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The Wilderness Education Association's 2022 International Conference on Outdoor Leadership (ICOL) will take place at the YMCA’s Blue Ridge Assembly conference center in Black Mountain, NC, just outside of Asheville, NC.  The 2022 ICOL is designed to deliver an inspired, practical, and motivating learning experience for attendees. The theme for the 2022 conference is: Advancing the Professionalism of Outdoor Leaders. 

We are excited to also announce that the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors' 15th Biennial Research Symposium immediately follows in the same location, February 11-13, 2022 (separate registration).

Conference Date February 9-11, 2022
Conference Location YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly, Black Mountain, NC (15 Minutes from Asheville, NC)
Schedule Coming Soon
Speakers Coming Soon
Pre/Post Conference Coming Soon
Pre & Post Conference
  • Certified Outdoor Educator (COE) Clinic
  • WFR Recertification
  • ...More to come



Categories of proposals may include: Pre or Post Conference workshops, General Sessions, Practical Sessions, Research Sessions, and Student sessions. We encourage submissions which advance the professionalism of outdoor leaders, specifically related to:

  • The WEA 6+1 curriculum
  • Technical Outdoor leadership skills and industry best practices
  • Advocacy and change in outdoor leadership
  • Solutions addressing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in relation to outdoor leadership

We invite students, practitioners and academics to submit proposals for one or more of the following workshop categories. All session proposals should be 15minute, 30 minute, 60 minute or up to 3 hours for practical sessions.

*Presenters are expected to present in person and that they will need to register at the discounted conference presenter rate on the conference registration page.

WEA 2022 ICOL Submission Form


PRE or POST - CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS: Occurring before or after regular conference programming, these workshops are a space for concentrated learning and experiences with specific and tangible outcomes, i.e., certifications, other credentialing, organizational training, etc. Pre- and post-conference workshop providers are not required to attend the conference and are thus not required to register for the conference. 

GENERAL SESSION:The General Sessions allow for engaging and interactive exploration of evidence-based ideas, research, and practices within the WEA 6+1 curriculum. We encourage submissions related to the conference theme. These sessions require engaging facilitators equipped with high-impact visuals and experiential techniques to challenge attendees in knowledge and skill development. These sessions tend to appeal to a more general audience with thought-provoking and research-supported insights and applications.

PRACTICAL SESSION: Student-centered, problem-based, experiential, and collaborative (SPEC) sessions rooted in practical experience, e.g., demonstrating an innovative method for teaching snow shelters, or maintaining XC skis, or kitchen setup in the winter. Share your expertise with implementing high-quality, SPEC learning moments in the outdoor classroom. Preference is given to those proposals with a clear emphasis on transferable leadership and educational skills. 

RESEARCH SESSION: The Research Sessions may include accepted oral and poster presentations (or you are welcome to do both) that focus on empirical and conceptual research in the area of outdoor leadership training and development. A designated time will be scheduled for poster displays.Presenters will have 15 minutes to present their research, followed by five minutes of questions.A typical abstract submitted will include a literature review, statement of purpose/need for the study, methods used, results, discussion, and references. Data analysis does not need to be completed by the submission deadline but is expected to be completed by the final abstract submission date prior to the conference. 

STUDENT SESSION: The Student Sessions at the WEA conference are an ideal time for students to design and deliver a workshop to other students and conference attendees in a warm and friendly environment. The Student Session Block is a dedicated time for students to get comfortable presenting personal experiences on WEA courses or in outdoor leadership academic programs, or insights for improving training and leadership development from their perspective. 

WEA 2022 ICOL Submission Form


  1. You will need to fill out a new submission form for each presentation or workshop.
  2. The deadline for proposals is November 15, 2021 - MIDNIGHT PST
  3. Preference will be given to speaker presentations that:
    • Align with the conference theme: Advancing professionalism of outdoor leaders, focus on the following topics: WEA 6+1 curriculum; outdoor leadership standards; professionalization of outdoor leadership; advocacy and change in outdoor leadership and diversity, equity and inclusion.
    • Emphasize leadership, educational skills, and developing judgment.
    • Incorporate stories, examples, case studies and best practices.

Wilderness Education Association, Inc.
151 NC Highway 9, Ste B
Black Mountain, NC 28711

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