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Adventure Leadership

Our trips can take you anywhere: dogsledding in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, spelunking in North Carolina, backpacking the Grand Canyon, paddling the Huron River, and more. Whether you want to take off for a couple of hours, a day or a week, let us handle the details—like food, transportation, logistics, trip leaders, and outdoor equipment—while you take in the great outdoors.

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Find Your Trip

There are 3 trips. Expand all into a list.

Upper Peninsula Dogsledding
Jan 17 – 20, 2020


January 17-20, 2020


Experience the true spirit of winter recreation: come dogsledding and snowshoeing in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula this MLK weekend! Fly down wooded trails led by a team of professional dogs, and visit the amazing Eben Ice Caves or other magnificent ice structures as time will allow. Snowshoes will be provided as we hike through endless white woods of the northern mitten. Cozy cabins, hot chocolate, good friends, and warm blankets also provided. No experience is required!


$425 by Monday, January 13, 2020

Trip Includes

  • Trip leaders, dogsledding instruction
  • Transportation
  • Meals
  • All group gear including snowshoes

You Bring

  • Meals while on the road
  • Personal gear: Weather appropriate clothing including boots, hats, toiletries

Pre-Trip Meeting

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 7:30pm. at Adventure Leadership Center, 336 Hill St

Register here!

Peabody Ice Climbing
Feb 1 & Feb 16, 2020


February 1, 2020

February 16, 2020


Looking to try something new and exciting this year? Have you ever wanted to scale a wall of ice? If so, come ice climbing with Adventure Leadership this winter! Peabody Ice Climbing Club is located about an hour north of Ann Arbor and provides a wonderful setting for beginner and advanced ice climbers alike. This unique outdoor experience will definitely get the adrenaline pumping! How else are you supposed to stay warm on a chilly January day?



Trip Includes

  • Trip leaders, dogsledding instruction
  • Transportation
  • Lunch
  • Climbing equipment

You Bring

  • Meals while on the road
  • Personal gear: Weather appropriate clothing including jacket, hat, gloves, mittens

Pre-Trip Meeting

No pre-trip meeting required

Register here!

Dark Sky Park Snowshoe and Cross-Country Ski
Feb 7 – 9, 2020


February 7 – 9, 2020


Drive up north with us for a spectacular view of the winter sky! Did you know that cold weather provides the best conditions for night sky viewing (and bonding with strangers!)? We will sleep at Wilderness State Park in a cozy cabin, spending our days cross country skiing and our nights stargazing and drinking hot chocolate.


$225 by Monday, February 3, 2020

Trip Includes

  • Trip leaders, dogsledding instruction
  • Transportation
  • Meals
  • Sleeping bags

You Bring

  • Meals while on the road for the first and last day
  • Personal gear: Weather appropriate clothing including jacket, hat, gloves, mittens, toiletries

Pre-Trip Meeting

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 7:30pm. at Adventure Leadership Center, 336 Hill St

Register here!

First Ascent

The First Ascent program provides incoming U‑M freshmen with an opportunity to connect with fellow freshmen in small groups for camping, hiking, paddling and exploring the state’s natural areas. Casual campfire discussions are led by upper-level undergrads or grad students and center around the transition to college and all things U‑M. The goal of First Ascent is to help participants grow in self-esteem, self-reliance and confidence—and to have a great time!

All gear is provided. No experience is necessary.

We’ve worked with University Housing to coordinate our First Ascent trips with move-in. If your trip starts in late August and ends on an official move-in date, you can move your belongings in to your room before the trip begins.

First Ascent Trip Dates for Spring/Summer 2019

For questions, email advleadtrips@umich.edu or call (734) 764-3967.


Adventure Leadership Camps are packed with opportunities for your teen (ages 11–15) to cultivate wonder, gain confidence and independence, and develop leadership skills. Adventure Leadership Camps utilize the experiential learning model—focusing on each camper’s personal growth as the week goes on. Campers will explore high-adventure challenges, embark on field trips near and far, become actively involved in the community, and make new friendships.

All camp sessions take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Adventure Education Center at 1120 N. Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Drop-off will occur at 8:30 a.m. and pick-up will end at 4:30 p.m.

To reserve your child’s spot, call the Adventure Leadership Rental Center at (734) 764-3967.  Registration deadline is Friday, July 12, 2019.

There are 2 items. Expand all into a list.

Climbing Week
July 29 – August 2

Prepare to embark on new heights! Campers will spend the week learning the basics of climbing—from knot tying to proper belay techniques—and will bring their new skills to practice on high-rope courses and climbing walls. As the week comes to a close, campers will take a trip to the Grand Ledge to put their skills to the test!

Cost: $275

Outdoor Skills Week
August 12 – August 16

Learn essential nature survival skills through a week of hands-on experiences that inspire thinking outside the box. Campers will explore local parks to learn orienteering, Leave No Trace practices, fire-building, and other nature skills. We add archery, kayaking, and high-adventure climbing to ensure campers will leave with the confidence to take on the great outdoors.

Cost: $275

Become an Intern

For Interested Candidates

Adventure Leadership is an outdoor, activity-based, experiential learning and leadership development program. You will facilitate team building programs and can choose to guide trips, providing participants opportunities to explore leadership, organizational behavior, group development, and the environment using adventure education practices and outdoor recreation principles. As an intern, you will learn to design and deliver custom experiential programs for students, educators, corporate groups, nonprofit organizations, and beyond using experiential tools which can include ground initiatives, low ropes course elements, high ropes course elements, and a climbing tower. Interested interns can also learn how to create community by leading day, weekend, or week-long trips. Past trips have included dog sledding in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, backpacking along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and paddling the Huron River. Upon acceptance of the internship, training will be provided. In addition to hands-on experiences, you will design and complete a project of your own that takes into account your unique strengths, passions, and ambitions. No matter what your career aspirations may be, the skills and experience gained during this internship will be powerful and highly valued in all areas of your life, personal or professional.

2020 Internship Hiring, Training and Employment Timeline

The following dates are required for all potential interns. Please disclose any conflicts in the application.

  • February 4, 2020 AL Internship Applications Due
  • February 7, 2020 Interview Invitations Sent
  • February 12, 2020 @ 6:30PM – 8:30PM Interview Session I
  • February 19, 2020 @ 6:30PM – 8:30PM Interview Session II
  • February 26, 2020 @ 6:30PM – 8:30PM Final Interview Session
  • February 28, 2020 Internship Offers Sent
  • March 13, 2020 Deadline for Internship Acceptance
  • March 28, 2020 @ 9:30AM – 5:30PM Facilitation Training I
  • March 29, 2020 @ 9:30AM – 5:30PM Facilitation Training II
  • April 1, 2020 @ 6PM – 9PM Facilitation Training III
  • April 7, 2020 @ 6PM – 9PM Facilitation Training IV
  • April 15, 2020 @ 6PM – 9PM Facilitation Training V
  • April 18 & 19, 2020 @ 8:30AM – 4:30PM High Adventure Training
  • April 24, 2020 by appointment High Adventure Practice Day
  • April 28 – May 1, 2020 by appointment Skill Verification Days
  • May 4 – 8, 2020 Wilderness First Responder Training (OPTIONAL)
  • May 13 – 15, 2020 Trip Leader Training
  • May 20 & May 21, 2020 @ 9AM – 5PM Low Element Training
  • June 3, 2020 – October 14, 2020 Bi-Weekly Staff In-Service Sessions (MANDATORY)
  • August 23 – 30, 2020 Peak Week (MANDATORY)

Expected Time Commitment

  • May 11, 2020 – August 31, 2020 Minimum 15 hours/week (maximum 40) as assigned
  • September 1, 2020  – November 30, 2020 Additional hours available upon review and based on program schedule


  • $10/hour


Please respond to the following prompts with a short paragraph (2-3 sentences). Attach your resume and your responses in a document and email to Jessa Lytle, Assistant Director, at jessal@umich.edu.

  • How did you hear about this opportunity?
  • Do you have prior experience working in an adventure education, outdoor recreation, experiential learning, summer camp, or challenge course program? Please list any skills, qualifications, and/or certifications you possess as they apply to this type of work.
  • What do you hope to gain as a member of the AL Internship 2020 Cohort?
  • Please share an example of a time you tried something new or took a risk.
  • Please list any dates/times that conflict with the internship timeline listed above. This information will be used to create each intern’s individual schedule, so please be as thorough as possible. Examples include but are not limited to: class, family vacation, study abroad programs, research expectations, part time job hours, other commitments, etc.

Want to learn more? Check out what Karl, a member of our 2018 Cohort, had to say about his experience.


Trip Refunds

Refunds for Adventure Leadership trips are given only for the following circumstances:

  1. You can find someone to take your place on the trip.
  2. You have a documented medical emergency and must cancel.
  3. There is an active wait list for the trip and we are able to fill your spot.
  4. You are cancelling at least 3 weeks prior to the trip. For Spring Break and First Ascent Trips, at least 4 weeks prior is required.

Specific Trip Policies

Each trip follows a different set of policies and guidelines. We typically cover this information in our mandatory pre-trip meetings. These meetings are held a few days before your trip; if you have questions at any time, contact us.

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