Chris Pelchat presented "Accreditation Standards and Outdoor Leadership: WEA 101" at the international conference of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education on October 30. Pelchat is an instructor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.
The presentation was focused around the movement within the Wilderness Education Association (WEA) that is forging the way to the standardization of outdoor leadership curriculum within programs that subscribe to train outdoor adventure leaders.
Pelchat, who also serves as the WEA's president, also spent time discussing the future of outdoor leader certification and the creation of the International Registry of Outdoor Leadership.
The presentation was well attended and had many attendees excited about the steps that were happening within the WEA to continue to professionalize the outdoor industry. One attendee, a senior field instructor, stated "Where the WEA is going is as close to the original vision of Paul Petzoldt as it has ever been." (Petzoldt was one of the key figures of modern outdoor leadership in the United States and the creator of the National Outdoor Leadership School as well as the WEA.)