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Adult Leader Training

Basic Backpacking


Part 1

Outdoor Classroom

Friday, 10/6/23, 6pm - 9pm


Saturday, 10/7/23, 7am - 5pm

Outdoor classroom training will be conducted at the IRVINE RANCH OUTDOOR EDUCATION CENTER, 2 Irvine Park Road, Irvine, CA 92869, and consists of demonstrations of equipment and ideas on how to implement “High Adventure” into your unit, round robins covering backpacks, tents, clothing, footwear, sleeping systems, stoves and cook gear, wilderness electronics, backpack cooking and food, water treatment, map and compass, critter encounters and food protection, planning a backpack with Scouts including adult leadership

Part 2

Day Hike with Instructors

Sunday, 10/8/23

The day hike will include map and compass fieldwork.

Part 3

Weekend Overnight with Instructors

Dates throughout October and November


Practical application of the skills learned in class out in the field.  Dates will be set by January.​

Desert Backpacking


Part 1

Outdoor Classroom

Saturday, 10/7/23, 8am - noon

Have you always wanted to take your Scouts hiking/backpacking in late winter and early spring but do not know where to go? Exciting possibilities exist in the deserts of California, Arizona, and Utah. Try the Boy Scout Trail or California Riding and Hiking Trail in Joshua Tree National Park, Kelso Dunes in the Mojave National Preserve, Telescope Peak in Death Valley National Park, to name a few. The slot canyons of northern Arizona and southern Utah beckon adventurous Scouts and Scouters over Easter/Spring Break.

Part 2

Weekend Overnight with Instructors

October 2023 TBD

The overnighter is a 6-mile round trip out of the northern trailhead (Indian Cove) of the Boy Scout Trail in Joshua Tree National Park. An easy one to get you started. Pre-trek planning at the course.

Winter Backpacking


Part 1

Outdoor Classroom

Saturday, 1/6/24, 10am - 5pm


Have you always wanted to take your Scouts snowshoe backpacking in winter but do not know where to go? Or how to do it? Exciting possibilities exist in the winter wonderland of the mountains of southern California.

This course adds winter weather and resources to the skills you learned in the Basic Backpacking Course. The course topics include: (1) snow travel and snowshoe technique; (2) backpacking with a full pack using snowshoes and poles; (3) winter clothing and footwear; (4) how to camp and sleep in the snow; (5) how to cook and eat in the snow; (6) winter environment and hazards; and (8) ideas on when and where to go with Scouts.

Part 2

Weekend Overnight with Instructor

2/17/24 - 2/19/24


On the overnighter snowshoe backpack with instructors, students and instructors will snowshoe backpack into a backcountry camp somewhere in the local So Cal mountains (possibly the Eastern Sierra if local So Cal snow levels are inadequate). The date and location will be voted on by the students. The trek will be low mileage and low angle snow.

Non-Technical Ice Axe

Non-Technical Ice Axe Patch.png

Part 1

Outdoor Classroom

Saturday, 1/6/24, 8am - 10am


Are we going to learn how to climb frozen waterfalls in this course? No, of course not! The key phrase in the title of this course is non-Technical. This course will serve as an introduction to low angle snow travel using basic mountaineering ice axe technique, with and without MICROspikes on your boots. No crampons!!!


The course will include (1) anatomy of a mountaineering ice axe; (2) ice axe maintenance and safety; (3) how to carry and grasp an ice axe; (4) ascending low angle snow with an ice axe including climbing in balance, rest step and step-kicking; (5) making a direct ascent using the cane position, stake position, horizontal position; (6) making a diagonal ascent using the cane position, cross-body position, changing direction and traversing; (7) descending low angle snow including plunge stepping, backing down and glissading; (8) stopping a fall including self-belay and self-arrest; (9) introduction to MICROspikes.

Part 2

Day Hike with Instructor

Saturday, 2/18/24

The day hike in snow will be scheduled on a Saturday in January or February of 2023, where students will practice ice axe technique on low angle snow with instructors. Students will vote on the date…snow levels pending. Students taking the Winter Backpacking Course will do their ice axe training February 18-20, 2023.

Adult Leader Map & Compass Course

Outdoor Classroom


Scouts must learn map and compass for First Class Rank…right? How about us as adult leaders? How well do we know the subject? Here is your chance to be the map and compass “North Star” on your unit’s next backpack.


This course will include: (1) choosing a topographic map; (2) reading a topographic map including coordinate systems, datum, scale, and contour lines; (3) route finding with a map; (4) anatomy of a compass; (5) how to measure and plot bearings on a map; (6) how to measure and plot bearings in the field; (7) adjusting bearings for magnetic declination, which includes pre trip preparation of your topo map; (8) practice fieldwork with instructors at the OEC which will include a half mile round trip hike to the top of Koll mountain; (9) topographic map phone apps such as Gaia, All Trails and Guthook.

Important Forms Required for all Classes

Must Complete the Following:

Medical Form ABC

Additional Attachments

February 2021 Detailed Flier

Health and Safety Guidelines

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