VOC's Outdoor Stewardship Institute (OSI) provides outdoor stewardship training to volunteers, land management agencies, and other stewardship organizations across the country.
Below you will find a list of the training courses we offer; please note that not every training is available in a given year. Browse our training calendar to view upcoming trainings or request a custom training for your organization.
Crew Leadership & Instruction
- OSI Crew Leadership for Trails
- OSI Crew Leadership for Ecological Restoration
- OSI Crew Leader Instructor Training
- Independent Stewardship for Trails
- Comprehensive and other Skills Workshops
- Introduction to Trail Design
- Crosscut Saw Skills Training and Certification Workshop
- Crew Chef Webinar Training
- Adult CPR & First Aid Training
- Adult CPR & First Aid Training Recertification
- Custom Trainings
Please note that fees are subject to change and cover all related materials and manuals; such materials are also available for sale separately here. Discounts are often available for VOC volunteers and volunteer leaders and are noted on our training calendar.
OSI Courses are offered both to those pursuing training for leadership positions within VOC’s volunteer program and in partnership with groups across the state. OSI has opportunities for anyone interested in expanding their stewardship skills! Please see specific course descriptions in our OSI Calendar to ensure you meet any necessary prerequisites for a training you may be interested in.
Crew Leadership & Instruction
OSI Crew Leadership for Trails: Through pre-workshop preparation online, classroom sessions, field exercises and role-playing, you'll learn and practice construction and maintenance of sustainable trails, leadership strategies and techniques, tool use, and safety. All trainees will receive a crew leader manual, a set of quick reference cards, and other materials that make for a successful and fun experience. All training topics are directly applicable to any nonprofit, agency, trail maintenance, or construction project! This workshop is ideal for those who have prior crew leadership or trail project experience.
OSI Crew Leadership for Ecological Restoration: Through pre-workshop preparation online, classroom sessions, field exercises and role-playing, Crew Leader Trainees will learn the fundamentals of restoration, basic planting, seeding and erosion control. They will also learn about tools and tool safety including tool identification, carrying, use and storage. Trainees will learn about how to assess risks to avoid injury, individual learning styles, listening skills, and conflict and dispute management. A successful Crew Leader will be able to assess the individuals that make up the crew, understand motivational types and be able to effectively acknowledge efforts of individuals and the team. By the time the course concludes, Crew Leader Trainees will know how to motivate individuals to produce the desired end result in a safe manner while utilizing the varied skills offered by ecological restoration crew members.
OSI Crew Leader Instructor Training: Kickstart your outdoor career! Learn to teach participants the OSI curriculum and lesson plans to be able to successfully lead the Crew Leadership for Trails or Ecological Restoration course. All trainees will receive an instructor manual, copies of the Recommended Trail Terminology for Colorado, and other teaching tools. This workshop is recommended for individuals who have previously completed an OSI Crew Leadership for Trails workshop or who have significant experience in volunteer leadership and land stewardship. Participants must be crew leaders with VOC, an equivalent agency, or have significant field experience.
Project Management for Outdoor Stewardship: This course is an introduction to the fundamental steps and best practices associated with Project Management for Outdoor Stewardship, focusing on volunteer-based projects. Trainees learn the basic steps to complete a project from start to finish, project team roles and the skills and abilities needed to be an effective project manager, and useful management techniques and practice skills necessary for successful management.
Working with Youth in Outdoor Stewardship: This course provides participants with i provide participants with information and tools that actively engage youth in the outdoors and plan youth outdoor volunteer projects. Trainees learn about team building, developmental stages, comfort zones, planning appropriate outdoor volunteer activities for all ages, motivating youth, and more.
Independent Stewardship for Trails: This one-day course uses a mix of online material, classroom review and field practice to teach volunteers the basics needed to perform basic trail maintenance independently or in small groups, and is intended for those involved in or managing trail adoption or similar programs. When the course concludes, trainees will know how to identify and perform basic trail corridor, trail tread and drainage structure maintenance, as well as how to recognize and report on other more complex maintenance needs that are beyond the intended scope of this training. Trainees will also be taught basic safety and risk assessment, along with how to appropriately work with and represent volunteer organizations and land management agencies.
Comprehensive and other Skills Workshops: Each year, the OSI calendar includes a variety of additional stewardship skills workshops. These may include but are not limited to: basic trail maintenance and construction, rock work skills including steps, walls and switchbacks, drainage structures, bridge building, timber steps, post-fire restoration, and comprehensive courses that offer the opportunity to learn multiple skills. Most courses are one- or two-day field-based opportunities. Contact us to find out more about specific skills trainings we can offer!
Introduction to Trail Design: Learn how to plan and design a sustainable trail. This two-day, introductory course is for individuals who are interested in learning successful tools and techniques for the assessment, planning, design, and implementation of multiple-use trails, according to sustainability criteria. The training will be taught using a variety of classroom lecture and discussion, field exercises and demonstrations, and group activities. This training is designed for individuals who have had previous trail experience and are familiar with the basic principles of trail design and construction.
Crosscut Saw Skills Training and Certification Workshop: This course will cover crosscut techniques, procedures, and best practices for clearing trail safely and effectively in challenging situations. It will also cover basic tool care and maintenance. Certification will be a recommendation that must be approved by each local agency or land manager where work with saws is performed. We hope to get everyone evaluated and certified, but this will depend on the number of participants as well as the number of qualified certifiers available to help. We may arrange for a second certification session if we can't get everyone certified initially. All participants must have a valid basic first aid certification for the crosscut certification or recommendation to be given.
Crew Chef Webinar Training: This introductory crew chef training is designed for new and existing VOC volunteers interested in cooking for VOC volunteers in some of Colorado's most spectacular places. Learn the basics of project kitchen support including proper meal planning, safe food prep, camp setup, cleanup and zero waste, and many other topics related to outdoor cooking management - all from the comfort of your home or office. As the old adage goes, behind every hardworking volunteer is a hardworking cook! Prior to the training date, you will receive an email with a link and instructions on how to access the webinar. And remember: two cooks are often better than one, so bring a friend!
Adult CPR & First Aid Training: What's more important than being able to provide life-saving care in cardiac, breathing, and First Aid? Such skills are easy to learn and using them can have an incredible impact! This course covers Adult CPR, AED, and First Aid for a universally applicable certification. Signs and symptoms of common injuries and illnesses are shown in sample scenarios and accompanied by the recommended steps to aid the patient while emergency medical services are en route.
Adult CPR & First Aid Training Recertification: Is your First Aid and CPR certification up-to-date? This course is intended for individuals who have received their certification in CPR and First Aid within the last year and need to recertify. The hands-on training involved will ensure you maintain the knowledge and refine the skills you learned previously.
Custom Trainings: Don’t see what you’re looking for? We can customize our curriculum to better suit your specific needs. Click here to request a custom training for your employees or volunteers.