Outdoor Activity Club

Community Service & Outdoor Leadership Certificate Program 

The OCC Outdoor Activity Club is a community service based outdoor leadership development opportunity for youth between the ages of 16 and 30 located in Calgary, Alberta.

Participants will gain 120 hours of volunteer experience in their community, learn how to lead themselves and others outdoors, develop project management skills, and receive certifications in outdoor leadership and first aid, and a certificate of completion for the entire program.

For their graduation project, they and their team will design and deliver their own outdoor experience for another group.

When: September 7th, 2022 – March 29th, 2023

This is a part-time program on evenings and weekends.

***Please refer to the full schedule of dates at the bottom of this page.

Requirements: Participants must be between the ages of 16 and 30 years old, be either a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or have been granted refugee status in Canada, and be able to complete a criminal record check and be able to work with vulnerable sectors.

There is no wilderness, outdoor leadership, employment or volunteering experience required, although it is welcomed. Participants are expected to have a positive and respectful attitude, open mind, willingness to learn, and a high level of reliability.

This is a physical program and participants will be hiking, paddling, biking and expected to go long periods of time walking or standing.

Participants must be able to make their way to different location all around Calgary.

What: This program uses outdoor activities/ sports as the vehicle to teach essential life, leadership, volunteer, and outdoor skills.

Through a combination of instruction, volunteerism and participant-led experiences and planning, this multi-faceted program strives to foster community connection and confidence in local youth. Participants will become outdoor literate, while learning to communicate and collaborate as part of a multi-cultural team co-managing projects from inception to execution. Participants will leave feeling empowered and inspired by the benefits of being active community members.

Certifications and skills gained:

  • 120 hours of community service experience
  • Wilderness First Aid Certification
  • Outdoor Council of Canada Field Leader Certification
  • Outdoor competence & confidence
  • Map and compass
  • Leave no trace
  • Animal awareness
  • Fire building
  • Group management
  • Paddle skills – seasonal
  • Climbing skills – seasonal
  • Camping skills
  • Safety & risk management skills
  • Project management skills
  • Communication, collaboration, and relationship building
  • Self-efficacy and resiliency


Employability: Participants will be learning and practicing essential employability skills such as leadership, followership, giving and taking feedback, respectful communication, conflict resolution, debriefing, project management and initiative taking. Participants have the chance to leave with an employment reference.

Volunteerism: This program will introduce participants to the value of community service, and different types of options that are available to them in the city. Participants will also gain experience volunteering for different local organizations.

Community: This program will create a cohort of participants from different backgrounds who will collaborate to complete projects. This cohort community will also integrate with the Calgary community at large to create meaningful connections.

Leadership: Whether it is group management, assessing risk, influential leading, public speaking & instruction, participants will learn and practice many different ways to lead.

Outdoor Literacy: This program will instill the essential skills, knowledge and motivation required to become physically active in low-risk outdoor settings. This cluster of attributes can be a fundamental asset for those who want to be ‘active for life’.

Varied focus: Unlike some other programs, this program has a multi-faceted approach where participants are learning many skills that not only help with outdoor literacy, but also who are empowered to take on future initiatives and leadership within their community.

Cost: Unique to any other outdoor leadership program, this one has no monetary cost. This gives the opportunity to participants who might not otherwise be able to attend to take part. The cost of a professional outdoor leadership course like this might cost up to $3000 normally.

Participants will sign a contract to establish their intent to be reliable, respectful, and commit to planning and executing both a self-led activity for the cohort as well as a self-led activity for another group.

Applications for fall 2022 / winter 2023 are closed

Before applying, please reference the full schedule of dates.

Do you have questions?

Please contact Kate Hamilton, Program Director


Part-time program begins September 7th, 2022.

On weeknights we will meet from 5:00pm – 8:00pm, and on Saturdays we will be out all day.

Dates: In addition to the dates below, participants are required to complete 4 volunteerism days on their own time. This could be part of an alumni organized volunteer day that we organize.       

Full-time program begins on June 27th.         

Dates: September 7, 10, 14, 21, 24-25 (overnight), 28; October 5, 8, 12, 19, 22, 26; November 2, 5, 9, 16, 19, 23, 30; December 3, 7, 14, 17, 21; January 4, 11, 14, 18, 25, 58; February 1, 8, 11-12, 15, 22, 25-26; March 1, 8, 15, 22, 24-26 (overnight), 29