Be an Outings Leader

Becoming a Sierra Club Outings Leader is a rewarding experience which cannot be simply described. Most often leaders find their fulfillment not only in being in beautiful places and educating others about conservation but also in seeing the joy when people connect with nature in personal and meaningful ways.

What types of Outings programs are available?

There are many opportunities to lead outings in the National, Inspiring Connections Outdoors (ICO) and Local outings programs. Whether you are just getting started, or want to diversify your outings, you can obtain information about what is available.

How do I become an Outings Leader?

The path to leadership varies somewhat among programs, but is fairly straightforward:
  • Go on an outing to see what it all about.
  • Be a current Sierra Club member, and at least 18 years old.
  • Complete an appropriate application and program-specific forms.
  • Participate in outings and get a recommendation from existing leader(s).
  • Complete a basic first aid class (some programs or entities may require higher level of training).
  • Complete a Sierra Club Outdoor Leader Training (OLT) Course which is appropriate for the type of outings you wish to lead.
  • Complete additional in-the field training as required by the appropriate Outings Chair.
  • Participate as an assistant on an outing.
  • Provisionally lead an outing under the guidance of an experienced leader.
  • Advance to leading your own outings.

How do I know whether or not I’d be a good Outings Leader?

If you have a passion for the outdoors, enjoy being with people, and have the capacity to communicate your enthusiasm and knowledge to others, you will be a great candidate for a leader.

How much time does it take to be a Leader?

The time requirements depend upon on the types of outings you are leading and your program's specific requirements. For example, leading for Local and Inspiring Connections Outdoors (ICO) Outings may only take a month or two to get started while planning for a National Outing begins 10-12 months in advance of your trip.

What is involved in being a Leader?

Once the outing is published, you’ll devote some time to screening participants to ensure their skills and interests are a good fit for your trip. You may need to secure the appropriate permits and make arrangements with any support staff. The reward, of course, is being able to spend time in the outdoors, having FUN and staying SAFE.

What do other Leaders have to say about being an outings leader?

Read more.

How To Get Involved

Whether you are just getting started or you want to diversify the type of outings you lead, download the Prospective Leader Information Packet to learn more about the outings programs and more. If you are interested in leading Inspiring Connections Outdoors (ICO) or Local Outings and are still not sure who to contact or interested in leading National Outings, please fill out the Prospective Leadership Application. This online application will be sent to the support staff at the Sierra Club who will forward it to the local chair who will follow up with you. Please be patient about this process as many of the volunteer leaders and chairs may be out leading trips!