Student Leadership

Interested in Helping Lead College Outdoors Trips?

READ THIS FIRST: If you have not worked for College Outdoors previously, but are interested in leading trips, we ask that you complete an Application AND a Trip Preference Form. If you have previously applied or have worked for CO as an SC/AL/TL, then you only need to submit the Trip Preference Form.

Below are the Student Coordinator Application and Trip Preference forms. We’ve also added a handy guide to College Outdoors’ Trip Leader Progression, which includes tips and information about the CO “Leader Ladder” and the “10 + 1 outdoors skills” CO expects of its leaders. Be sure to check that out, too!

  1. Insider’s Guide to College Outdoors Trip Leader Progression
    We encourage any aspiring leaders to review this page thoroughly, and don’t hesitate to ask any questions that come as a result.
  2. College Outdoors Student Coordinator Application - Received on a rolling basis.
  3. Trip Preference Form - Received on a rolling basis.



Our System
Most of our programs are run by student staff, all of whom started out as volunteers for the program and worked their way up our leader ladder— our systematic way of fostering and evaluating the growth of leaders in an outdoor education setting. Don’t know if it works? Read student testimonials on our system to find out for yourself. 

Who Leads Our Trips?
Our leadership teams are composed of Student Coordinators (SCs), Assistant
Leaders (ALs), and Trip Leaders (TLs) who actively engage in a feedback dialogue in order to build strengths, improve trips, and develop skills in outdoor leadership. Our TLs and ALs are all WFR-certified, and our TLs have all had considerable outside leadership experience. 

Other Ways to Get Involved

A great way to get involved beyond weekend trips is to attend the Thursday evening Open House sessions, where you can expand your outdoor skill set while engaging with the College Outdoors Community.

Go on trips as a participant! This is a great way to start to learn the systems and skills you need to have to be a great leader, and get to know current staff.

Application Information/Timeline
Student Coordinator and Trip Preference Forms will be received until all positions have been filled; however first preference will be given to applications received by the following time periods:

•The first Friday of school for fall semester trips, and
•The last Friday of fall semester for spring semester trips.

The applications are evaluated by our Roundtable student-run steering committee. Students will be alerted by email if they have received a trip for the semester. Anyone can apply and students will be picked based on availability and appropriate experience levels. 

Outside Leadership Experience Resources
If you’re looking to gain outside leadership experience in order to become a Trip Leader, please see this collection of resources to steer you in the right direction.


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at: