Field Trips

2024 Field Trips are viewable below*

*more to be added

Field Trip Registration will be first come first served through the Sched App launching on April 2nd 

Learn to Carve Soapstone

Soapstone carving is an incredibly fun and rewarding nature craft! In this workshop, your instructor will walk you through the steps of choosing a stone, figuring out what it “wants” to become, filing it into form, sanding it smooth, polishing it to bring out the colours and empowering your stone with an intention or affirmation. You will create a meaningful souvenir that will remind you of your time in beautiful Banff National Park.

Presented By: Cristin “Lynx” Geestman
Location: Banff’s Central Park Gazebo
Start Time: Thursday May 9th (9 – 11.30am)
Max Persons: 20

Land-based learning and Connection at Iya Mnathka

Start your Outdoor Learning Conference on ‘foot’ and enjoy a beautiful hike on the sacred mountain, Iya Mnathka (Mt.Yamnuska), considered the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. Led by Alberta Parks Environmental Education Specialists, this experience is designed to deepen your personal connection to the land while profiling activities that can be integrated into your teaching practices. Be ready to embrace the outdoors for the entire morning, immersing yourself in the natural surroundings as we acknowledge and connect with the land. This session honours and is developed in right relations with our local nation, the Iyahe Nakoda. Please come prepared for spring weather and wear proper hiking shoes.

Presented By: Andrea Barnes & Vicki Perkins
Location: Iya Mnathka Mountain (Yamnuska Parking Lot – Bow Valley Wildland Park)
Start Time: Thursday May 9th (9 – 11.30am)
Max Persons: 35

Juggling Into New Connections

This is an interactive, experiential workshop to help people learn how to more effectively meet new people while learning how to juggle. There will be music, laughter, play, teamwork, and plenty of interaction.
Participants will learn:

  • How to identify and focus on the most important tasks at hand
  • How to reframe their existing challenges to connecting with new people
  • How to step back, take a break, reassess and super-charge their approach
  • How to make the most of learning opportunities to accelerate performance when meeting others
  • How to have fun learning to juggle into new connections with real, live people

Come to discover a new skill and learn how to effectively juggle your life. It is a great deal of fun and Tony facilitated this with the South African Sevens Springboks National Rugby Team in Pretoria, South Africa. In this session we will actually juggle, and yes, you are welcome to participate even if you are sure you can’t learn this skill. ”

Presented By: Tony Esteves
Location: Provided space at our outside the venue
Start Time: Thursday May 9th (9 – 11.30am)
Max Persons: 50

Investigate microplastic in the environment with Ocean School

Join us for a field trip that will inspire and give you the tools to take environmental action in your classroom.

This field trip will start indoors where we will make microplastic data collection devices to collect data in a local waterway. Once we have our devices built, we will test them out in a stream or river close by. Throughout the field trip we will provide you with all the resources and tips you need to bring this community science action project into your classroom.

Super keen to try this out with your class? At the end of the field trip, sign up to implement this project with your class and receive a free classroom kit!

Presented By: Jacquelyn Narsing
Location: Banff Center – room to be determined
Start Time: Thursday May 9th (9 – 11.30am)
Max Persons: 20

Field Leader Hiking Certification

The OCC’s Field Leader Educator course is designed specifically for educators. It is presented as a hybrid model that includes 8 hours of asynchronous on-line pre-course work and one day of in-person training. The ‘Field Day’ component will be offered as one of the Field Trips at the conference – Thursday from 9-11:30 and Saturday from 1-5:30.

The Field Leader Educator course focuses on the following foundational skills and attributes of outdoor leadership; mindful leadership, participant-centred experiences, intentional programming, systemic planning, effective communication, team building, and learning through reflection.

Participants who complete all components of this course will receive the nationally recognized Outdoor Leadership certification called Field Leader Hiking, a one-year membership to the OCC and peace of mind knowing that you are implementing industry accepted standards of practice.

For more information about this course that is being offered, the Field Leader Hiking certification, go to our website.

The course fee is 50.00. Those conference attendees wishing to register for the course can contact

Presented By: Jeff Stacey/Lecko
Location: Banff Centre
Start Time: Thursday May 9th (9 – 11.30am) AND Saturday May 11th – (2 – 5.30pm) MUST ATTEND BOTH TO ACHIEVE CERTIFICATION
Max Persons: 10 (depending on early registration numbers we can add second Instructor)

Forest Play

Rediscover your child-like passion for the world and join us for a fun morning of exploring nature and building connections. In this experiential session, Dave will share some of the core elements of Forest Play – a popular program that has been running in Canmore since 2011. You’ll have the opportunity to:

  •  Fuel your enthusiasm for nature connection programs
  • Play, laugh, share stories, activities and songs you can use with your groups
  • experience what it is like to participate in a program based on the Coyote mentoring model
  • be introduced to the natural learning cycle and essential routines that ground and reconnect us with the natural world

Come prepared for playing outdoors and having some fun adventures in the forest near the Banff Centre!

Presented By: Dave Verhulst
Location: In Front of PDC (Banff Centre)
Start Time: Thursday May 9th, 9 – 11.30am
Max Persons: 20

Forest Bathing

Shinrin Yoku or Forest Bathing is used extensively in the Japanese wellness system. Research shows that time in nature helps reduce stress, anxiety, overwhelm and will increase focus, creativity, and overall wellness. Forest Bathing is a gentle model is ideal for all types of people and abilities. This is a great program to melt away the stress and be ready for the conference.

Presented By: Ronna Schneberger
Location: Professional Development Building at the Banff Centre
Start Time: Thursday May 9th (9 – 11.30am)
Max Persons: 22

Building a Sense of Place Through Birds

Get to know your local birds using the magic of Merlin! The Merlin Bird ID app lets you discover which birds are in your area from season to season, by sight or sound. Take a bird walk with us to practice using the app, learn activities that use birds to inspire connection to place, and chat about the power of birds to connect people locally and globally. Prior to the workshop, please download the Merlin app and install the Canada West and your local bird packs so you’re ready to explore your local birds and the birds of Banff. If you have binoculars, bring those too

Presented By: Susan Licher
Location: Kinnear Centre, Banff
Start Time: Thursday May 9th (9 – 11.30am) AND Saturday May 11th – (2 – 5.30pm) (2 unique sessions)
Max Persons: 25

Nature Journaling

Take some intentional time to reflect and unwind with nature journaling! Participants will be guided through reflective writing exercises and a guided watercolor landscape painting as we process some of our learnings from the conference. We will close the session with ample time for self-directed writing, painting, and drawing. No previous art experience needed. Come with an open and curious mind. You will be walking and/or sitting for 2 – 2.5 hours so please come prepared for this.

Presented By: Sonya Rokosh
Location: Kinnear Centre, Banff
Start Time: Saturday May 11th – (2 – 5.30pm)
Max Persons: 25