AMC Guide to Outdoor Leadership

COMPREHENSIVE, READABLE, AND PACKED WITH PRACTICAL ADVICE, AMC Guide to Outdoor Leadership, 2nd edition, is a must-read for anyone committed to becoming an effective outdoor leader, guide, or educator, including camp, scouting, and outdoor club leaders.

This completely revised and updated guide from the Appalachian Mountain Club details the critical skills and concepts every professional or volunteer outdoor leader needs to know. Through easy-to-remember leadership models, case studies, and his own extensive leadership experience, author Alex Kosseff explores such topics as effective decision-making, group dynamics and communication, self-awareness and evaluation, backcountry ethics, and more. Also included are a new chapter on techniques for leading and motivating youth and expanded coverage of risk and crisis management.

■ Accessible techniques for new and experienced leaders
■ Comprehensive coverage of leadership concepts
■ Case studies, advice, and anecdotes from experts on trip planning, decision making, leadership styles, teaching, and communication
■ Essential reading lists for further study

ALEX KOSSEFF is director of the Outdoor Safety Institute, where he advises outdoor education and recreation organizations on risk management, staff training, and volunteer-based programs. He has twenty years of outdoor leadership experience, having worked as an Outward Bound chief instructor and staff trainer, backpacking and canoeing trip leader, environmental educator, and wilderness medicine instructor. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.


“A thorough, field-tested examination of what makes the best outdoor leaders . . . and how one of them could be you.”—Robert Birkby, author of the Boy Scout Handbook, Mountain Madness, and Lightly on the Land

“An outstanding resource for both leaders and followers . . . Vignettes from a wide variety of outdoor trips effectively illustrate Kosseff’s points.”—Trail & Timberline, Colorado Mountain Club magazine

“An excellent resource for leaders new and old. . . . This is a well-written, enjoyable leadership resource that will be valuable to anyone responsible for leading trips . . .”—Dan Garvey, President, Prescott College (1st edition review)

“Whether you are an aspiring or experienced outdoor leader, this work should be in your library–where you can reach it.”—Jed Williamson, Editor of Accidents in North American Mountaineering (1st Edition Review)

“. . . tackles a complex topic in a clear & engaging manner. Stories of real leadership situations help develop critical-thinking skills . . . .”—Ian Wade, Executive Director, Outward Bound International, Inc (1st Edition Review)

1 Foundations
2 Getting Started
3 Awareness
4 Decision Making
5 Leadership Styles
6 Teaching and Facilitation 
7 Field Safety 
8 Crisis
9 Leading Youth
10 Participants
11 Expedition Behavior
12 Group Behavior and Development
13 Communication
14 Trip Planning
15 Organizational Risk Management
16 Environmental Stewardship
17 Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Appendix: Further Reading

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