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Outdoor Leadership Class






Scholarship & Endowment


Trip Instructor Process


Professional Certifications


How Do I Get Involved


Additional Programs & Services


The UTOP mission is to provide the university community with outdoor adventure, recreation and education. Programs will be inclusive to people of all backgrounds and abilities and will contribute to the holistic well-being and academic experience of the university. The UTOP staff has identified values we feel are worth-while to pursue and share. These values form the basis of how we approach our programming, our interactions with others and ourselves. We strive to pursue these values with excellence, professionalism and always while having fun. Values include: ~ Safety and Health ~ Skills Acquisition ~ Community ~ Leadership ~ Environmental Stewardship ~ Personal Growth and Well-being

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O u r P h i l o s o p hy

Current studies have shown that educational and developmental outcomes are essential components of higher education. We utilize an experiential based learning atmosphere that offers intentional, purposeful and directed learning outcomes. These experiences will be enhanced by your goals & commitment level.

ď‚? Experiential Learning ď‚? A philosophy & methodology in which educators purposefully engage the learners in direct experience & focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills & clarify values.

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This 2 credit class is offered each fall & is open to anyone interested in outdoor leadership development. It is also the beginning process for those interested in working as a Trip Leader with UTOP. Our teaching and learning style is based on the theories of adventure leadership & experiential education. This process begins with an outdoor leadership curriculum based on proven theory, foundational technical skills and transferrable leadership education. This is then refined by real experience and honed by continued training & mentorship.

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Q: Are there additional fees associated with the Outdoor Leadership course? A: Yes, the course includes 3 off campus adventure trips which are cost shared & are all inclusive (food, camping, transportation, equipment, etc.). There is also a fee associated with each certification offered (LNT & W.F.R. ~ not required if not seeking to be a UTOP Instructor). Q: Are only students who are interested in becoming Instructors for the Outdoor Program allowed to take the Outdoor Leadership class? A: No, the class is also open to anyone interested in outdoor, experiential and adventure based leadership. Q: Do I have to have any experience to get involved? A: No, but previous outdoor and/or teaching experience will be helpful in the Instructor selection/hiring process. Q: What if I already have experience or a certification? A: Some students can opt to bypass this class, but they will have to demonstrate significant outdoor technical and teaching experience. If a certification is current, you would not be expected to obtain a new one. Q: Where do I register for the Outdoor Leadership class? A: The class is a part of the Kinesiology department. However, you must have permission from the instructor to sign up. After interviews, names will be sent to the department to add students to the class. Q: Where can I get more information? A: More information can be obtained by visiting the UTOP Outdoor Center located on the bottom floor of TRECS.

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Scholarship & Endowment Funds This scholarship was developed in honor of one of S.O.L.E.’s true outdoor leaders as a lasting tribute to the enthusiasm & passion Robert displayed for outdoor education. This scholarship is available to one student every year and will fund all aspects of the Outdoor Leadership Course & required certifications.


ENDOWMENT FUND The RecSports Endowment funds are intended to support the department & its students through a variety of stipends, scholarships & grants that can be utilized for professional development programs such as conferences, trainings and certifications.

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Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awaken people’s curiosity. It is enough to open minds, do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If there is some good flammable stuff, it will catch fire. - Anatole France

The S.O.L.E. Trip Instructor Process

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RecSports UTOP


Student Outdoor Leadership Education


Student Outdoor Leadership Education

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Responsibilities Competencies

•Techni Proficiency to program relevant activities good judgment & decision making skills •Maturity, responsibility & integrity Safety consciousness •Proffessional •Teaching ability •Effective communication skills •Ability to create a positive program atmosphere •Organizational skills •Flexible leadership style •Appropriate facilitation skills •Group management skills •Servant leadership •Commitment to program excellence •Commitment to student-centered program •Knowledge of & ability to implement UTOP

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Responsibilities o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

Technical Proficiency in program relevant activities Good judgment & decision making skills Maturity, responsibility & integrity Safety consciousness Professional Teaching ability Effective communication skills Ability to create a positive program atmosphere Organizational skills Flexible leadership style Appropriate facilitation skills Group management skills Servant leadership Commitment to program excellence Commitment to student-centered programming Knowledge of & ability to implement UTOP philosophy

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Competencies Completing core competencies are the steps to be taken to increase one’s role in the Outdoor Leadership process. These are minimum standard checklists, including both hard and soft skills, that must be met and are included in the following areas:

General Trip Leading, Climbing, Whitewater and Cycling. As these are completed leaders will progress through the cycle of

Apprentice, Assistant Instructor & finally Instructor.

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Apprentice o The title for those in the initial training stage o Class is focused on the outdoor educator’s role o Long term interview for the S.O.L.E. staff positions o Medical & LNT certifications o S.L.O.P. Trip o Will begin technical track trainings


o Work in a supporting role on UTOP trips o Self-motivated skills acquisition o Mentored by Pro-staff & Instructors o Teach Activity class to new S.O.L.E. staff o Engage in mutual evaluations o Service project


o Help with O.L. Class o Solid technical & soft skills o Understanding of personal leadership style and able to effectively work with other diverse styles o Plan, organize, implement and manage trips according to UTOP standards & values o Less grunt work, more mentoring and planning

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1st Year Fall ° O.L. Class ° S.L.O.P. Trip ° E.M.R.-W/W.F.R. ° LNT

Winter ° S.O.L.E. Final Trip ° Class Debrief ° Eval & Plan ° Apprenticeship

° Activity specific Instructor Training

° Trip Assistant

° Activity class

° Technical Track Training

° Trip mentoring



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2nd Year Fall

Winter ° Help with S.O.L.E.

° Trip Assistant


° Competencies

° Eat turkey/

° Trip Journal


° Instructor

° Teach new S.O.L.E.

° Aid in activity

° Instructor

° Mentoring

staff tech skills

specific training




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Wilderness Safety Consultants

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How Do I Get Involved?

1. Stop by the Outdoor Center for more information to help you decide if this is an opportunity you wish to pursue. 2. Complete a S.O.L.E. Application if interested in the UTOP Trip Instructor program or meet with the Outdoor Director if interested in just taking the Outdoor Leadership class. 3. 1st interview will be with current S.O.L.E. staff during the final weeks of the Spring semester. 4. 2nd interview with Administrative staff, also in the Spring. 5. Final selection process. If chosen you will be contacted. 6. Director will add students to the Outdoor Leadership class for the fall semester. 7. Class will begin in the fall. At this point no one is officially a UTOP employee. 8. The class will serve as a long term interview process, with regular feedback to better prepare applicants and to give a clear idea of their progress and possible outcomes. 9. Staff positions will be offered and the final fall component (7 day backcountry trip after the fall semester ends) will begin for this group.

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OUTDOOR CENTER The place to sign up for trips, rent equipment or plan your adventure. This is also where we meet for outdoor classes & clinics. The OC is located on the bottom floor of TRECS, in room 20. Bike Shop

Located in the Outdoor Center. This full service bike shop offers tools and bike stands for do it yourselfers. We also have bike mechanics available to teach & help with your bike maintenance or you can just leave your bike and we can fix it for you.

Vol Wall Climbing Gym

Bouldering, toprope climbing, skills clinics, training & competitions are available for students & staff of the university. The Vol Wall is located in the HPER Bldg. room 202-B

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UTOP Outdoor Leadership Booklet  

Outdoor Leadership & Instructor training information for the University of Tennessee Outdoor Program

UTOP Outdoor Leadership Booklet  

Outdoor Leadership & Instructor training information for the University of Tennessee Outdoor Program