The Young Adult Leadership Expedition focuses on developing outdoor leadership skills and exploring current conservation issues in Montana, all while backpacking and paddling canoes through some of the wildest places in the state.
This 14-day backpacking and paddling course for 18-22 year olds is designed to expand upon the same foundational backcountry skills delivered on every MWS expedition: campcraft, cooking, Leave No Trace® land stewardship principles, and group communication and decision-making. In addition to delivering these essential outdoor skills, experienced MWS instructors will hone each student’s leadership abilities, helping them to develop high-level group facilitation skills applicable in wilderness settings and beyond. Students will have real opportunities to practice leading a group and managing risk in a complex wilderness context while backpacking and while canoeing on a remote river stretch; we’ll instruct in evaluating hazards, choosing travel routes, and anticipating group needs in wild settings. Along the way, we’ll provide useful toolkits for engaging with people and perspectives different from your own, and for direct communication based in empathy, compassion & respect. While on the river, students will learn & practice fundamental and advanced canoe strokes, handling, & moving water rescue techniques, and the team will practice rigging for both travel and rescue.
In partnership with our wilderness risk management and communication curriculum, students will engage one another in complex conversations about current land and conservation issues in Montana. MWS staff will facilitate and moderate discussions about various perspectives on some of the most imminent challenges facing wild spaces in our state and the Rocky Mountain West, giving students a deeper understanding of the work needed to protect them and the nuances of wildlife and ecosystem management. We’ll provide plenty of space for students to simply be on the land and strengthen their own personal connection to wild places through immersion in wilderness.
Are you interested in working in the outdoor industry? This expedition is particularly appropriate for anyone interested in becoming a professional outdoor educator. We’ll provide mentorship and personal development plans to help you reach your goals and build a foundation for managing groups in wilderness settings.