are seven elements defined by the Sierra Club for anyone to
be certified as an outings leader. These same elements are
used to determine whether a leader is qualified to lead a
particular event. All elements are easily achieved and are
intended to ensure the quality of our events without being
a barrier to leadership.
1. Sierra Club membership.
All leaders must be current Sierra Club members. If your Sierra
Club membership expires, you cannot lead any activities until
you renew your membership. Fortunately,it's quick and easy
to join or renew. Regular, introductory and discounted memberships
are available. Any level of membership, individual or joint,
is sufficient. LPSS cannot reimburse leaders for the cost
of Sierra Club dues. Club membership is not required for participation
in most activities, however LPSS expects regular participants
to join after a trial period.
2. Be at least 18 years of age [and
The minimum age for leaders is 18. LPSS, being intended for
single adults, also requires its leaders to be unmarried.
Sierra Club membership records do not list your age or marital
status, and LPSS does not need to know your age or to document
your marital history. By leading any activity, you implicitly
assert that you are single and at least 18. Everyone is welcome
to participate in our activities, regardless of marital status.
Participation under age 18 is at the discretion of the leader
and requires a parent or legal guardian (not a neighbor or
other accompanying adult) to sign the liability waiver.
3. First aid certification.
For most outings, including hiking and car camping, LPSS requires
at least American Red Cross Standard First Aid (6 hours) and
recommends Basic Wilderness First Aid (BWFA, 8 hours). For
multi-day outings without overnight emergency response, such
a backpacking and ski hut trips, LPSS requires Wilderness
First Aid (WFA, 16 hours). ARC Standard includes CPR, whereas
BWFA and WFA do not. CPR training, either included or separate,
is required for outings that involve a drowning risk. For
non-outing social and sporting activities, LPSS requires ARC
Standard, but may issue exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
First aid certifications are valid for three years. If your
first aid certification expires, LPSS now allows you to continue
to lead outings while you are scheduling a renewal class,
up to one year beyond the expiration date. LPSS may reimburse
leaders for the cost of required first aid classes. First
aid exemptions are generally granted to physicians, nurses
and other medical professionals. ARC classes are offered at
their facilities in Burlingame, Palo Alto, San Jose and Hollister,
as well as other cites adjoining our Chapter's territory,
such as San Francisco and Santa Cruz. BWFA and WFA classes
are sponsored several times a year by the Loma Prieta Chapter
and are announced in the Loma Prietan and on the Chapter's
Web site. They are held at the Chapter office in Palo Alto.
4. Outing Leader Training (OLT).
OLT formalizes the traditional requirement that leaders be
familiar with the contents of the Outing Leader Handbook.
Basic OLT is for all outings and is renewed every four years.
Your choices on how to do this will be described separately.
If you were an outing leader prior to July 1, 2004, you have
until June 30, 2008 to do this for the first time. For outings
that overnight away from your cars, including most backpacking
and back country cabin trips, the OLT Workshop will also be
required. Once taken, the Workshop does not have to be renewed.
Equivalent training or experience may be substituted. If you
were a backpacking leader prior to July 1, 2004, you automatically
satisfy the Workshop requirement. No OLT is necessary to lead
non-outing social and sporting activities.
5. Outing participant skills.
Every leader has their limits, and you must know yours. Each
event requires that its participants have a certain range
of skills. To be qualified to lead an event, your skill level
must be at least in the upper part of this range. This does
not necessarily mean that you must have greater skills than
the other participants. (You may even be the weakest participant
on your event.) You just have to have strong skills compared
to what is expected for the activities you lead.
6. Provisionally lead at least one
outing and receive a positive evaluation.
New leaders must qualify by leading one event while being
observed and evaluated by a current leader. Find a leader
who is qualified to lead the type of event you would like
to lead and ask that person to qualify you. This qualifying
leader will offer advice and guidance, but you'll have to
plan, organize and lead all aspects of the event yourself.
LPSS identifies many different types of activities (social
activities, hiking, volleyball, biking, camping, backpacking,
skiing, rafting,…). Whenever the leadership of different
activities requires different skills, you will have to qualify
for each type of activity you want to lead. Provisional leaders
with a fully qualified co-leader must have LPSS approval,
but do not have to satisfy any of these seven elements
7. Final approval.
Each new leader must be approved before being certified as
a leader. Evaluation form and training certifications must
be sent to the LPSS Vice-chair for final approval.