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Six Core Competencies: Wilderness Education Association

The Wilderness Education Association recognizes and follows a curriculum based upon Six Core Competencies.
Each of the Six Core Competencies has specific definitions that provide the structure for specific outcomes.



Six Core Competencies

Judgment is the umbrella from which each of the competencies is
assessed. Referenced from the Wilderness Education Association
website, we provide these competencies for your information and
insight. They provide a framework for informal guidance of participant thinking when on an adventure.

The means and information to meet many of these guidelines for the
outdoor adventure activities are also provided via the technique links
listed in the Adventure section.


Judgment is the act of integrating previously learned information with situational factors to arrive at a decision. Outdoor leaders are often presented with decision-making challenges in an uncertain environment with limited information. Outdoor leaders must demonstrate judgment
by effectively integrating core competencies and situational variables
to make and implement quality decisions. Accurate assessment and application of skills using judgment is the central quality of an effective outdoor leader.

Outdoor Living

The specific outdoor skills that are essential to individual/group
sustainability in the backcountry.


Planning & Logistics

The knowledge, skills and abilities to design, implement, and prepare outdoor expedition trips a minimum of seven days long.

Risk Management

A structured approach to manage actual risk, emotional risk and perceived risk through: risk assessment, utilization of management and instructional resources, and development and execution of emergency protocols.


The ability to accurately self-assess as well as those essential skills concerning or involving relationships between people; the ability to effectively implement a decision.

Environmental Integration

The concepts that embody ecological and cultural literacy along with
the cooperative planning and management skills needed to ensure preservation of resources, through personal connections, for present
and future generations.


The ability to know and implement theories and practices of teaching,
processing and transference.