Ontario College Certificate in Outdoor Adventure Skills
Do you love the outdoors? With the Outdoor Adventure Skills program you can hone your skills and obtain certifications required for prospective employment in this sector.
Do you like working with people? The two-semester Outdoor Adventure Skills certificate program is designed for those who love the outdoors, and want to develop their skills, to train and certify prospective adventure tourism employees, and provide specialization for tourism or recreation students. You can obtain several certifications in this one program, in one timeframe, at one location. To acquire these certifications would ordinarily require travel all across Ontario, throughout the year. Certification is a verification process. A certifying body sets the criteria for acceptable standards. A service provider meets and tests for those standards before granting certification. In this program, you can obtain provincial, national and international certifications. These include:
- Basic Canoeing Level 3
- Canoe Tripping Level 2
- Wilderness and Primitive Skills
- Certified Hike Leader
- Bronze Cross swimming qualifications
- Wilderness First Aid
- Ice Safety
For more information on certifying bodies, jurisdiction, course hours and content view here. You can also find information here on training offered in the program. Training provides skills and knowledge to lead effective programs and expose students to the range of skills and programs in the outdoor adventure industry. Certification and trainings, combined with trip planning, trail design and construction, risk management, leadership and program planning are an attractive skill set to employers. Two field camps, in Fall and Winter, will give you the opportunity to really hone your teamwork and leadership skills - essential requirements for successful outdoor expeditions. As well, you will get a chance to participate in activities such as mountain biking, natural face rock climbing, winter camping, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and dog sledding. In addition to a diverse range of field experiences, the program includes visits to a variety of outdoor centres and the Canadian Canoe Museum.
In this program, you will spend almost as much time outdoors as inside the classroom, with three days of classes and two days of adventure skills and certifications training per week. You will develop professional skills while you experience personal growth and gain a deeper appreciation for the outdoors and the natural environment.
Upon graduation, you may decide to seek employment or to continue your education in a related program, such as the Outdoor and Adventure Education Diploma.
Program Mission Statement
We strive to provide a focused curriculum using outdoor experiential and traditional classroom techniques founded in sustainability, civic mindedness, self-esteem and respect for individual differences. We are able to meet the diverse needs of learners who enjoy alternative forms of learning and who wish to develop their leadership skills and foster a deeper connection to nature within others and themselves.
Is this You?
To enjoy the Outdoor Adventure Skills program, you do not have to be an athlete. The program has elements best suited for the reasonably fit, active individual. However, certain field trips and the field camps can be physically demanding. You will be riding, paddling, hiking and skiing and will also be carrying canoes and other equipment. People of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels have enjoyed Outdoor Adventure Skills. A certain amount of physical preparation will ensure that you get the most from your experience. To best prepare yourself for the program, you should be able to perform the following self test of course preparedness:
- Ride a mountain or fat tired bike for 6 km over uneven terrain in less than an hour
- Hike a moderate trail with a full day pack for 3 km in less than an hour
- Using any stroke, swim 10 laps of a 25 metre pool without stopping
- Paddle a canoe with a partner for 3 hours covering 9 km with one 5 minute break every hour
- Carry a 65 pound canoe, tandem, over a 500 metre portage
- Cross country ski, on rolling groomed trails, keeping a pace of 4 km per hour.
Some of the career opportunities include working for traditional and non-traditional adventure tourism outlets and in partnership with travel operators and other segments of the tourism industry. You might also find employment with recreational facilities, government agencies, parks, marine facilities, resorts, camps, outdoor education centres or specialty outdoor equipment stores.
Employment in the field of outdoor adventure often requires a clean criminal record.
Minimum Admission Requirements
- OSSD with the majority of credits at the Workplace (E) level, including English.
When Workplace (E) is the minimum course level for admission, (C) and (U/C) courses are also accepted.
Prior to the start of first semester, students must obtain Standard First Aid and CPR level C certificates from one of the following organizations:
- Lifesaving Society
- St. John's Ambulance
- Canadian Red Cross
- Canadian Ski Patrol
If you are 19 years of age or older before classes start, and you do not possess an OSSD, you can write the Canadian Adult Achievement Test to assess your eligibility for admission.
A Current Criminal Records Check (vulnerable sector included) is required before you can participate in one of the field experiences in semester two. This criminal record check is arranged by the organization providing the field experience, at no cost to the student. Please contact the coordinator if you have concerns about the criminal records check.