Course Dates:

April 29 - August 31, 2018

April 28 - August 30, 2019

    Course Description:

      This course aims at developing Christ-centered servant leaders for the outdoors.  This is developed through purposed instruction and training, then culminated with 2 months of experiential training.

    The course includes;

    • Outdoor Leadership Training (6-7 weeks)
    • Skills Training (6 days)
    • Camp Staff Training (4 days)
    • Experiential Practicum (July and August)

    Course Objectives:

    1) To equip participants to minister spiritually to campers and staff by providing:

    • Personal time with God
    • Discipleship training
    • Service opportunities
    • Involvement in camp ministry

    2) To give participants the needed skills and competence to be successful outdoor leaders and recreational users.

    3) To instruct in a wide variety of outtrip skills with the intention of increasing the ability of outtrip leaders to:

    • Teach skills to other staff and campers
    • More adequately govern the safety and suitability of activities the group engages in
    • Act appropriately and effectively in the event of crisis/emergency situations
    • Enhance the enjoyment of the experience by staff and campers alike

    4) To instruct in leadership and administration in order for outtrip leaders to be better prepared to take responsibility and control of the group.

    5) Equip outtrip directors to be able to encourage/enhance the interaction between staff and campers

    6) To provide outtrip directors with practical opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge in both supervised and unsupervised settings

    Course Outline

    • Navigation and Route Finding - 12 hrs. Training, practiced throughout the program
    • Campcraft - 12 hrs. Training, practiced throughout the program
    • Wilderness First Aid Bridge Course - 40 hrs. Course
    • Wilderness First Aid Techniques - 20 hrs. Training, practiced throughout the program
    • Legalities and Risk Management - 4 hrs. Training, practiced throughout the program
    • Leadership - 4 hrs. Session, development throughout the program
    • Equipment and Food for outtrips - 1 weekend trip + 16 hrs. Training, practiced throughout
    • Outtrip Programming - 4 hrs. Training, practiced throughout the program
    • Introduction to Weather - 2 hrs. Session, practiced throughout the program
    • River Crossings - 4 hrs. Session
    • Safety - 4 hrs. Situational session, practiced during training outtrips
    • Emergency Response - 2 hrs. Session, practiced throughout the program
    • Helicopter Safety - 3hrs. Session, practiced throughout the program
    • Improvised Carries - 3hrs. Session, practiced throughout the program
    • Avalanche Awareness - 2 hrs. Session, practiced during training outtrips
    • Nature/Plant Identification - 3 hrs. Session, practiced throughout the program
    • Environmental Stewardship - 8 hrs. Event, practiced throughout the program
    • Invasive Species in Plant Life - 2 hrs. Session, practiced throughout the program
    • Documentation - 2 hrs. Session, practiced throughout the program
    • Bear Aware - 2 hrs. Course, hopefully not practiced throughout the program

    * Course Outline is subject to change or be modified. 

    Course Textbooks Used:

    Some of the books that we have used in our curriculum development include:

    Outdoor Council of Canada Student Manuals: Field Leader (Hiking), Field Leader (Winter), Field Leader (Overnight), Navigation 1 (Using Maps), Navigation 2 (Using a Compass).

    The Mountaineers (2003). Mountaineering The Freedom of the Hills: 7th Edition. The Mountaineers

    Books: Seattle.

    Christensen, Anna (2003). MisAdventure: Rise to the Challenge!. Wilderness Alert: Vancouver.

    Graham, John (1997). Outdoor Leadership. The Mountaineers: Seattle.

    Jamieson, Bruce (2000). Backcountry Avalanche Awareness. Canadian Avalanche Association:


    Priest, Simon & Gass, Michael A. (2005). Effective Leadership in Adventure Programming. Human

    Kinetics: USA.

    Kjellstrom, Bjorn (1976). Be Expert with Map & Compass. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data.

    Sanders. J. Oswald (2007). Spiritual Leadership. The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.


      1. Growing Christian with a strong desire to minister to children and adults through the wilderness.
      2. Current First Aid certificate (minimum St. John’s Ambulance Standard First Aid or equivalent).
      3. Minimum 19 years of age as of June 30, 2017 or June 29, 2018.

      *To request an application please contact (link sends e-mail) or call the office 403-563-5120

      Evaluation of Outdoor Leadership Training

      Routeplanning Assignment (4 hours of work)

      Overview:  This is an assignment that uses all three of the students’ supplied maps to get them to practice route finding and map familiarization.  Using their maps and routeplanning resources they will decide which route to take between map coordinates, how to calculate elevation, decide which routes are preferable to others, estimate hiking distances and times, etc.

      Equipment and Gear Research (6 hours of work)

      Overview:  Students will be asked to research a certain type of equipment or gear that we use in our outdoor pursuits.  This could include, boots, backpacks, sleeping bags, etc.  Once completed, each student will give a presentation to the rest of the group and teach them about what they have learned.  This assignment is to help students research and present ideas to others, as well as familiarize theselves to outdoor gear.

      • Students are required to research, by any means, and collect as much information as possible about a certain type of equipment or gear.  They then practice teaching each other by presenting their research in a way that assists the other students in their learning.

      Leadership Assignment (6 hours of work)

      Overview:  This assignment will get students to analyze themselves as leaders. They will see what kind of leaders they are and what kind of leaders they would like to be.  This assignment can be used for future reference.

      • Students are asked to reflect on different situations or experiences in their lives that has shaped them to be the leaders that they are.  They are also asked to look to the future and see what kind of leader they would like to be.  This assignment allows them to document their progression in their leadership development and gives them an idea of leadership aspects they need to work on.

      Outtrip Programming Assignment (3 hours of work)

      Overview:  In this assignment, students will be programming a typical Intermediate outtrip.  It is meant to take them through all the steps of programming and outtrip and things to consider.  This outtrip plan could be used for future reference.  A summarized form of this assignment will be required for every outtrip that students lead.

      • Students plan a 3 day outtrip and document all of the programming that they would like to do on the outtrip.  This helps students understand that they need to be intentional about the programming they do for every outtrip that they lead.

      Individual Project (6-10 hours of work)

      Overview:  This project is to be completed by the end of COLTS training.  This way it is finished before summer sessions begin.  It should be something that would enhance Outtrip Directing in some way and would help with the development of outdoor programs.  Students are encouraged to come up with ideas of what they could do and then get approval from instructors.

      • Students are given ideas of projects that could be done, but are also given the freedom to come up with their own idea.  Ideas could include, making options signs or compiling game ideas.

      Individual Evaluations (On-going)

      Overview:  The instructors of the program see the value in working directly and intentionally with each participant therefore the instructor to student ratio is usually 1 to 2 or 1 to 1. They take a coaching style approach to leadership and will be intentful in the development of each participants skills and competence by recognizing the needs for their learning accordingly. All camp staff receive ongoing feedback with respect to performance, while the COLTS participants receive consistant feedback in regards to leadership development.

      Practical Assignments

      Bible/Leadership Studies:

      Overview: Periodically throughout the program, each student will be given 30-45 minutes to lead the rest of the group in a Bible or book study.  Scripture and books will vary each year.

      Outtrip Leadership:

      Overview: Each student will be responsible for leading a portion of each training outtrip (this could be a few hours or multiple days). This gives them an environment in which the can learn how to lead others with the capacity of making mistakes. Instructors take a back seat approach and assist each student in their personal leadership growth.

      First Aid/Emergency Simulations:

      Overview: Throughout the COLTS training, instructors will conduct a variety of First Aid and Emergency Simulations to give students practice in dealing with different situations.  Each situation is followed by group and personal debrief to aid in the students learning.  Risk management, group management, decision making and Wilderness First Aid techniques are emphasized during simulations.


      Overview:  Each student at the completion of the COLTS training partake of a 1 night solo in which they use all of the skills learned to navigate to certain locations and set up their own camp.  The solo is intended to give students time with God in reflection and as a chance to prove to themselves that they now have the skills needed to look after themselves in the wilderness. 

      Final Exam:

      Overview: The final exam consists of written and practical portions.  The written exam focuses on factual information learned during the training as well as situational questions and is in short answer format.  The practical portion changes depending on needs of the group and individuals.  It can consist of simple campcraft testing (tarp set up, bear line set up, fire making), and/or First Aid simulations that test the decision making and judgment of the student.

      Additional Training

      Skills Training (6 days)

      Participants will receive instruction in either rock climbing, canoeing, archery or mountain biking.  The purpose of this instruction is to gain a good understanding of safety, general skills, and how to lead that particular program at Crow.  The goal of the training is to prepare participants to teach that skill during the summer.

      Camp Staff Training (4 days)

      This training will prepare both COLTS participants and other summer staff to work intensively with campers. Cabin Bible study, evangelism and camper discipline are some of the topics covered.

      An orientation to Crowsnest Lake Bible Camp, its philosophy, purposes, and resources will be provided.  In addition, there may be a one or two night outtrip and introductory sessions in climbing, canoeing, archery, etc.  Both the skills session and the outtrip will be led by COLTS participants.

      Experiential Training (July and August)

      Throughout the remainder of the summer, COLTS will be involved in the various camps in whatever capacity is determined by the camp leadership staff.  Due to possible staff shortages, this may not be Outtrip Directing.


      Fees for the COLTS program are free upon a 4 month commitment to the end of Experiential Training. The fee for the course, but excluding the experiential training (here for May/June only) is $5200.00.

      *To request an application please contact (link sends e-mail)​ or call the office 403-563-5120