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Outdoor Leadership Training Workshops and Gear Library Restart with New Safety Protocols

Posted by Loren D at Sep 22, 2020 04:47 PM |

Outdoor Leadership Training experiential workshops and gear library lending are starting back up with new safety protocols to support community groups and organizations with their outdoor learning plans.

School is (sort of) back in session and the Outdoor Leadership Training experiential workshops are starting back up. We're looking forward to supporting community groups and organizations who want to make outdoor educational opportunities a part of their plans. After developing strong safety protocols this summer, we are thrilled to be able to offer the workshops in a modified format as well as support outings by reopening our Seattle gear library.

We are offering our hiking workshop at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma on Saturday, Oct. 3. In order to operate as safely as possible, the group size and the time spent in person will be limited.

Youth outing by Sarah Ullmer
As the rainy season approaches, raincoats, boots and waterproof packs from the Outdoor Leadership Training Gear Lending Library can help make outdoor educational experiences safer and more accessible. Photo by Sarah Ullmer.

Finding a way to safely teach outdoor leadership skills

When the pandemic forced us to pause some of the in-person aspects of our program, we worked on creating a video series about critical outdoor leadership skills. There are positive benefits of experiential learning and value in connecting with others in the community, but for now, the videos will give workshop participants a way to gain a foundation in the skills before the workshop and will limit in-person group time in the field. We'll be able to focus on tips while moving on the trail.

Safe gear lending to support outdoor learning

The Seattle Gear Library is now open again! That means online Gear Library Orientations are ready for community groups and educators to sign up for on the last Thursday of every month. WTA's Andrew Pringle will be at the gear library on Tuesdays and Thursdays to facilitate safe gear lending. While we usually love for folks come inside and chat with us, and to bring back gear soon after their trip, we’ll be doing things a bit differently to keep everyone safe:

  • We’ll limit the number of appointments in a day and spread them out to limit exposure.
  • We’ll keep our masks on and stay 6 feet apart as we pass off the gear (think curbside pick up or delivery services). 
  • If you’re ready for some gear — let Andrew know using the gear request form. Once you have your request in, we will send you more information about our safety procedures.

A (Mobile) Gear library in Pierce County

We know lots of folks need access to resources during these trying times. We recognize that the Seattle gear library isn’t in a convenient location for our partners outside of King County. Until the pandemic logistics make it safe to open our Tacoma gear library location to the public, we have gear available to deliver to Pierce County community groups! For more information, contact WTA's Jean Bartholomew.

Wherever you are, we hope you’re able to get outside this fall. As always, the OLT team is here to help with anything  you need to have successful and safe outings.