Outdoor Leadership Program

The NMSU Outdoor Leadership Program (OLP) prepares students to plan, implement and lead outdoor recreation and/or cultural activities for the NMSU student body. Participants receive training in group dynamics, teaching techniques, risk management, wilderness first aid, Leave No Trace ethics, and outdoor skill sets such as backpacking and rock climbing.  Each semester, the OLP seeks highly motivated students who want to enrich their college experience by increasing their leadership skill sets. The OLP equips its students with practical leadership experiences to compliment their academic degrees and give them the edge in the job market after graduation. Get the most out of your college years, challenge yourself, and apply!

Eligibility Requirements

  • Current NMSU main campus undergraduate or graduate student in good standing with two semesters or more left for completion of graduation requirements.
  • Maintain a cumulative 2.5 GPA or above.
  • Maintain full time student status during Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Must possess a valid and violation free driver’s license.
  • Lift, balance, and carry personal and group equipment between 35-50lbs.
  • Interest in outdoor activities.
  • Desire to learn how to teach, lead, supervise, and provide fun and meaningful activities for the NMSU student body on campus and in outdoor environments.
A qualified student is one who meets the OLP’s eligibility requirements with or without reasonable accommodation. A student with a documented disability is entitled to receive a reasonable accommodation that will effectively enable them to participate in the Outdoor Leadership Program.

Training Structure

 All selected applicants enter the Outdoor Leadership Program as a technician, and will be invited to attend a mandatory Orientation Trip.

At a minimum, all technicians must complete the following requirements prior to becoming a lead facilitator and leading trips on their own:

  • Wilderness and Remote First Aid
  • NMSU Defensive Driving
  • Leadership and Facilitation Class
  • 1 successful observation trip in the role of a lead facilitator

Those interested in leading backpacking or climbing trips will have to attend additional skill specific trainings.

*All trainings are conducted as one day or two day overnight trainings during the weekends with the exception of Defensive Driving. Program participants have the option of completing their required trainings through the duration of multiple semesters. All trainings are held each semester so students can plan accordingly. Accepted applicants must actively participate in the trainings and program meetings each semester to remain in the program.

Benefits of the Outdoor Leadership Program

Community: Becoming a trip leader is becoming part of a family. Leaders run trips together, work, hang out, and have fun together.

Discovery: Trip leaders have an opportunity to introduce students to the great outdoors, bringing people where they have never been before and see their discovery. You’ll help people push boundaries, feel better about themselves, and find new and healthy ways to have fun.

Education: Your technical and interpersonal knowledge will expand. Through our trainings and development your proficiency will increase as well as how you lead others into outdoor settings.

Leadership: Leading trips provides tons of practical real world experience that will benefit any career path. It develops self-confidence, leadership, logistics and communication skills, teaching skills, and problem solving. Every trip can teach you something new about yourself and how you work with others.

Purchases/Rentals/Employment: As an OLP member, you receive free rentals from our Outdoor Center, as well as up to a 30% discount off purchases. A lot of our leaders become employed with Outdoor Recreation working at the shop, climbing wall, or instructing classes.

Free: As a trip leader, you can plan your ideal outdoor adventure to share with other students at little or no cost to you!

For additional information, contact Sasha Garcia at smirnova@nmsu.edu

To Apply:

Applications are accepted every Fall semester.  Applications must include:

Check back for Fall 2017 application deadlines.