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Trip Staff Apprenticeship

StovesThe Trip Staff Apprenticeship (TSA) is an opportunity open to all App State students every year.

TSA focuses on providing outdoor education for anyone interested in working in outdoor recreation and education. TSA is an apprenticeship program that includes trip trainings and workshops to become an Outdoor Programs Trip Leader. 

Being an outdoor leader is more than being able to climb or paddle; it's a synergy of passion, training, and experience. TSA provides you the tools to pursue adventures for yourself and with others. Whether you have outside experience or not, the Trip Staff Apprenticeship will provide all the necessary trainings for you to be successful. 

Trip Staff Apprenticeship Curriculum

1. Workshops (3 hours): Take three required foundational workshops. These workshops meet for about an hour. These workshops have been developed to provide insight to the rich history and key philosophies important to understanding your role as an outdoor leader. Workshops teach how groups work together, how to plan and prep for trips, and the role of risk management in our programs. Workshops include: Trip Leader History and App State UREC Mission, Trip Planning and Working with Participants, and Risk Management in the Wilderness Setting.

2. Trip Training Participation (minimum of 2): Complete a minimum of two Outdoor Program trainings. On these trips, you'll learn what Outdoor Programs is all about and see how Outdoor Programs trip staff work together.

Apprentices are encouraged to participate in all trainings. Apprentices must participate in the trainings of the trips they wish to lead.

A. Backpacking Expedition/Day Hiking
B. White Water Paddling
C. Flat Water Paddling
D. Alpine Tower and High Ropes
E. Rock Climbing & Caving

3. Certifications: The following certifications are required to work on Outdoor Programs trips: Wilderness First Aid (for Instructors), Wilderness First Responder (for Trip Leaders), N.C. Epinephrine Administration, CPR/AED (included in Wilderness First Responder), and App State Van Driver Approval. Dates for each of these training can be found here.

4. Apprentice/Check-off: After completing the workshops, participating in two Outdoor Programs trainings, 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. This process will continue to be interspersed with trip staff training and apprenticeship experiences. Once you have built skills in the field participants will have the opportunity to complete an "Instructor check-off" session in the field, in which a current OP professional staff member will make sure you have all of the necessary skills to lead specific styles of trips. The whole process takes a lot of time, but you will pick up a lot of skills along the way towards becoming a trip assistant with our program. 

After completion of a check-off, you will be asked to join the Outdoor Programs trip staff. This process is a different pace for every individual.

After Becoming Trip Staff

5. Trip Staff Extras Workshops: Trips staff are required each semester to refresh your skills and receive updates and additional training. Topics vary each semester from navigation, skills, backcountry cooking, wilderness medicine refreshers, resume writing, and more.

6. Refresher Training: Each year staff must attend return staff training to lead trips. You can only lead trips that you train in each year. Refresher trainings occur over the first few weeks of the Fall Semester., the Spring Semester, and the Summer. 

7. Trip Meetings and In-Services - Attend Trip meetings and In-Services Trip assistants and leaders are required to attend trip meeting and inservices throughout the year. 


Applications are now open for Fall 2023!