Become a Leader

If you've been out and about on walks and hikes in Massachusetts and are familiar with some of the trails, you may feel eager to share your enjoyment of the outdoors with others as a Sierra Club Outings Leader. We can give you the preparation you need for certification by the Chapter or your local group as a qualified leader of safe, enjoyable outings.

Take the first step: attend a Leadership Training session!

Sierra Club Massachusetts Chapter strives to offer Outdoor Leader Training several times a year. Be sure to check our calendar to keep up to date on all of our events. If you do not see a training being offered at a time or location that works for you, please fill out our volunteer interest form and select "Outdoor Leadership Training" under the first question about what team you are most interested in joining.

What qualities are needed for leadership?

Judgment, inspiration, environmental awareness, and current membership in the Sierra Club are the key qualities of our outing leaders. Fitness level, gender, skin color, sexual orientation, religion, income and educational level do not matter. We welcome and encourage people of all ages and from all backgrounds to become outings leaders! The more diverse our leaders are, the more diverse are the outings we can offer!

Why be a Sierra Club Leader?

The leadership skills -- and confidence -- that you develop have been known to extend beyond hiking into professional and personal lives. Leading an outing means that you can set the destination, the number of participants, and the pace. Without leaders, our outing events cannot exist. Connections to advocacy and public education are key goals for our outings in addition to building community!


Outing Leader In Effect Renewal Frequency
Be a current Sierra Club member Now Must be current
Be at least 18 years old Now  
Current First Aid certification Now Renew every two years
Complete Outdoor Leader Training (OLT) - in person or virtual facilitated preferred, but there is a self-guided virtual option when needed Now Renew every four years
Demonstrate skills appropriate to type of trip Now  
Provisionally lead an outing with positive feedback Now Redo after having not led in the last four years
Receive Outings Chair approval Now  

Youth Leaders (14-17) are a possibility. Youth leaders may not drive vehicles containing participants, and must co-lead with an adult trained outings leader.

ICO - Inspiring Connections Outdoors (Leading Youth Outings)

Inspiring Connections Outdoors outing leaders must complete additional requirements to work specifically with youth. This program in Boston is currently seeking new volunteer leadership, so we recommend folks begin with the overall outdoor leader training.