Skip to main content


Outdoor Experience Leaders Program

Have you ever dreamed of being a park ranger or a tour guide? Here is your chance to build skills and confidence as an Outdoor Experience Leader! 

The goal of this course is to prepare volunteers for leadership experiences with SDAS, primarily as Birding and Nature Outing leaders. With this training, you'll be able to lead:

  • Hikes
  • Birding or other nature walks
  • Stationary nature enjoyment gatherings, such as Big Sits

Are you worried that you don't know enough? It's ok! A little passion goes a long way. You don't need to know everything to be a good leader. You'll have the opportunity to explore and try on several different leadership styles within a supportive, participatory environment. You'll use some of the forms and planning tools that SDAS makes available to its leaders. And you'll plan and execute an outing that can be scheduled and promoted by SDAS in the 2024-25 field trip season. 

Course fee $150 includes:

  • six weeks of instruction in the form of online meetings and in-person field experiences
  • course materials 
  • binoculars

Scholarships are available to University or College students, or people with financial barriers to participation. If you are interested in participating as a scholarship attendee, please register and select the "scholarship" payment choice.

After graduating this course, you can be eligible for leader stipends for the outings you lead.

Sign up now! The course is limited to 25 people. Classes are: 

Thursday nights from 6:30 pm - 8 pm

August 15, 22, 29, Sept 5, 12 and 19

Sunday mornings from 8 am to 10 am

August 25, Sept 1, 8, 15, 22



  • USFWS logo
  • City of San Diego

  • County of San Diego
    County of San Diego
  • State Coastal Conservancy
  • SANDAg transnet logo
    SANDAg transnet logo
  • Malk Nature Fund
  • Coastkeeper
  • UCNRS logo
  • San Diego Regional Fire Foundation logo
  • Americorps
  • Room & Board
    Room & Board
  • San Diego River Conservancy
  • National Marine Sanctuary Foundation