Quick Tips for Starting an Outing Club
Many of these suggestions reference samples, examples & information found in our T3 Outing Club Guide.
- If you are a teacher/parent: FIND SOME INTERESTED STUDENTS!
- Talk to students that might be interested in outdoor adventures. Get them excited & enlist their help to spread the word!
- Reach out to other faculty & community members who share a passion for the outdoors for support and more ideas.
- Find students by surveying homerooms for interest in types of activities and availability.
- Make announcements & hang posters around the school.
- If you are a student: FIND AN ADVISOR
- Talk to parents, teachers, staff or administrators that like the outdoors and might be willing to act as your Outing Club Advisor.
- Finding a dedicated advisor is key to a successful club, as they can help you meet with administrators, serve as trip leaders and provide structure for the Club. Some good people to think about may be science teachers, Physical Education teachers, or anyone with a personal passion for going outside.
CONNECT WITH T3
- Contact us that we can connect you with other clubs in your area and give you advice specific to your clubs needs.
- Connect to others in the Teens To Trails network through our Facebook page and the Outing Club Advisors Group. Talk to Outing Club Advisors and teen members at other schools.
- Recruit members! Create a recruitment poster to hang in hallways & build interest. Feel free to use our video to promote your Outing Clubs as well.
- Define your Club’s purpose & create a simple Mission Statement - samples are include in our Outing Club Guide.
- Have a few simple outings in mind. You might start with short outings close to home.
- raft a simple budget considering initial costs, stipend for Advisor(s) and transportation.
CONSIDER SAFETY & LIABILITY ISSUES
- Confirm coverage under school’s insurance policy.
- Get certified! Advisors are encouraged to have minimum First Aid/CPR/AED Training and recommended to get certified in Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or train to be a Wilderness First Responder (WFR_
- Check out T3's available safety trainings or find a program through NOLS/Wilderness Medicine Institute or Wilderness Medical Associates
- Read through our “Risk Management Tips” in our T3 Outing Club Guide.
- Create a Waiver and Risk Management Plan for each trip.
- Think about having a co-advisor or parent to support the group and have more adults leading the trips.
MEET WITH DECISION-MAKERS
- Talk it up to your administration and bring supporting documents to talk about what's happening across your state and/or nationwide!
- Be prepared to discuss the benefits of an Outing Club to a teen’s healthy development, including:
- emotional and physical well-being of students
- improvements in school performance: test scores, attention span & motivation to learn
HAVE YOUR FIRST MEETING
- Your first meeting can even be an easy local trip so that prospective clubs members can actually experience how much fun being in the outdoors with their friends is rather than just talking about it.
- A small group is all you need to get started!
- Put students in leadership roles – this can be a great way to keep members engaged and excited. Let them help plan and research outings.
- Distribute Participation Agreement/Waiver and Health Form - samples are include in our Outing Club Guide.
PLAN YOUR FIRST OUTINGS
- Check our T3 Trip Inspiration pages.
- See the suggestions for “8 Easy Outings” and “Sample Hike Plan,” in our T3 Outing Club Guide.
- Don’t be afraid to start small – start with a small group of students, or a trip you know well.
- Do your research for the outing, taking into consideration group size limits, access, contingency plans, parking & weather.
- Prepare a letter for parents & packing list for participants. Recognize that some may need help with appropriate attire. See “Parental Cover Letter Checklist” & “Sample Day Hike Packing List” in the Outing Club Guide.
- Obtain an emergency first aid kit for trip leaders.
COMMUNICATE WITH PARENTS
- Send home a Cover Letter and Parental Consent Form with each student - samples are include in our Outing Club Guide.
- Enjoy your trips! Planning, communication and logistics will become easier as you go on more trips, gain experience and come to know the types of trips that work well for you Outing Club. The possibilities for excursions are endless.