This program uses the outdoors to lead youth in activities that teach how to plan, organize, and conduct their own activities outdoors. Participants learn canoeing, kayaking, backpacking, hiking, outdoor survival and safety skills and more.

4-H ChallengeLove having fun outdoors?

The 4-H Outdoor Adventure Challenge uses the biggest classroom available — the outdoors — to lead young people in activities that are both physically and mentally stressful. Through 4-H Outdoor Adventure Challenge, participants learn canoeing, kayaking, backpacking, hiking, outdoor survival and safety skills. Most importantly, they learn to communicate with other group members to plan, organize and conduct their own activities in the outdoors. The program teaches youth the skills necessary to deal with stressful situations which may occur in any setting in their lives. It also gives young people a greater sensitivity, understanding, and appreciation for both themselves and the outdoors.

Training Requirements

The multi-session 4-H Outdoor Adventure Challenge (OAC) Leader Training Series is designed to train adults interested in using the outdoors to help develop life skills in young people.

In 2013, the program was been restructured into OAC Leader Requirements. The training includes an introduction to 4-H and the 4-H Outdoor Adventure Challenge program, training in backpacking, caving, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing and winter camping. Adults receiving the training are expected to work with young people in the 4-H Outdoor Adventure Challenge program and abide by these 4-H OAC program policies. A number of resources exist to support trainees and those already certified. They are listed in the resources section.

You must be at least 16 to enroll in the training, and at least 21 to become a certified 4-H OAC leader. Enrollment is due a couple weeks before each training date.  Workshop dates are listed in the 2017 OAC Leader Training Series brochure along with program details.

Training Costs

The fees for training cover instructional materials, facilities or camping fees and group equipment costs and mileage for instructors. Fees are due before each training and must be remitted with a training enrollment form (below).  Participants also are responsible for the cost of their own food, personal equipment, transportation to and from the training sites, and other personal costs.

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For more information on how to get involved as a youth or volunteer, contact your county MSU Extension office or:

Laura Quist
Phone: (231) 779-9480