend?

Yes! If you plan to co-lead outdoor youth trips with other adults from your school or organization, we encourage as many co-leaders to attend as possible. It will help you to have another person thinking about trip logistics and how to apply them to your groups situation, especially if you will be co-leading a new type of program for you or your group.

What if I don't currently work with youth?

If you don't currently work with youth, but hope to in the future, we would love to have you join us for a workshop. If you're an emerging professional, or looking to get more involved with leading outdoor trips, the workshop should be a great professional development opportunity. And then when you do find yourself working with a youth group and want to get them outside, you'll have access to the Gear Lending Library and Mini-Grants.

>> Sign up for a Camping Workshop

Camping 2 x786

Camping 3 x786

Camping 4 x786

Camping 1 x786

Camping 5 x786
Camping Workshop Photos by Loren Drummond

____________________________________________________________________________________

Backpacking Workshops

How often are Backpacking Workshops held?

Backpacking Workshops are held on a select weekends in July and August.

>> Check out the upcoming workshops page

Is there a fee for training workshops?

Yes, there is a $120 fee for Backpacking Workshops. These fees help Washington Trails Association cover some of the cost of workshop supplies and resources. Payment instructions will appear on the sign up confirmation page and in the confirmation email. If the workshop fee is a barrier to your participation, scholarships are available. Look for application instructions when you register for a workshop.

With the Backpacking Workshop fee, participants will receive a one-year membership to Washington Trails Association, with all of the benefits of membership, including a one-year subscription to Washington Trails magazine.

Is there a group discount?

For group workshop registrations, there's a $5/person discount for schools or organizations that register more than one individual, so Backpacking Workshop registrations are $115/person for a group of 2 or more. Please submit a separate sign up for each participant, but groups can pay for multiple participants at the same time. Payment instructions will appear on the sign up confirmation page and in the confirmation email.

How do I apply for a Workshop Scholarship?

Scholarships are available to to reduce the workshop fee by 70%. If approved, a $10 per course day placement fee is still required to confirm participation. They are awarded based on need and the applicant's ability to use workshop skills to facilitate an outdoor experience for youth. Application instructions and a link to the Scholarship Application Form will appear on the sign up confirmation page and in the confirmation email.

How are Workshop Scholarships awarded?

Scholarships are limited for each workshop. Washington Trails Association will review applications and award recipients  based on their described interest and financial need. Special consideration will be given to those applicants who are currently working with youth in a school or community based organization, particularly those with plans to lead an outdoor trip.

Can I apply for more than one Workshop Scholarship?

Workshop Fee Scholarships are limited to one scholarship per individual, per year. However, individuals with a financial barrier to participating in multiple workshops are encouraged to apply for additional scholarships and will be placed on a wait list. If scholarship spots remain available one month ahead of the workshop, applicants will be notified regarding their approval at that time.

Do I need to have outdoor experience to attend a training workshop?

No! You do not need to have any outdoor or backpacking experience to be involved in this program. Workshops are designed to provide an entry into outdoor activities, but also provide valuable information for experienced outdoor trip leaders.

Where are the Backpacking Workshops held?

The Backpacking Workshops take place outdoors at camp and on trail in North Cascades National Park and Olympic National Park. We meet at 11:00 am on Thursday and end around noon on Sunday. We'll camp at a nearby group campsite on Thursday night, then head out into the backcountry Friday through Sunday morning. Both the group campsite and the backcountry campsites are primitive with toilets, but no restrooms or showers.

What about the weather?

We hold workshops rain or shine. If you plan a youth outdoor trip far in advance, you'll run into the same worries, so we'll practice being well prepared with appropriate clothes and equipment. Also, WTA staff will send reminders of exactly what to bring so that you're comfortable during the workshop: we will be hiking and moving, but we also stop frequently for discussions, so we recommend bringing warm layers and winter gloves and a hat. However, if dangerous conditions exist, we will either cancel or cut short the workshop.

What takes place during a Backpacking Workshop?

We start the Backpacking Workshop with introductory activities and discuss trip planning and preparation. We use the drive-in group campsite to cover setting up a camp kitchen for a large group and setting up tents and other gear depending on the site and size of your group. On the first day, we'll set the foundations for the discussions that will continue through the weekend about the key responsibilities of outdoor leaders. We'll also be organizing and staging our food and supplies for the next day.

For the backpacking portion of the course, we'll be loading everything we need into large packs and heading off into the wilderness of the North Cascades. We'll be using multiple campsites and hiking between them over the course of the weekend, but we will not be hiking long distances or climbing strenuous trails. For the first day, we typically only hike 2-3 miles with minimal elevation gain. We may hike slightly longer distances in the subsequent days, but we always keep an easy pace and stop frequently.

Meals throughout the weekend are provided by WTA, but cooked by the participants with easy to use recipes and cooking equipment from WTA's Gear Library.

What are the best ways to treat water? What do we need to consider when setting up camp? What tools do we use to navigate on trail? What tips, tricks and best practices, with modern gear, make group backcountry camping more efficient and enjoyable? These are just some of the questions that we'll explore first-hand over the weekend, creating an experience that you can replicate with your group.

To accomplish this, WTA workshop facilitators lead activities and discussions about leadership, trail etiquette, food, gear, managing risk and dealing with emergencies. The facilitators and participants also share their favorite games and activities to lead with young people outdoors. With this experiential, discussion-based format, everyone gets a chance to share, lead, reflect, learn and think about how to apply workshop topics to their future trips.

The skills and knowledge you'll gain from a Backpacking Workshop will increase your confidence and ability to lead outings of all kinds, whether you pan to replicate a multi-day wilderness trip, or simply want to take the youth and families you work with to a local city park. And if you're an experienced outdoor guide, the workshop offers a great chance to reflect on and share your experiences, gain from the experience of others and bond with peers who share a passion for introducing people to the benefits of spending time in nature.

Can I carpool to a workshop?

WTA does not organize carpooling to the workshop, but we encourage it, especially for these Backpacking Workshops located farther from urban centers. We'll ask you your preference about carpooling when you register, then we'll share the contact information of interested participants.

Should more than one person from an organization attend?

Yes! If you plan to co-lead outdoor youth trips with other adults from your school or organization, we encourage as many co-leaders to attend as possible. It will help you to have another person thinking about trip logistics and how to apply them to your groups situation, especially if you will be co-leading a new type of program for you or your group.

What if I don't currently work with youth?

If you don't currently work with youth, but hope to in the future, we would love to have you join us for a workshop. If you're an emerging professional, or looking to get more involved with leading outdoor trips, the workshop should be a great professional development opportunity. And then when you do find yourself working with a youth group and want to get them outside, you'll have access to WTA's Gear Library and Mini-Grants.

>> Sign up for a Backpacking Workshop

Backpacking 3 x786

Backpacking 1 x786

Backpacking 2 x786

Backpacking 4 x786

Backpacking 5 x786
Backpacking Workshop Photos by Andrew Pringle

____________________________________________________________________________________

Custom Workshops

WHEN ARE CUSTOM WORKSHOPS HELD?

Custom Workshops are scheduled with WTA staff at an agreed upon time that works best for your staff and WTA.

>>Contact us to schedule a contract workshop for your program staff

IS THERE A FEE FOR TRAINING WORKSHOPS?

Yes, there is a sliding scale fee for up to 15 people for a 6 hour workshop for groups that serve our priority audience. For groups that do not work with our priority audience the workshops are $550 for up to 15 people. These fees help Washington Trails Association cover some of the cost of workshop supplies and resources. An invoice will be sent to you after the workshop is arranged with WTA staff. Reduced fees are available for programs who serve the OLT program’s core audience on a case by case basis. Fill out our custom workshop request form to begin planning a training for your group.

DOES MY ORGANIZATION OR STAFF NEED OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE TO ATTEND A TRAINING WORKSHOP?

No! You do not need to have any outdoor experience to be involved in this program. Workshops are designed to provide an entry into outdoor activities, but also provide valuable information for experienced outdoor trip leaders.

WHERE ARE THE WORKSHOPS HELD?

We can hold a workshop at your location or in a nearby park.  Or we can hold them at our usual hiking workshop locations at either Point Defiance Park in Tacoma or in Issaquah off I-90 in the Tradition Plateau area at Tiger Mountain

On our 6-hour workshops, since we cover a lot of topics through activities and discussions, we don't actually hike too far. Generally, we hike approximately 2 - 2.5 miles on easy trails. There are some uneven surfaces, so sturdy shoes or hiking boots are recommended.

WHAT ABOUT THE WEATHER?

We hold workshops rain or shine. If you plan a youth outdoor trip far in advance, you'll run into the same worries, so we'll practice being well prepared with appropriate clothes. Also, WTA staff will send reminders of exactly what to bring so that you're comfortable during the workshop: we will be hiking and moving, but we also stop frequently for discussions, so we recommend bringing warm layers and winter gloves and a hat. However, if dangerous conditions exist, we will either cancel or cut short the workshop.

WHAT TAKES PLACE DURING A WORKSHOP?

We start the Hiking Workshop with introductory activities and discuss trip planning and preparation. Then the participants are split into two groups. The first group gets a chance to plan and lead a hike for the morning and the second groups takes over in the afternoon. Along the way, WTA workshop facilitators lead activities and discussions about leadership, trail etiquette, food, managing risk and emergencies. The facilitators and participants also share their favorite games and activities to lead with young people outdoors. With this experiential, discussion-based format, everyone gets a chance to share, lead, reflect, learn and think about how to apply workshop topics to their future trips. All participants leave with a resource binder to help with trip planning.

DOES WTA PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION TO A WORKSHOP?

WTA does not organize carpooling for the workshop but if your organization doesn’t have a vehicle we encourage your staff to carpool.

>>Contact us to schedule a contract workshop for your program staff!

____________________________________________________________________________________

Gear Library

Where is the gear library?

The gear library is located in South Seattle at 847 Hiawatha Place S, Seattle WA 98144.

Who can use the Gear Library?

The Gear Lending Library is free for schools and community-based organizations who want to borrow outdoor gear for hiking and camping trips with school-aged youth.

Do I have to attend a workshop?

Trip leaders who wish to borrow gear must first attend a Outdoor Leadership Training workshop and a Gear Library Orientation. Gear Library Orientations are held during the evening on the fourth Thursday of every month. You can attend an orientation before or after your workshop.

Can my youth group borrow gear for trail work?

The Gear Library is also available to support groups who wish to volunteer on a WTA-led trail work party, but don't have access to appropriate clothes and sturdy footwear. In these cases, the workshop requirement may be waived, but the trip leader will still be required to attend a Gear Library Orientation.

How do I request to borrow gear?

Trip leaders who wish to borrow gear must first attend a Gear Library Orientation, which covers the request process as well as pick up and drop off logistics. You can review some of the gear lending policies and see the current gear catalog on the Gear Library page.

What if I can’t make the agreed upon gear check out or return time?

If you can't make the scheduled pick up or drop off time, or if you have any other questions or issues, please contact gearlibrary@wta.org.

What if I lose gear or find that I don't have all the gear at the time of drop off?

If you lose gear, you will be charged a replacement fee to support the continued use of the gear library. A gear replacement fee list will accompany the gear checkout packet that you receive when picking up gear from the library. The general replacement fee is 50% - 75% of the retail cost of the item.

What if my company is interested in supporting the program with a cash donation or gear donation?

If you or your company are interested in supporting outdoor youth trips through the Gear Lending Library, please contact Jean Bartholomew at 206-785-6442 or jbartholomew@wta.org.

Can I donate my personal gently used gear?

Most of the gear in the library is comprised of new and uniform items procured through the support of manufacturers. WTA does accept individual used items on a case-by-case basis, depending on need and the condition of the item(s) in question. If you're interested in making a donation, please contact Jean Bartholomew at 206-785-6442 or jbartholomew@wta.org.

>> Learn more about the Gear Lending Library

The entrance to the Gear Library on Hiawatha Pl S

Shelves at the Gear Library with sleeping pads and bags

Dowels at the Gear Library with backpacks and trekking poles

____________________________________________________________________________________

Funding Assistance

WHO CAN APPLY FOR FUNDING ASSISTANCE?

WTA funding assistance is available for participants and programs or schools who have attended an Outdoor Leadership Training workshop and want to lead an outing for youth and families or seek to build their staff’s outdoor leadership skills. Workshop graduates who support the OLT programs priority audience can apply, but should carefully review the application criteria to ensure that their submission matches the intentions of the funding assistance.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR TO RECEIVE FUNDING ASSISTANCE?

Applying for funding is easy. From the funding assistance page, follow the link to the application form and provide your contact info and some information about your outing or proposal. Applicants are reviewed on a rolling basis and should be submitted one month prior to the trip or training.

WHAT'S REQUIRED OF A FUNDED RECIPIENT?

The reporting requirements after receiving funding . We ask that within two weeks of the trip, the leader should fill out a trip report and submit a one-page narrative about the successes, challenges and lessons-learned from the trip. We also love photos!

>> Apply for Funding Assistance

____________________________________________________________________________________

Online Community Support

How do I stay connected with what’s happening with Outdoor Leadership Training community?

To stay connected, join our Facebook group! We'll post program updates and upcoming events to the group's page. Group members can post questions, ideas, challenges and successes and everyone can stay connected around the goal to get more youth outdoors.

Why can't I see anything on the Facebook group page?

The group is private, so you won't be able to see any content or events until you join.

How do I join the Facebook group?

Request to join the group and an administrator will approve your request. Anyone can join the group, even if they haven't attended a workshop, if they're interested in staying connected and up to date with the program.

>> Join the online community support group on Facebook