Guide Development

Guide Development

The Outdoor Leadership Program (ODL) is open to all PLNU students and explores the following areas:
  • Developing personal wilderness skills in backpacking, rock climbing, kayaking, experiential education, group dynamics, wilderness medicine, Leave No Trace, and other disciplines
  • Sharing in fellowship with those who have similar adventure interests
  • Building leadership skills through outdoor programs
  • Guiding Great Escapes trips
  • Gaining professional certifications to work in the outdoor field
  • Exploring a career in camping ministries, outdoor recreation, experiential education, and leisure recreation

Skills Training

Individuals involved in the ODL program become guides by beginning as a Trainee, then Assistant Guides, and on to Senior Guide status. Guide trainings exist in kayaking, hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, mountain biking, and rockclimbing. Spaces for non-guide participants are available on the guide training trips on a first come first serve basis.

Wilderness Medicine

The Great Escapes program guides will have opportunity to obtain scholarships for Wilderness Medicine Training and advance their qualifications.

A Letter from the Guide Development Coordinator

 Hello everybody! 

            As Guide Development Coordinator, I am beyond excited to be training the guides of the Great Escapes program this year, and to invite you to join us as a wilderness leader! The Outdoor Leadership (ODL) program is full of experienced and passionate people who love the outdoors and are committed to leading Great Escapes trips with fun and safety, while keeping the Creator God as the focus and receiver of all recognition and praise. PLNU’s incredible and unique community is both continued and expounded upon in the ODL program, where we allow the beauty of God’s creation and the intensity of our experiences to bind us together in Christ. 

            Becoming a guide in the ODL program immediately plugs you in to this community and provides you with new friends who enjoy the outdoors as much as you do. As a guide, you will also have opportunities to expand your outdoor skills through medical trainings, community service, and special guide events. Your experiences will grow and your confidence in your abilities will fly through the roof!

            There’s no excuse to NOT get outdoors when you live in San Diego! From rock climbing to backpacking, biking to kayaking, there is no end to the diverse adventures and experiences to be had! Join us in not only learning these skills for yourself, but also sharing your passion with others and drawing closer to the Father, who blessed us with this city, these people, and the incredible environment in which we live.


Jonathan Morell
Director of Outdoor Leadership Programs
[email protected]