Technical Training for Outdoor Ministry
The need for highly trained outdoor guides is higher than it ever has been. Today, more and more organizations (Christian and non-Christian) are starting to see the positive growth that the outdoors can bring to their staff, clients, and students. They just need someone to lead them safely and confidently. Could this be you?
The Outdoor Ministry Program is geared toward those who have experience in the outdoor environment, but now want to develop their technical skills in backpacking, mountaineering, and rock climbing, in order to have what it takes to lead people safely and confidently in an alpine environment. Along with the technical skills, you will walk away with an Avalanche 1 and Wilderness First Responder Certification. The goal of this program is for you to have the ability to safely and confidently staff or pioneer an outdoor ministry to reach the outdoor industry with the Gospel.
Why 11 months?
To train through different seasons
Here and in Montana and many other places in the world there are 4 seasons and each season brings with it a new challenge depending on what type of activity you are doing. Having 4 seasons also means we can teach a broader curriculum to provide you with more experience to add to your Resume. As you can see from the list, each skill will have its season to train in and spend time focusing on that skill. In the springtime you can climb a 10,000ft peak Alpine style, and only 3 months later you can climb the same peak with no snow where you might have to set up a hand line or a belay along a ridge.
To become proficient in your outdoor skills
You don’t become an outdoor guide overnight. Or even become one if you have taken a few classes on “Outdoor guiding”. You become an outdoor professional by spending large amounts of time and energy on different skill sets in the outdoors so you become a master at each one, to the point that it becomes second nature to you. Being here for eleven months will help you better understand/prepare yourself for guiding groups of people as you build your resume of experience.
To grow/mature in your personal life and leadership abilities
Being an outdoor guide doesn’t just mean you know all the cool facts that no one really cares about, but it is also knowing how to lead with confidence, dealing with and encouraging people, facilitating/debriefing small groups, teaching, organizing details, following your gut instincts, and having well rounded knowledge of why you believe what you do. This is why we spend so much time reading through different books, have one on ones, and attend lectures on different topics on top of our outdoor curriculum.
Working with SAR, EDTS, and leading missionary member/community trips.
You get almost a whole year working with other outdoor enthusiasts and free training when you volunteer with Search and Rescue (this also adds a very positive point on you resume). When working with EDTS and leading missionary member/community trips, it puts you into the leadership position so you gain the necessary experience and knowledge that it takes to organize the trips, activities, and advertising.
Upon application, you will also be asked if you want to be involved with our local Flathead County Search and Rescue organization. If you are accepted with them, you will be given opportunities for more training and a chance to be involved with the community.
Built into this time, there is also a 5 week outreach to one of our Target Nations (Ukraine, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan and an undisclosed location), where we will use our outdoor skills to further His Kingdom and be introduced to existing outdoor ministries.
Here is a partial list of the outdoor curriculum:
- Rock climbing 1 and 2
- Winter camping/survival
- Leave No Trace
- Wilderness First Responder certification
- Avalanche 1 certification
Because we are training not just to improve our skills, but to influence those around us, we will also be focusing on growing spiritually and in leadership. This will be done with reading, lectures, worship, one-on-ones, and intercession.
*Cost Includes: Room and Board, training, travel, and some required gear.
*YWAM Montana-Lakeside operates under special use permits with the Flathead and Kootenai National Forests and is an equal opportunity provider*