Instructor Development Program

StovesThe Instructor Development Program (IDP) is an opportunity open to all AppState students, faculty, and staff members offered every Fall semester. 

IDP focuses on providing outdoor education and the instructor development curriculum for anyone interested in working in outdoor recreation and education. IDP Foundations & Essentials are special workshops held each fall semester for students interested in becoming an Outdoor Programs Trip Leader. 

IDP is also Outdoor Program’s professional development for current OP staff in all program areas, especially trip leading.

Being an outdoor leader is more than being able to climb or paddle; it’s a synergy of passion, training and experience. IDP provides you the tools to pursue a life of adventure. Whether you want to be Outdoor Programs Trip Staff, work for camps or other adventure programs, or  just to enhance your personal pursuits, IDP has something for everyone.







All the info you need is here:  

Download: IDP Information Sheet Updated 8.31.17

Students interested in IDP, please fill out a Candidate Data Form and turn it into Outdoor Programs.

Download: IDP Candidate Data Form Updated 8.31.17









Instructor Development Program Curriculum

1. Foundations: Take three Foundations workshops. These free workshops meet two times each for an hour and a half each - pick which times work best for you. The class schedule is located on the IDP Foundations website. You can sign up for Foundations courses in the Outdoor Programs Basecamp. Three workshops have been developed to provide insight to the rich history and key philosophies important to understanding your role as an outdoor leader, about how groups work together (or not) and how people learn, and about the role of risk in our programs and how we address adverse situations in adverse settings. Workshops include: Introduction to IDP and History, Philosophy & Roles in Outdoor Education, Risk Managment in the Wilderness Setting and Group Dynamics.

2. Participation: Sign up for two Outdoor Programs day trips, or go on one overnight Outdoor Programs trip as a participant. On these trips, you'll learn what Outdoor Programs is all about and see how Outdoor Programs Trip Staff work together. The Outdoor Programs trips calendar is available on our website.

3. Essentials Workshops: These free workshops teach you the essential skills for becoming an outdoor leader. There are 6 Essentials Workshops provided and as IDP candidate you're required to attend a minimium of 3 workshops. The workshops include Outdoor Leadership, Leadership & Learning Styles, Teaching & Facilitation, Debriefing & Communication, Trip Planning, and Decision Making & Judgment. The more workshops you attend, the more prepared you will be to "check out" to be trip staff. The clinics list is located on the Essentials Workshop website, and you must sign up in the Outdoor Programs Basecamp. You can attend essentials at any time, no matter how much you have done with IDP thus far.

4. Certifications: The following certifications are required to work on Outdoor Programs trips: Wilderness First Aid (for Instructors), Wilderness First Responder (for Trip Leaders), Epinephrine Administration, CPR/AED (included in the Wilderness First Responder Course) and AppState Van Driver Approval. The dates for each of these can be found here.

5. Apprentice:  After completing Foundations, Essentials, participating in two Outdoor Programs trips and obtaining the minimum certifications, you'll be ready to apprentice some Outdoor Programs trips. Apprentices go on Outdoor Programs trips for free, and they are responsible for working with Outdoor Programs Trip Staff to plan trip logistics, manage safety, and teach outdoor skills to participants. Once you are an apprentice, you will receive emails from Outdoor Programs that let you know about opportunities to apprentice these trips.

6. Trip Staff:  Depending on your skill level, you will be asked to join the Outdoor Programs Trip Staff after apprenticing enough trips to become an outdoor expert and completing the necessary certifications. This process takes a different amount of time for each IDP student. You will go through an "Instructor Check Off" session in the field, in which a current OP staff person will make sure you have all of the necessary skills to lead trips.

7. IDP Extras Workshops:  You're finally in the field working as an Apprentice or you've been a Trip Leader for three semesters but want to freshen up your skills, than IDP Extras are just the thing for you.  This is what we like to call our IDP Professional Development. The Worshops are not required, but are a great way to keep your skills current and even learn to fun new skills. Topics vary each semester, from navigation skills, rope rug making, backcountry cooking, wilderness medicine refershers, resume writing, and more. IDP Extras Workshops can be found here at the Essentials Workshop website.