Interested in Trip Leading?

Each year the program hires and trains new leadership to help our incoming students transition into life at Franklin Pierce.  It’s an exceptionally important role and only the most positive mentors will be considered.  This outdoor program is a great way for students to connect with peers, while learning to overcome challenges and learn new skills.  Trip leaders are the catalysts that allow students to develop as a group.

What is involved in being a trip leader?

Trip leaders begin training the first week of August.  Training includes wilderness first aid training and CPR offered by SOLO.  Course info is listed on their website:  http://www.soloschools.com/index.cfm?event=course.wfa

Following WFA/CPR training leaders-in-training take to the woods and rivers to go over basic backcountry living skills along with specific competencies in backpacking, kayaking, and mountain biking.  Specific training will involve the following:

Backpacking:  How to pack a backpack, fitting your pack, trail etiquette, and blister awareness.

Kayaking:  “Rig to flip”, river rescuing, river navigation, river signals, proper fitting for personal flotation device (PFD), paddle strokes, and kayak fit adjustments.

Mountain Biking:  Bike safety and basic maintenance, bike handling, obstacle awareness, pannier/trailer use, and bike gearing.

Basic Backcountry Living Skills:  Campsite management, campsite selection, Leave No Trace principles (www.lnt.org ), stove lighting, backcountry cooking*, allergy sensitivity, map and compass skills, and a full competency in risk management.  

 *As we all know... nutrition while out in the backcountry is very important, therefore, upon completion of leader training, leaders will be responsible for creating at least one backcountry meal recipe to make participants while out on trips.

Regardless of what trip a leader ends up on, all leaders are trained in the three components to ensure a back-up plan in the event of an injury to a fellow leader.  We also train heavily in risk management, minimizing accident potential, group dynamics and social issues/concerns.  The goal in training is to produce confident, competent leaders who can handle most all of the challenges the course routes and participants will throw at the.

What requirements are there to become a trip leader?

Aspiring trip leaders must provide a résumé and complete the Pre-Orientation Staff application through which the student will provide their background/field training in program areas, discuss past leadership positions, and provide a trip log (see attached model).  Specific requirements for the trip leader position include the following:

  • Be able to discuss and show core competencies in at least one featured sport (backpacking, kayaking, and/or mountain biking).
  • Have an up-to-date certification in Wilderness First Aid*
  • Have a bus driver certification awarded by Franklin Pierce University*

    *Both certifications will be provided by the P.O.W.A Program at no cost
      if the prospective leader does not already have them.

Only candidates that complete and turn in all documents to Program Director Doug Carty will be considered.  Upon submitting the appropriate application, candidates will be contacted for an interview.  Program interviews are done in the field- either on a mountain bike ride, kayak excursion or hike through the woods.  Choose one of the three and make sure you’re prepared to be outside for at least an hour- unless there is lightning.  We will interview in the rain.

Open applications for vacant positions: accepted starting March 1st and close April 10th each year.

Questions on trip leading?  E-mail cartyd@franklinpierce.edu