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Helping to
Reconnect People
with Nature

Through Unforgettable Journeys by Canoe

Hands down, Leaders of the Day is the best in the business when it comes to helping Guides, Instructors and Outdoor Educators get their start. Our Guide Star Certification Program is power-packed with 4 great certifications that you can acquire in just 8 days while out enjoying an unforgettable adventure.

Our intimate group sizes of no more than ten participants, puts you at the front of the class with our expert Instructors and Facilitators where you will get one-on-one attention, helpful feedback and patient mentorship. At Leaders of the Day you will learn skills that are quickly becoming forgotten art forms in the wider world. Come hone your skills with us and help push your resume to the top of the pile.

Have a peek inside our incredible training experiences – Click on the frame below

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Unlike a College or University program, Leaders of the Day strives to escape the confines of the lecture hall and to immerse our students instead in a culture of experiential, hands-on learning in the dynamic environment of our “wilderness classroom”.

The Guide Star Certification Program is the perfect ignition experience for those interested in launching a career in experiential or adventure-based education and for those keen to develop the required skills to become a proficient wilderness or expeditionary Instructor. It is also an excellent compliment for teachers or other educators who have already begun their careers but are looking for some new and powerful tools to work with students in outdoor or expeditionary learning settings.

Gather your skills

The program’s many expeditionary workshops; certification modules with industry specialists; opportunities for peer teaching and review and our unique in-course Learner to Leader Practicum undoubtedly put it head and shoulders above other experiences.

Whatever your background is, at Leaders of the Day, we take into account the existing skills base of each participant so we can fine tune a personalized training experience that is perfect for all. We know that both your time and money are precious commodities these days. Come spend them with us and you’ll be happy that you did. You’ll walk away with new and useful certifications in hand and return home with the feeling of satisfaction that comes from having been away on an adventurous holiday!

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Giving You The Extra Edge

With decades of experience in the field, we know that the most talented Outdoor Educators are not forged by the acquisition of technical skills alone. Our Guide Star experience strikes a powerful balance between mentoring high-level technical skills and teaching the finesse art forms of program facilitation, team-building and group dynamics; all of which are essential to develop as a well-rounded Guide, Leader and Educator.

* This program includes the costs of your certifications, in-course accommodation, meals, travel permits and the use of our safety equipment, tents and canoes throughout your course experience.


Guide Star Certifications

  1. Camping Leadership Certification – Paddle Canada
  2. Introduction to Lake Skills – Paddle Canada
  3. Back-country Navigation (Map, Compass and G.P.S.) – Leaders of the Day
  4. Wilderness Skills and Survival Training – Leaders of the Day

Watch a Great testimonial from a very satisfied Guide Star Participant – Click on the frame below and discover why Natalie was so pumped about her experience.


Camping Leadership Cert. + Expedition Module

The Camping Leadership Certification focuses on advanced expeditionary leadership strategies, group management, expedition behaviour and camp-craft skills in a wilderness setting. This course is ideal for those who are in a position of leadership on camping excursions or expeditions.  This is a Guide Level certification program certified through Paddle Canada.

Paddle Canada recently partitioned Wilderness Camping skills from it’s paddling programs so that it could be a stand alone course or be paired with any one of their paddling disciplines (canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding).  Note: The two certifications in this program are the equivalent to the O.R.C.K.A. level 3  Canoe Tripping cert.

At Leaders of the Day we choose to bundle the Camping program Leadership program with the Introduction to Lake Skills certification as part of an expedition-based training experience which unfolds over 6 days in beautiful Algonquin Provincial Park in August each year.   In addition we also include Paddle Canada’s Expedition Camping Module.

Our Instructors take into account each participant’s previous back-country experience and then begin building and refining the group’s collective skills from there.

On your Training Adventure, we will dive into elements such as: flat-water rescue principles, back country navigation, traditional fire-lighting, tarps and shelter building, essential expedition knots, back-country cooking and baking, satellite phone use, environmental ethics, advanced route, menu and risk management planning and much much more!

You will come away from this course feeling really confident, with some amazing new tricks in your repertoire. Our commitment to small group sizes allows us to truly customize the learning path for each participant; to offer one on one mentorship opportunities and to dive into areas of interest pertinent to those in attendance.

Pre-requisites: Candidates must hold their Wilderness Camping Certification or its industry equivalent, OR have at least some paddling experience and at least 12 (non-sequential) nights spent out on expedition to be eligible for the Camping Leadership cert.

Questions about your eligibility? Simply contact our office by email or phone and connect with us to learn more. Those who don’t have prior paddling experience can still be eligible to earn their Wilderness Camping cert. can still be awarded the other certifications and can still participate in this amazing adventure  You don’t have to be an industry professional to register for this course by any means!

Note:  This is the minimum certification required by Teachers (as mandated by O.P.H.E.A.) to be able to take their students on back-country canoe expeditions.

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Introduction to Lake Skills

This Nationally recognized Paddle Canada certification is aimed at the graceful and precision skills of paddling a canoe through the wilderness. The course focuses on all the major strokes in careful detail to build confidence with paddling in a variety of wind and weather conditions. The program will enable participants to become competent paddlers both in the bow and stern positions of the canoe and to be able to execute the strokes with both their dominant and non-dominant hands.

The course will also explore flat-water rescue techniques, initiating turns, paddling in cadence and of course the all important art of portaging. For those individuals who already have some of these basics mastered, our Instructor will assist in taking your skills from wherever they might be and helping you deepen them further.


Back-Country Navigation Level 1

This is an introductory program ideal for those who may be wild about the outdoors but haven’t ever engaged in any formal navigational training. This part of the Guide Star program focuses on the important essentials of map, compass and G.P.S. technologies and how to use each reliably in back-country environments. This experience is a perfect primer for Teachers, looking to secure these skills for safe expedition management or to add to their tool boxes of lesson plans that they can share with students. Being able to quickly and accurately relay positional coordinates to emergency services is an essential skill set.

This program begins with the cornerstone skills of map and compass navigation and then adds G.P.S. as a value added third dimension. There are few places in the outdoor industry today where you can go and be mentored in this crucial knowledge. At Leaders of the Day we put a huge focus on the map and compass portion of our program and accordingly, the entire first day of our curriculum is dedicated to practicing those very hands-on skills out under the sky in the our wilderness classroom. This is not one of those skills you want to feel rusty with. There are no “do-overs” when it comes to emergencies. Come equip yourself with confidence and get it right the first time – every time!

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Wilderness Skills and Survival Program

Regardless of our cultural backgrounds, our Ancestors were all experts at the art of survival or we simply wouldn’t be here. This program provides rich opportunities for participants to be mentored in some skills that are fast becoming forgotten art-forms and to foster a sense of confidence and self-reliance . This is a “crash course” in the essentials of not just surviving but thriving.

Earth-based skills such as: shelter building, knot tying, harvesting wild teas and traditional fire-lighting (with bow drills or flint and steel) are incredible skill sets to have when our expeditions take us to remote settings and “off the beaten track”, but are also incredibly engaging tools to share with your students. Knowing what to do and how to do it with limited resources is crucial in the event that extreme circumstances ever present themselves. Come be mentored in the arts of innovation and self-reliance with our experienced faculty of Wilderness Educators.

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Our Instructors

At Leaders of the Day, we hire talented Instructors with vast teaching experience and deep log books. They hold the highest industry standard certifications and are practiced guides, mentors and role-models. They are experts at living, teaching and traveling in the wilderness where we make our “classroom”. At Leaders of the Day, program quality, safety and positive educational outcomes are our chief focus.

Our Instructors continually upgrade their training in the latest instructional, and risk management practices. With over 2 decades of professional experience in the Experiential Education Industry, we have led, designed and developed programs and training experiences on 3 continents. Leaders of the Day designs programs for clients around the world and as far north as the Arctic Circle.


Click here to learn everything you need to know about our Guide Star Training Program:
What to bring, where to meet…..everything!

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Join us this summer final

This program will run in a different format
for the Summer 2020 and is now full.