A family cooking marshmallows over a fire while camping by a lake and learning how to camp.
Photo credit: Brooks Rice

Camping Leadership

Discipline: Camping Stream: Skills Development

This course is an intermediate/advanced camping program for those leading groups of adults or children as a formal leader want to develop their camping leadership and group management skills.


At the end of this program, the successful student will be able to take a formal leadership role in the planning and execution of a recreational camping trip, provided the participant has also achieved the Paddle Canada certification appropriate to the vessels used and expected conditions of said trip.

Throughout the course, participants will be expected to take on leadership roles in various activities such as trip preparation, extended scenarios, group decision making, advanced navigation, meals, etc.

Find a School  Search for a Camping Course  Find a Camping Instructor

Course Overview

Typical Course Length

If this course is offered as a stand-alone program, then the course length will be a minimum of 32 hours of instruction (4 days) including a 3-night camping trip. Due to the nature of this program and to provide ample opportunity for each student to practice leadership skills, this course might need to be extended for larger classes.

If this course is offered in conjunction with another Paddle Canada paddling course (e.g. Stand Up Paddleboard Advanced Flatwater skills) then the course length will be the total length of the two courses combined. For example, if the other paddling skills course is normally 2 days long then the total teaching days would be 6 days.

Course Topics

Kitchen & Cooking
  • Food preparation and packing for trips
  • Strategies for food storage
Campsite & Gear
  • First aid kits
  • Equipment repair (vessels, paddles, tents, packs, etc.)
  • Tarps and shelters
  • Ditch kits
  • Communication, signalling & technology
Camping Skills
  • Securing a vessel on a vehicle and trailer
  • Trip logs
Theory
  • Trip planning
  • Navigation skills and techniques
  • Incident management and evacuation options
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Leadership skills and group decision making
  • Expedition behaviour and group dynamics
  • Self & Group care
  • Weather interpretation & forecasting
  • Transport Canada Small Vessel Regulations
Course Prerequisites
  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Camping Skills Certification
    • Wilderness Camping certification, or equivalent experience and knowledge at the discretion of the course director.
  • Paddling Skills Certification
    • A Paddle Canada skills course appropriate to the vessel used and conditions on which the camping course takes place, as outlined by the course director, or equivalent skills and knowledge at the discretion of the course director.
  • Other Certifications
    • Current certification in wilderness first aid (minimum 16 hours).
    • Leave No Trace training strongly recommended.
  • Camping Experience
    • Minimum of 4 logged camping trips with a combined 12 nights or more of camping in a wilderness environment. Two of the logged trips need to be a minimum of 4 days each. It is not necessary that any of the logged trips involve paddling.
Share: