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Outdoor Experience Leadership

What is the Outdoor Leadership Program?

The WKU Outdoor Leadership Program (OLP) in the Recreation Administration Program, Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport has been in existence since 1991. The WKU OLP began offering classes in 1992 within the Recreation Administration Program. The first WKU course was a Wilderness Stewardship Course and ran for 14 days in the field. Since that time, the WKU OLP has offered courses every year. In 2006, the Outdoor Leadership Minor was established and students began participating in a professional immersion semester. During this semester, students spend approximately 30 days participating in various expeditions.

What certifications does it include?

Students in the Outdoor Leadership Program have the opportunity to receive multiple certifications in a variety of outdoor offerings. These include: Project Wild Instructor, Project Wet Instructor, and Kentucky Water Watch Certification. Students completing the Outdoor Leadership Semester may receive certifications including: Leave No Trace Trainers, American Canoe Association certified instructors, and can complete the Wilderness First Responder Course as a component of this curriculum. The Outdoor Leadership Program also offers students the opportunity to develop various skills beyond the introductory level with courses including, whitewater canoeing, raft guiding, kayaking, and fly fishing. Students also participate in numerous service projects while in the OLP including the Warren County Blueways project trail maintenance, river cleanups, and KAPS Canoeing program.

Who are the instructors?

Dr. Steve Spencer and Dr. Tammie Stenger-Ramsey are currently in charge of the Outdoor Leadership Program at WKU and are certified Outdoor Leaders and trainers with the Wilderness Education Association. Their respective qualifications include: Leave No Trace Master Educator Instructor, American Canoe Association Instructor Trainer, Project Wild, Wild Aquatic, Wet Trainer and over 30 years in combined trip-leading experience. In addition to their status as Professors at WKU, they have extensive educational and professional backgrounds in outdoor recreation, leadership training with many years experience in backpacking, challenge courses, whitewater canoeing, kayaking, hunting and camping.


We have made every reasonable attempt to insure that our publications are educationally sound and do not contain links to any questionable material. Published material comes from authorized school personnel. Photographs of student participation in instructional and/or school related activities (i.e. team/activity/group photos) may be posted, however, students should not be identified individually by name. Individually identified staff photos shall only be posted with express written permission from the staff member(s). However, photos of staff member participation in instructional and/or school-related activities may be posted.

Web Creation

This site (and earlier versions of it) were created with the assistance of Thomas Harris, Johnathan Cosby, Dr. Raymond Poff, Jenna Smith, Benjamin Roberts, Michael Nunnally, Dr. Steve Spencer, and Sonya Bain.


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 Last Modified 12/5/18