April Wilderness Training for Summer Staff

With warm weather on our heels and the start of summer programs beginning to creep closer, the Chingachgook Adventure Program is preparing for the start of wilderness trips with gear maintenance, facility management, logistic updates, and all of the work that goes into making trips safe and enriching. After 105 years in the business, we know that the best way to do that is by training our staff to manage off-site experiences and respond to incidents effectively.


Our first wilderness staff training welcomed our Adventure department’s first program of the year. During an unseasonable April snow storm, a group of our 2018 summer camp counselor made their way to Chingachgook for this hands on training. With such wintery weather, the crew stayed close to home, but had a productive four days of immersive training in the field. We will host two more wilderness trainings for overnight camp staff in May and June, alongside our three-week Adventure trip staff training starts up on June 8th and the last Wilderness training on June 12th. The spring is always an exciting time as we see more and more staff head to camp to prepare for the best summer ever! Click here to read more about the updates and improvements we are making to our wilderness and adventure staff training.


2018 has brought a number of revisions to our staff trainings. Training groups, previously a mixture of returners and new staff, will be split for the first time into groups by length of employment at Chingachgook. This division will narrow the types of skills and lessons each staff member learns, as incoming staff will work to develop their philosophical understanding of outdoor adventure and build their confidence in outdoor skills. Returners will have an opportunity to fine-tune skills they learned previously, as well as practice facilitating hands-on experiences of these skills with campers. Our most senior staff will train as summer mentors for incoming staff and will work on improving judgement while in the field. Our overall focuses for trainings this year are hard-skills, self-reliance, healthy judgment, and risk management.


The past ten years has seen significant advancements in the quality of training for outdoor adventure professionals. Chingachgook consistently updates field and response protocols to maintain an industry standard in risk management. We hope to see another jump in the effectiveness of our staff trainings after Chingachgook hosts the inaugural Northeast Adventure and Trip Symposium in November of 2018, where the year round Adventure team will work with leading industry professional in improving participant and staff experiences in the field by building a more engaging and well-managed environment.