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How to become an activity leader

If you are interested in becoming an AMC hike, backpack, bike, paddling, family or trails leader, we want you! We are always interested in adding new activity leaders and welcome your participation!

The process for becoming a trip leader for the chapter is described in the AMC Delaware Valley Chapter's Leadership Requirements Policy, as follows:

In order to become a leader for the AMC Delaware Valley Chapter, you must:

1. Be a member of the AMC for at least six months and participate in four or more AMC outdoor activities with at least two different leaders.

2. Successfully complete an AMC Outdoor Leadership Training course that is approved by the DV Chapter


Be recommended by a DV Chapter leader based on equivalent previous experience, such as having led trips for another AMC Chapter, the Sierra Club, or similar organization. Candidates with such previous experience may apply for approval by contacting the Leadership Chair.

3. Successfully co-lead at least two scheduled chapter activities with two different leaders, be recommended by your mentor leaders, and approved by the Leadership Chair and the activity chair.

Once leadership status has been attained for a particular activity (most leaders begin as hike leaders), the leader may become certified for leading other AMC-DV activities (biking, backpacking, trail work, skiing, paddling).

Leadership for each activity must be individually certified. The leader should co-lead one of the new activities, and demonstrate the required skills. This requirement can be waived at the discretion of the activity chairperson, and upon receiving approval of the Leadership Chair, based on extensive experience in that activity.

For the first mentored co-lead, the Leader in Training assists the experienced DV leader (Leader of Record). For the second, the Leader in Training does the actual planning, with the assistance of the experienced leader. A DV Leader who wishes to become certified to lead an additional activity should do the actual planning of that activity, with the assistance of an experienced DV Leader. In order to be a Leader of Record for an activity (an experienced DV Leader who works with a leader trainee), a leader must have led at least three trips in that activity for AMC-DV and been an AMC-DV leader for at least six months.

New leader activity requests will be scrutinized to a greater degree by the chapter reviewer to better assure the leader has demonstrated adequate skills to maintain participant safety.

Backpacking Leader Guidelines In consideration of the extended nature of these activities, ALL (new and continuing) backpack leaders must have taken a certified Wilderness or Backcountry First Aid course in the past six years. Proof of completion of such a certified course must be submitted to the Backpacking Chair. It is highly recommended that the certification be kept current. It is also highly recommended that backpack leaders should take a CPR course and keep it current. An individual who has become certified as a backpacking leader will also be certified as a day hike leader.

To become a backpacking leader, a minimum of two backpacking co-leads are required for new leaders, or one co-lead for current DV activity leaders.

All prospective backpacking leaders must have participated in at least three AMC-DV backpacking trips prior to becoming a leader (in addition to the required co-leads), or have previous equivalent experience with a similar organization. Candidates with such previous experience may apply for approval by contacting the Backpacking Chair.

A leader must have participated in two winter backpacks with AMC-DV, characterized either by overnight temperatures or date, in order to become a winter backpacking leader.

Leaders having successfully met the stated requirements must be approved by the Backpacking Chair.

Group size for all AMC-DV backpacking trips is to be limited to a maximum of 12 participants, including the leader(s).

Bicycling Leader Guidelines An approved DV Outdoor Activity Leader may become a Bicycling Leader by completing one bicycling co-lead, in which the trainee plans and executes the bike ride in its entirety, with the assistance of an approved Bicycling Leader. A person who has completed the Outdoor Leadership Training course but is not yet an approved AMC-DV leader may become a Bicycling Leader by completing two required co-leads. Leaders having successfully met the stated requirements must be approved by the Bicycling Chair.

For leading paddling activities, see our paddling policy.

Leadership training course costs are reimbursed at 50 percent for those who lead two activities for the chapter within one year. For additional information on becoming an activity leader for the DV Chapter, contact the chapter Leadership Chair at

Click here for a printable version of this policy.

Outdoor Leadership Training Courses

The 2019 courses are now over, The next opportunity will be in spring of 2020 in Nockamixon State Park, PA. Contact DV Leadership Chair Jeff Fritzinger, for additional information.


Step up and lead outdoor activities or boost your leadership confidence and skills at AMC Delaware Valley Chapter’s outdoor leadership training workshop the weekend of April 5-7.

To make this event easily accessible for DV Chapter members, this session will take place at Nockamixon State Park near Quakertown, PA.

Everyone is welcome to attend: leader wannabes, new leaders, new members, experienced leaders, members who just want to learn what leadership is all about. Topics to be covered are the elements of outdoor leadership common to all AMC outdoor activities:

Activity planning

Leading safe and enjoyable activities

Leadership styles

Group dynamics

Liability issues

Decision making model

Accident scene management

Conservation and minimum impact issues

AMC leadership requirements and guidelines

How to become a DV Chapter activity leader

Map and compass skills

Instructors: Experienced AMC volunteers and staff

The cost for the course is $35 for AMC members, $50 for non-members, $20 for AMC members who complete one co-lead by April 1, 2020. If you’d like to stay overnight at the cabins at Nockamixon State Park, the cost is $15 for one night or $24 for two nights. The Saturday night dinner cost is $15.

Other OLT courses include the following:

Potomac Chapter: March 28, at Northern Virginia Community College Woodbridge Campus ... link

NY/NoJ Chapter:  May 15-17, at Harriman Center, NY


Adventure Travel Leadership

Each fall AMC holds a required weekend course for adventure travel leaders, those who lead trips more than 500 miles from an AMC chapter, often to exotic locations all over the world. Check here to see when the next class will be held.

Prospective leaders age 18 to 29: fully paid training and free membership

If you are age 18-29 and interested in becoming activity leaders for the AMC-DV Chapter, we will be provided a full scholarship for Outdoor Leadership Training courses if you agree to lead at least two activities for the DV Chapter in the year of your training. In addition, a one year AMC membership will be provided free of charge by the chapter for these new 20s & 30s leaders, if they are not currently AMC members.

The AMC-DV Chapter offers a wide variety of outdoor activities including hiking, backpacking, paddling, cycling, and skiing. The Outdoor Leadership Training course covers such things as activity planning, leadership styles, group dynamics, liability issues, map and compass skills, accident scene management, conservation and minimum impact issues, and AMC leadership requirements and guidelines. New leaders will be paired with an experienced leader who will provide support and mentorship and assist them with their required two co-leads following the course.



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