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Working in the Wilderness

A Bachelor of Science in Outdoor Leadership prepares students for work within recreational, educational, developmental and therapeutic agencies. Graduates become outdoor leaders prepared to provide effective and environmentally sound outdoor education programs.

Having experiences in nature is foundational to the program, and students regularly spend time in the field whitewater kayaking and canoeing, rock climbing, rafting, backpacking, caving and completing challenge courses. Having these varied skills—and specializing in a few of them—make YHC outdoor leadership majors excellent candidates to complete work experiences during their studies.

Recent Experiences

Assistant Director - Camp Elachee in Gainesville

Elachee has hosted quality environmental education day camps for over 30 years. Each week of camp uniquely blends traditional outdoor camp activities and inquiry-based learning opportunities.

Kayak Instructor/Head Aerial Guide - Nantahala Outdoor Center

The NOC offers whitewater rafting on seven Southeastern rivers, world-class paddling instruction in whitewater and flatwater, and more.

Adventure Director/Counselor - Camp Toccoa in Toccoa

This camp is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers a traditional overnight camping program and day camp program each summer as well as several adventure-based specialty camps, a horseback camp and counselor-in-training program.

Wrangler -  SK Horses in Estes Park, Colo.

Students worked in two locations: National Park Gateway Stables and Cowpoke Corner Corral in Rocky Mountain National Park. They led guided trail rides daily to guests into the mountains with trail destinations climbing to over 9,500 feet.

Field Instructor - SOAR in Balsam, N.C.

SOAR was founded in 1977 by an adult with a learning disability who believed that focusing on an individual’s strengths, rather than their deficits, was critical in ensuring success. Throughout the past 35 years, their programs have been adapted around the specific needs of the LD and ADHD youth they serve.

Counselor - Calleva Outdoor Adventures in Poolesville, Md.

For nearly 20 years, Calleva has built a reputation for excellence and innovation in outdoor education and outdoor adventure programming. 

Raft Guide - Whitewater Express

Students worked on the Ocoee River, which served as the location for slalom events during the Centennial 1996 Summer Olympics.

Group Leader - Ocoee Basin Canopy Tour in Ducktown, Tenn.

The students led groups on wooded and tree-based canopy tours with nine zip line sections and three swinging sky bridges.

Guide - Blue Ridge Camp in Mountain City

This activity-oriented, accredited summer camp strives to develop an independent camper within a community setting.

Recreation Manager - Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C.

For over 100 years, this has been a home for people seeking relaxation, recreation and renewal. Patrons can enjoy beautiful views from the aquatic center, which also includes canoe and paddleboat rentals for further exploration of the 200-acre lake.

Camp Counselor - Camp Talisman, Zirconia, N.C.

Talisman Programs provide exceptional summer camp opportunities for young people ages 8-22 with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and other learning differences. Since 1980, their ACA-accredited programs have been offering unique alternatives to ordinary summer camps.