WLT is a 5-day immersive backpacking course and comprehensive outdoor leadership experience that gives teachers and youth workers the confidence and skills needed to take their groups on multi-day backpacking adventures. Upon course completion, you gain access to free outdoor gear loans at three Bay Area gear libraries for your group.

Everything included

Course materials, outdoor equipment, food, and transportation are all included in course price.

For all skill levels

No previous experience necessary. Learn by doing in a safe, friendly setting with your peers. 

Realistic & Practical

Role-playing exercises offer a realistic backcountry leadership experience. 


Things you will learn:

Course consists of a pre-trip meeting, gear orientation,
and five days of backpacking in the Sierras or Henry Coe State Park.

Camping Skills

  • Equipment use
  • clothing requirements
  • nutrition

Safety & Navigation

  • backpacking safety
  • map reading and navigation
  • risk management


  • leadership styles
  • group dynamics
  • cultural relevancy through outdoor experiences

Benefits for completing training

Experiences in nature can be educational, healing, community building, empowering.

Gain access to gear library

Alumni may borrow backpacking gear, tents, boots, outdoorwear and more for free from the gear libraries.

Get Minigrants

Alumni are eligible to apply for $250 mini grants to support their first trip.

Earn University Credit

Teachers may earn three graduate-level semester units.

Who is it for? Anyone working with youth.  

Develop your personal outdoor leadership skills and
learn how to make outdoor experiences an integral part of your work.


  • Teachers
  • in-school aids
  • Principals

After School Programs

  • after school site-coordinators
  • after school line staff
  • coaches


Youth workers

  • directors of youth agencies
  • nonprofit organization youth leaders
  • anyone who works or volunteers with youth or works on behalf of youth


We have two-tiered pricing

Please check with your school administrator or nonprofit director to determine if your school or organization meet at least one of the criteria.
If you don’t know if your school meets these criteria you can run a report on the California Department of Education site here.

If you have questions about which registration type you qualify for please email info@bawt.org

Limited resources? Find out more about our Summit Scholarship.

2023 Courses:

Tue, July 18, 2023 – Sat, July 22, 2023

7:00 AM – 7:00 PM PDT


High quality training and gear

Get high quality training and the gear you and your group need for a successful backpacking or camping trip.


Social justice nonprofit

Our goal is to help create equitable access to the outdoors for youth of color and low income youth.


Over 10,000 trained

Over the years, we have trained over 10,000 teachers, youth workers, troop leaders and after-school program leaders.


Comparable training to more pricier options

Other week-long outdoor courses can cost thousands of dollars.


Access to one-of-a-kind gear library

Remove barriers to entry, gain access to top notch outdoor gear, for you and your group, for free.

What Our Trained Leaders Say

“BAWT has been instrumental in helping me accomplish my goal of exposing youth to nature… On top of the wonderful experience of bonding, sharing, and laughing through thoughtful engaging activities, I learned that for years I had been doing things wrong (at least not the most organized, effective, and time saving way). My planning, preparation, and organizational skills increased two fold, minimally. The impact my new skills had on the next youth camping trip….priceless. I was so much more competent and confident. This relieved a huge amount of stress associated with the trip and made it far more enjoyable for staff and myself.”

Zotunde Morton

Youth Worker
Ujimaa Foundation

So excited to continue the growth of our club. This was our 5th completed trip this year, and I feel so grateful that it’s beginning to feel like a real institution and space respected in the school! Thank you BAWT, for your dedication to supporting all humans in experiencing the healing and power of Mother Earth. Excited to continue our partnership!

Mira Stern

Leadership High School
Exerpt from 2018 Wild Club Trip Reflection

youth served in 2019

youth trips in 2019

leaders trained in 2019

training courses in 2019


Frequently Asked Questions

I've never been camping? Can I take the WLT?

Yes, we will give you the skills you need to take  your youth out camping.  From using our equipment to tips on how to manage youth while camping, we have you covered!

Do I need to be fit? What kind of people take this course?

A wide array of folks take this course.  Whether you are sedentary, active, or very active, we will accomodate to the needs of the group.

Do I need to bring anything?

We will send you a packing list and what you don’t have, we can likely provide because that’s what we do!

What if I can't afford it?

We offer a two tiered pricing for all of our courses and if that is still out of budget, we have a few scholarships for each course.  Go ahead and apply!

Another affordable option is taking our Frontcountry Leadership Training. This is a great way to get started and learn all the basic skills you will need to successfully take youth on car-camping based overnight trips, sparking their interest in the outdoors!

What about first aid training?

Get your Wilderness First Aid training. Before you can lead backpacking trips you will also need to complete and keep current your Wilderness First Aid certification. You can take the course with us or with many other companies. Foster Calm, Ready SF, NOLS, Wilderness Medical Associates, and many more.

What if I want to lead a camping trip in the Presidio?

If you want to go camping in the Presidio, please check out the Camping at the Presidio Leadership Training.

What if I want to lead a trip to the snow?

If you want to borrow snowshoes, and to learn about snow safety, please sign up for our annual Snowshoe course.

What if I don't work for a school or organization?

Our courses are designed and reserved for youth workers.  If you work with a group of youth at any capacity, feel free to register for our courses!  If you would like to get involved in another way, check out our volunteer Gear Corps which happens every second Wednesday of the month!

Other courses

Hiking Leadership Training

1-day course for novice and experienced hikers provides leadership and facilitation skills for planning, organizing and leading fun and safe hikes with youth.

Wilderness First Aid

WFA is a highly experiential 2-day class for everyone who wants to learn how to handle medical situations in the backcountry. You’ll gain the confidence and the skills to handle a first aid emergency.

Our FLT is an entry-level “car camping” course that covers all the basic skills and resources needed to take youth safely and successfully on overnight trips.