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KEEN's Adventure Apprentice Program

Are you contemplating a career in recreation, environmental stewardship, or outdoor leadership? Careers in these fields frequently require applicants to have a wealth of knowledge, tons of practical skills, and experience working with target audiences.


Students of KEEN's Adventure Apprentice Program (KAAP) walk away with all of that and more! Not only will you gain important knowledge in a wide range of topics, but you'll have opportunities to meet professionals in these fields who are excited to support, encourage, and endorse your skills through KAAP, even providing your references and recommendations for your future degree or career endeavors. You'll work hard, explore our amazing wilderness on field trips, learn from the best experts around, and have fun doing it!

Cost: Year-long membership fee is $100; membership includes KAAP virtual badges, discounted course fees, and priority registration. Class fees covers KEEN staff time, training fees, travel, and supplies for the program.


Registration is open now!


Acquire new skills like trail building, animal tracking, campfire cooking, map & compass navigation, and more!


Learn how to resolve conflicts, manage risk, communicate effectively, and engage an audience.


You'll have opportunities throughout the year to earn nationally recognized certifications to aid your academic and career goals.


Work closely with experts in an array of academic and professional fields to start building a network of resources designed to encourage and support your career prospects.



What is KAAP?

KEEN’s Adventure Apprentice Program (KAAP) is a new program designed to expand your knowledge in the world of recreation, environmental stewardship, and outdoor leadership. Our students will leave with practical skills and hands-on experience in a variety of fields with the confidence to pursue a degree program or career in outdoor recreation, environmental science, natural sciences, STEM teaching, and more!


When is KAAP offered?

Classes are offered from mid September 2023 through June 2024. Classes are Wednesday evenings and offer training in an array of subjects. Some classes include a field day of training on a Saturday or Sunday following in-class learning. There are also optional certifications offered throughout the year to advance your skills.


Why should I enroll in KAAP?

Careers in outdoor education, recreation and tourism, and environmental science often require some background in these fields, even for entry level positions, and especially if you do not have a college degree. KAAP can be an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself into these fields, learn vital skills, and earn practical certifications that can make finding a job or applying for a degree program easier. KAAP classes are also a great opportunity to learn new outdoor skills for beginner backpackers, weekend warriors, or casual adventurers too!


What are some of the things I’ll learn from AAP?

Virtual skills badges are earned for completing various classes. Badges are collected on your account and are used to participate in advanced trips or classes. Here are some of the topics that will be covered through the year:

  • Map, compass, & GPS Navigation

  • Animal tracking

  • First aid and CPR

  • Animal and plant identification

  • Conflict resolution

  • Basic water safety

  • Risk management 

  • Avalanche awareness

  • Trail building

  • Meal planning, backcountry cooking

  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge

  • Equity and inclusion in outdoor recreation

  • Environmental stewardship

  • Outdoor recreation conditioning

  • Foraging

  • Astronomy and night navigation

  • Public lands regulations and policies

  • And more!


What actual certifications will I leave KEEN’s AAP with?

Student’s completion of KAAP coursework will earn them virtual ‘skill badges’ endorsed by KEEN and their direct partners. These will allow students the ability to boost their resumes and college applications with their newly acquired skill set in order to improve their future prospects in various career fields. 


Optional certifications will be offered throughout the year from nationally recognized organizations to provide students with transferable skills required of many careers. These optional certifications include: Red Cross first aid & CPR, lifeguarding, basic water rescue, small craft safety, Leave No Trace Level 1 Instructor, NOLS Wilderness First Aid, and AIARE Avalanche Rescue.

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