Beginning this year, the Kalamazoo College LandSea Program is changing its leadership application deadline in order to accommodate for a more expansive, in-depth outdoors training for the program’s leaders.
Before this deadline change, LandSea leaders received less training due to a limited amount of time before the start of the program in August.
Sarah Werner K’16, an intern in the LandSea Office, a LandSea leader, and a previous participant in the program, explained, “the Director and Assistant Director were comparing other programs’ amount of time on the trail and training to K’s [and they found that LandSea leaders received less time in both areas]”. To offer its leaders more time to gain experience both in training and on the trail, LandSea has moved its leadership application deadline from May to January 15.
As a part of their new training, LandSea leaders will attend workshops throughout the winter and spring, and will participate in an experiential learning trip over spring break in Red River Gorge, Kentucky. In Kentucky, leaders will practice important skills having to do with backcountry living and traveling, maps, compasses, bear awareness, and more. In June, leaders will attend a Wilderness Medical Certification Program, and in August they will attend another preparatory two-week program, shortly before the actual LandSea trip.
The Director of the LandSea program, Jory Horner, explained that the qualities desirable in a LandSea leader include having an interest in learning about outdoor activities, a demonstrated leadership that not restricted to outdoor leadership, teaching experience, and, most importantly, a knowledge of how to work with people from different backgrounds.
“All else can be taught,” Horner said.
The program’s new in-depth training will allow LandSea leaders to become more familiar with risk management and rescue measures, as well as other preventative measures, to make the program an overall safer and better experience for everyone.
“I think [these changes] will allow leaders to be more skilled in the areas that they need to be,” Werner said.
The process to apply to become a LandSea leader remains identical to the standard application for leadership positions at K.