Pre and Post-Conference sessions

Pre-Conference Sessions are opportunities to engage in-depth with leaders in the field. Sessions require additional registration at an additional cost.


WEA Certified Outdoor Educator Clinic (FULL)

Register Now on Whova

February 7-9, 2022 (Monday am- Wednesday afternoon)

Host: 2nd Nature TREC

The COE Clinic is a two and a half-day course designed to equip COE candidates with the tools and resources to incorporate WEA Educational Components into specific leadership training programs. In addition, emphasis is given to the actual process for conducting COL/OLTC courses. This clinic begins Monday morning and extends to Wednesday Lunch. Successful completion of a COE Instructor Clinic is one of the required components of a professional's process toward recognition as a COE.

Students will demonstrate competency in teaching and lesson preparation. Some work prior to the clinic will be required. Additional information and details will be communicated upon confirmation of registration. Please forward questions to

It was really exciting to hear the perspectives of such a quality group of outdoor educators. The direction of the WEA is inspiring and fits a niche of wilderness leadership that other organizations have not been able to reach. The COE clinic prepared me well for my upcoming staff training season and I am inspired to offer WEA COL to my incoming staff. The 6+1 curriculum fits our training objectives very well!

- Mike Odberg, HoneyRock High School Adventure Program Manager

More Information

Workshop: The Stories We Choose to Tell- A facilitation guide through the Wilderness Society's Public Lands Curriculum

Register Now on Whova

February 8-9, 2022 (12 hours total, Tuesday through Wednesday am)

Cost: $50 (100% of all fees will be donated to Everybody's Environment and Outdoors for All [BIPOC-led/serving local community-based conservation organizations])

As outdoor practitioners, much of our teaching and learning is done on and through our experiences on public lands- from our federally protected places to local city parks.  These outdoor classrooms, however, are not welcoming for all people, especially people of color.  Through truth-telling and inclusive narrative, The Wilderness Society’s Public Lands Curriculum helps educators create shared experience by learning about public lands, their history, and promise for the future.  Join us for a 1.5 day workshop that challenges the narrative that we’ve been taught about our shared public spaces and prepares instructors to facilitate experiences that can lead to deeper understanding of place and people.  


    • Participants will understand the importance of challenging the conservation narrative to create an inclusive outdoor learning experience.
    • Participants will become familiar with the structure and content of TWS’s Public Lands Curriculum as a way to create an open and encompassing learning environment.  

    • Participants will identify best practices for facilitating challenging discussions about public lands history.

    • Participants will feel prepared to teach a complete narrative in their learning environments. 

Facilitators: Jasmin Estrada, Manager of Partnerships, Appalachian Mountain Club

Megan Luce, Program Implementation Manager, Appalachian Mountain Club

This workshop is limited to the first 20 participants and will run with a minimum of 6 participants. Register by January 19, 2022 to ensure your spot!


Viristar: Risk Management for Outdoor Programs

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Wednesdays, March 2-30, 2022, online

Cost: $259 USD 

Course description:

Viristar’s Risk Management for Outdoor Programs course provides a comprehensive training on safety management for wilderness educators and outdoor leaders. 

The course is approximately 40 hours in length, spread over four weeks, and takes place online.

The course is suitable for managers and those with administrative or other leadership responsibilities for experiential, outdoor, wilderness, adventure, or travel programs, and for those who plan to be managers. No prior knowledge is required. 

Course Components: 

The course is composed of both self-study and video-conference sessions. These live calls, generally 90 minutes each, include seminar-style discussions, participant presentations, question and answer periods, and learning activities held in large and small groups.

In between video-conference sessions are Independent Work Periods. During these times participants complete independent work including readings, video presentations, quizzes, discussion forums, video-based role-play simulations, organizational self-assessments, and writing assignments such as a Risk Management Plan outline.

Course topics include:

  • Laws
  • Safety standards
  • Human factors
  • Equipment
  • Transportation
  • Insurance
  • Safety audits
  • Systems thinking

Outcomes of the course are:

  • Gain critical knowledge of best practices in outdoor program risk management.
  • Learn procedures, systems and plans essential to meeting key outdoor safety standards
  • Understand how to apply successful risk management strategies to adventure programs, experiential education, wilderness expeditions, and outdoor trips.


The course includes lifetime access to an electronic, online-based copy of the course textbook Risk Management for Outdoor Programs: A Guide to Safety in Outdoor Education, Recreation and Adventure.


Participants take short quizzes throughout the course and a final written exam. Individuals who fully participate in learning activities and successfully complete the final exam receive a certificate from Viristar valid for three years.

For more information, visit

Dates and Times for Training: 

The course will occur between March 2-30, 2022.

There will be five live videoconference sessions, generally 90 minutes each, starting at 11:00 am Eastern time (UTC-4/5), for five consecutive Wednesdays: March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30. In between these live sessions are independent work periods.

Live videoconference calls: 

Wednesday, March 2, 11:00 am New York time (UTC-4)

Wednesday, March 9, 11:00 am New York time (UTC-4)

Wednesday, March 16, 11:00 am New York time (UTC-5) (Daylight Saving Time begins)

Wednesday, March 23, 11:00 am New York time (UTC-5)

Wednesday, March 30, 11:00 am New York time (UTC-5)

Costs to Participants:

USD $259.

WEA will retain 30 percent of each enrollment; Viristar will receive 70 percent. (By March 2022, the standard enrollment costs for the course through Viristar will be $395, this $259 registration cost represents a substantial discount.)


Jeff Baierlein
Director, Viristar


Jeff Baierlein is the Director of Viristar, a training and consulting organization providing risk management, program development, and business consulting services to wilderness, outdoor and education organizations. Jeff is a former Executive Director with Outward Bound and the Boojum Institute for Experiential Education. He has degrees in education, human development, and business management, and 34 years of professional experience in wilderness and experiential education.

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

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