Outdoor Skills Courses and Certifications

Fall 2019 Courses

Certified instructors will provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary for managing wilderness emergencies. Click the linked titles for full course descriptions and registration information. Questions? Email outdoors@vcu.edu

CourseDateRegister by

ACA L4: Kayak Instructor Development Workshop (IDW & ICE)

9/21 - 9/22 (IDW)

10/18 - 10/22 (ICE)


Rescue 3 International Whitewater Rescue Technician

9/7 - 9/8 8/30/19

Rescue 3 International Whitewater Rescue Technician - Professional

9/7 - 9/9 8/30/19

Leave No Trace Trainer Course

10/26 - 10/27 10/18/19

Please review our Trip Policies and Procedures.


Fall 2019 Environmental Studies
The OAP is partnering with the Center for Environmental Studies to offer the following courses starting Fall 2019. To register for these courses, visit VCU eServices.
Iceland Trip Leaders

ENVS 260, Section 001 - Outdoor Leadership
Instructor: Karl Schmidt, kmschmidt@vcu.edu
Tuesday/Thursday, 3:30 - 4:45 p.m.
Prerequisites: None
Credits: 3
Capacity: 24

Whether researching in remote third world countries, or overseeing volunteer crews on afternoon work projects, effective leadership in the outdoors can mean the difference between success and failure of a project. This course is designed to introduce the fundamental concepts of outdoor leadership and how to apply those theories to both short term and extended field based experiences. Students will examine the broad scope of the outdoor profession, while exploring its value to environment professionals. Topics include historical and philosophical foundations of outdoor leaders, researchers and philosophers, theories of leadership, judgment & decision-making, values and ethics, teaching and facilitation, safety and risk management and environmental stewardship. In addition to classroom meetings, this course also incorporates several field components, including one overnight outdoor experience and participation in a full-day high ropes challenge course program. Using these experiences as an opportunity to apply concepts, students will gain a better understanding of how to lead and follow in the outdoors.

ENVS 361, Section 901 - Outdoor Team Building & Group Facilitation
Instructor: Samuel Albert, scalbert@vcu.edu
Tuesday/Thursday 5:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
Prerequisites: None
Credits: 3
Capacity: 20

Adventure experiences can comprise a wide variety of functions for any particular individual or group. Some of those functions are purely recreational, in which the focus of the experience is primarily on the activity itself. In other instances, the focus of the adventure experience may resonate more strongly with certain educational or interpretive goals. That is, the aim of the process concerns not only the immediate activity (experience), but also on how that experience can stand for something else in a person’s life. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of both the theory and techniques used to facilitate an adventure experience directed at maximizing the potential for benefits.

ENVS 591, Section C01 - TOP: Swift Water Safety 
Instructor: Joey Parent, parentaj@vcu.edu
Saturday Sept. 7th & Sunday Sept. 8th
Prerequisites: None
Credits: 1
Capacity: 15
The River Safety and Rescue class teaches recognition and avoidance of common river hazards, execution of self-rescue techniques and simple rescues of recreational paddlers in distress. Emphasis is placed both on personal safety and on simple, commonly used skills. Fundamental techniques for dealing with hazards that carry greater risks for both victim and rescuer, such as entrapments, and pins, also are also taught. This course is aimed at whitewater boaters interested in learning fundamental river rescue skills.