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Outdoor Recreation Leadership

The Outdoor Recreation Leadership degree at Eastern Washington University prepares students to develop and lead outdoor recreation experiences for multiple populations.  The curriculum is grounded with a focus in leadership and uses theory and technical skill-based courses to provide a setting where students will apply leadership skills in a real setting.


The Inland Northwest makes a phenomenal classroom to learn basic technical and leadership skills in activities such as backpacking, whitewater boating, winter camping, rock climbing, mountaineering, and expedition planning.  Most classes include single-day and multi-day wilderness-based experiences in the Inland Northwest.  Students also take classes to learn how to manage risk, budget programs, manage personnel, and more. 


In addition to a degree, students will obtain other certificates relevant to the outdoor industry, such as the Leave No Trace Trainer, Wilderness First Aid, and Swiftwater Rescue through the American Canoe Association.  This program is fully accredited by the National Recreation and Parks Association.


Mission Statement: 

The mission of the Outdoor Recreation Leadership program is to create an environment that fosters personal and professional growth in order to develop competent and ethical outdoor recreation leaders who care for others, care for the environment, and manage risk appropriately; to develop leadership skills that are transferable to a personal and professional environment.

What will I study?

In addition to taking the core courses that are required of all recreation majors, outdoor recreation majors take a combination of technical skill and theory based courses including:

  • Outdoor Living Skills (wilderness backpacking)
  • Winter Camping
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Mountaineering
  • Outdoor Recreation
  • Challenge Course Practitioner
  • Outdoor Leadership
  • Wilderness First Aid
  • Expedition Planning and Leadership

Program Curriculum


1500 Hours Form

2018-2019 Internship Manual


What could I do with my degree?

  • Outdoor guides
  • Outdoor educators
  • Public and private camps
  • State and national parks
  • University outdoor recreation programs
  • Wilderness therapy programs
  • Non-profit organizations related to the field of outdoor recreation
  • Adventure tourism
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