Canada’s newest outdoor education leaders find happy trails at UBC

The Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC) offers affordable training and national certification

Register for 2015 OCC training programs through UBC Recreation.

July 21, 2014

On a hot July weekend, nine students took part in the first Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC) leadership course to be offered at UBC. The crew consisted of teachers and recent teaching graduates, senior staffers from summer camps and front-line community outdoor educators, as well as a regional representative from BC Parks.

Leading the course were Robyn Rankin, a longtime teacher with Vancouver School Board’s TREK outdoor education program, and Hart Banack from Curriculum & Pedagogy in UBC’s Faculty of Education. Together they explored outdoor leadership themes for working in basic hiking terrain: motivation, vision, trip planning, trip evaluation, and of course, team building.

At the end of the weekend, everyone succeeded in earning a Leadership Level 1 certificate from the OCC, allowing them to take groups into basic hiking terrain. Children's safety is paramount for the OCC, and working for an organization with a risk-management system is a requirement for all OCC-certified Level 1 leaders.

Children's safety is paramount for the OCC.

At $70 for two days of training, the OCC’s Leadership Level 1 course is affordable and accessible. The availability of a nationally recognized certificate meets the widespread need for training of front-line outdoor education leaders at the basic stages of development.

As well as finding the experience useful and practical, the group also felt a strong sense of comaraderie after spending two days together. One student praised Robyn and Hart’s teamwork, saying:

“I loved your openness and obvious expertise in this area. Looking forward to taking some more courses in the future!”

For its part, the Outdoor Council of Canada looks forward to delivering certification for more outdoor leaders – ultimately helping more children to get outdoors more often, and safely.

Learn more about the OCC.

Find out about upcoming OCC training courses taking place at UBC Vancouver: