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Outdoor Leadership

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Outdoor Leadership

Outdoor Leadership: Theory and Practice will help you

Outdoor Leadership: Theory and Practice is the foundational course text and professional reference for learning and developing outdoor leadership competencies. The authors, experienced outdoor leadership instructors who have worked in a variety of outdoor settings, outline the steps to mastering eight core competencies that not only help you develop leadership abilities but also help you meet current professional standards:

The book covers these competencies in a real-world context. Chapter-opening stories provide a framework for the chapter content, and learning activities and numerous examples from North America help you apply that theory and master each competency. In addition, you'll be guided through a series of activities in developing and showcasing leadership abilities through a culminating professional development portfolio.
Outdoor Leadership: Theory and Practice provides the foundational knowledge required of successful outdoor leaders. Part I discusses the concepts, history, and evolution of outdoor leadership, including the diverse natural and cultural outdoor settings in which leaders work. Part II covers the components of leadership theory with chapters focusing on personal development, group dynamics, facilitation of outdoor pursuits and interpretation, and judgment and decision making. There is also a chapter on values and ethics, which includes discussion of professionalism and moral development. Part III explores teaching and facilitation with discussions on behavior and development, group development, challenge course leadership, and experiential education. Part IV explores resource and program management with discussions on parks and protected areas, environmental stewardship, program design, safety and risk management, and expedition planning.
Through its learning activities, its numerous practical examples, and its step-by-step portfolio development, Outdoor Leadership: Theory and Practice will help you improve your abilities as an outdoor leader.
Introduction: Building Core Competencies
Part I. Foundations of Outdoor Leadership
Chapter 1. The Journey Begins
What Is Outdoor Leadership?
Understanding Leadership in Outdoor Education and Recreation
Professional-Development Portfolio
Selected References
Chapter 2. History of Outdoor Leadership
Dude Ranches and Guide Services
Organized Camping Movement
Scouting Movement
Outward Bound Movement
Professionalization of Outdoor Leadership
Selected References
Chapter 3. Professional Development
Elements of a Profession
Places That Use Outdoor Leaders
Professional Associations
Professional Practice
Selected References
Part II. Outdoor Leadership Theory
Chapter 4. Theories of Leadership
History of Leadership
Early Leadership Theories
Transactional Versus Transformational Leadership
Contemporary Leadership Theories
Selected References
Chapter 5. Leadership in Practice
Leadership Qualities
Leadership Power
Leadership Styles
Leadership Models
Caring Leaders
Selected References
Chapter 6. Judgment and Decision Making
Decision-Making Process
Decision-Making Models
Decision-Making Methods
Decision Making and Leadership Styles
Selected References
Chapter 7. Values and Ethics
Values and Ethics in Outdoor Leadership
Six Stages of Moral Development
Ethic of Care and Ethic of Justice
Professionalism in Outdoor Leadership
Model for Ethical Decisions
Selected References
Part III. Teaching and Facilitation
Chapter 8. Understanding Facilitation
Goals of Facilitation
Challenges in Facilitation
Developing Facilitation Skills
Selected References
Chapter 9. Facilitating Personal Development
Nature of Human Development
Theories of Human Development
Considerations for Outdoor Leadership
Selected References
Chapter 10. Facilitating Group Development
Group Development Theory
Process of Group Development
Expedition Behavior
Selected References
Chapter 11. Challenge Course Leadership
Challenge Course Profession
Challenge Course Programs
Key Leadership Functions
Leader Competencies
Selected References
Chapter 12. Teaching Strategies
Experiential Education
Outdoor Teaching Techniques
Lesson Planning
Selected References
Part IV. Resource and Program Management
Chapter 13. Parks and Protected Areas Management
General Concepts in Natural Resource Management
Federal Parks and Protected Areas Management
Wilderness and Backcountry Areas
State and Municipal Parks and Protected Areas Management
Using Parks and Protected Areas
Selected References
Chapter 14. Environmental Stewardship
Environmental Ethics
Ecological Literacy
Environmental Preservation Through Education
Leave No Trace
Selected References
Chapter 15. Program Management
Program Design
Administrative Duties
Program Evaluation
Selected References
Chapter 16. Safety and Risk Management
Practical Aspects of Risk Management
Legal Aspects of Risk Management
Process of Risk Management
Emergency Management
Judgment and Decision Making in Risk Management
Selected References
Chapter 17. Expedition Planning
Trip Purpose
Selected References
About the Authors

Textbook for introductory outdoor leadership courses at the undergrad level. Reference for outdoor recreation professionals. Resource for outdoor recreation and outdoor education faculty who teach outdoor leadership theory and practice in a variety of courses beyond outdoor leadership courses.


  • Bruce Martin, PhD,
  • Christine Cashel, EdD,
  • Mark Wagstaff, EdD,
  • Mary Breunig, MS,
  • Outdoor Recreation Climbing Hiking - 9780736057318 - Outdoor Leadership
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