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    • Monday, February 06, 2023
    • 8:00 AM
    • Wednesday, February 08, 2023
    • 11:00 AM
    • Bentonville, Arkansas

    The WEA is pleased to announce a ICOL 23 pre-conference “Certified Outdoor Educator” (COE) workshop !

    The COE pre-conference workshop is intended for professional path applicants for the COE Credential. The COE is a credential that recognizes highly qualified outdoor professionals with expertise in outdoor leadership assessment and evaluation. COEs are responsible for the design and implementation of training programs that develop Certified Outdoor Leaders (COL), a crucial task for fulfilling the mission of the WEA.

    Clinic Details:
    The clinic is held over 2.5 days and is a 20-hour course. Successful applicants will provide evidence of their skills in each of the 6+1 educational components as well as meet minimum field time requirements. Evidence of proficiency (artifacts such as resume, field log, and more) will be submitted through an online portfolio and subjected to peer review. A flexible and simplified artifact process allows candidates to use existing professional documents and evidence of work rather than creating new forms. The COE is granted for a three-year term and renewable for five years thereafter. Continuing education components are required to maintain the COE. Multiple development options exist for professionals who do not already have the required artifacts.  

    Dates: Monday, February 6 at 8am through Wednesday, February 8 at 11 am 

    Location: Bentonville, Arkansas

    Clinic Fee: $495 (includes course materials and 1 dinner) 

    Lodging: We recommend Element Bentonville and Avid Hotel Bentonville for discounted rates.

    Clinic Facilitators: WEA COE Credentialing Program Instructor Trainer

    Registration: Register here. The deadline for registration is Jan 22, 2023.

    • Wednesday, February 08, 2023
    • 9:00 AM
    • Saturday, February 11, 2023
    • Bentonville, Arkansas

    Wilderness Education Association to Host 34th Annual International Conference in Bentonville, AR

    Black Mountain, N.C., January 09, 2023 Visit Bentonville and RUNWAY are thrilled to host The Wilderness Education Association (WEA), the member association that has contributed to the advancement of professionalism in outdoor leadership for 45 years. The 34th International Conference on Outdoor Leadership (ICOL) will take place in Bentonville, AR, on February 8-11, 2023. The theme for the 2023 conference is “Cultivating Innovation. "It is an honor to host this conference in Bentonville, the Mountain Biking Capital of the World™," said Amanda Khanga, director of sales for Visit Bentonville. "Outdoor recreation is an incredible asset to our community, and we welcome this opportunity to host outdoor leaders from throughout the world and showcase the expansive outdoor experiences our region has to offer."

    WEA Executive Director Ryan Carlson said, “The last two years tell us that the world needs recreation, wild places and connection with others more than ever!” He continued, “We need outdoor leaders who are stewards of our land, champions of equity, and competent, inspiring educators.” 

    The current state of the outdoor recreation has revealed:

    • There are significant barriers of accessibility and access in recreation, adventure and wild places.

    • Our most loved and cherished wild places are under massive pressure of being "loved to death."

    • Climate change remains one of the great threats to recreation.

    • The Outdoor Economy is thriving. According to OIA State of the Outdoor Market Report, the outdoor recreation economy produced a record $682 billion in economic output, 4.5 million jobs, and 1.9% of the total U.S. GDP in 2021. Which elevates the need for workforce development in the recreation industry.

    Education and equipping both leaders and users to be champion stewards of our lands, safe and sustainable outdoor practitioners, and advocates of justice, equity and accessibility in our field is critical for the advancement of outdoor professionals, practitioners and programs as we write the next chapter in this vocation. 

    The WEA and this conference are committed to equip outdoor leaders to not only be aware of these pressing issues, but to have pathways for action.

    The WEA is thrilled to present five culture-shaping champions in the outdoor industry, as well as 14 cutting-edge workshops that will curate this experience. 

    Keynotes and Special Guests & Highlights:

    “The WEA is thrilled to meet in person for our annual conference again,” said Carlson. Wilderness education is about connecting with people, and there is nothing better than the real thing!”

    To learn more about the conference or to register, visit



    • Thursday, February 09, 2023
    • 7:30 PM
    • Thursday, March 09, 2023
    • 10:00 PM
    • Record Downtown 104 Southwest A Street Bentonville, AR 72712

    5Points on the Road

    Come experience the the stories of people pursuing adventure and intentionally living them out!

    Stories of adventure have the power to ignite positive change in our communities and our world. Through adventure, we find our best selves and encourage those around us to do the same. That’s why we curate and share meaningful adventure stories that inspire communities to live by our 5 points: Purpose, Respect, Commitment, Humility, and Balance.

    We believe the power of film is magnified when a group experiences meaningful stories together. We laugh, cry, cheer, learn, and explore the world together – and that’s the power of a 5Point show.

    This event is FREE with ICOL registration and is open to the public with a separate, paid ticket through EventBrite.

Wilderness Education Association, Inc.
151 NC Highway 9, Ste B
Black Mountain, NC 28711

© 2021 Wilderness Education Association, Inc.

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