2022 Pre-Conference Events

Extended Education

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Pre-Conference sessions (Extended Education) take place prior to the start of the 2022 International Conference, and are in-depth workshops and activities that provide an expanded opportunity for professional development.


Do I need to register for the International Conference (taking place Nov 10-13) in order to attend a pre-conference event? No! You are able to register and attend any of the below events without having to purchase a ticket or attend the entire International Conference.

Are meals and lodging included? No. If you plan to stay overnight or have meals on-site, you must purchase lodging and a meal plan separately.

Can I stay in the same housing if I'm staying for Conference weekend? Yes! Just book the room for the entire time.

Can I get CEUs from pre-conference events? This depends on the individual event. Each event is different and you'll need to check out the specific event details below.

Where are the events being held? Location varies by individual event. Each event will be held at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly unless otherwise specified below. 

Are the pre-conferences available to virtual attendees too? Will they be recorded? No. Pre-conference events occur in-person only unless otherwise specified below.

Jump To:

The Adventure Trail - An Expedition of Discovery

Outdoor Orientation Program Symposium (OOPS)

The Adventure of Belonging: (Re)-Imagining Our Approaches for a Socially Just and Collective Community (TAPG)

Adventure Education Conference (AEC) with Brevard College

Risk Management for Outdoor Programs

Wilderness Education Association-Certified Outdoor Educators (COE) Clinic

Team Building From the Toy Aisle

The Adventure Trail - An Expedition of Discovery

Date & Time: Wednesday, November 9th, 10:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location: YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly - Pavilion

Cost: $99 

Presenters: Jim Cain, Shawn Moriarty

Teambuilding Guru Dr. Jim Cain is the author of 25 best-loved books filled with team and community building activities from around the world. His real-world in-person train-the-trainer events are legendary in the adventure-based learning community and his virtual activities are used around the world.

Camp Director, Environmental Educator and Curious Naturalist, Shawn Moriarty has been working with people in nature and creating learning communities since 1983. Shawn leads workshops on teaching ecological concepts in engaging ways and helping people develop their connections to the natural world.


The Adventure Trail is a brilliant opportunity for you to learn an innovative new approach to team development, that is as easy as a walk in the park. On day one, you'll learn by doing and on day two, you'll get to lead a miniature expedition of 12 people at the start of the AEE conference, immersed in the natural setting of YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly.

An introduction to the content of an Adventure Trail expedition, team development, the five stages of group formation and facilitation skills appropriate for on-the-trail events.

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Outdoor Orientation Program Symposium (OOPS)

Date & Time: November 9th, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Location: YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly - Barnhardt Lodge

Cost: $100 staff/faculty, $72 students

Presenters: Dr. Brent J. Bell

Brent Bell is a faculty member at the University of NH, where he teaches outdoor leadership and researches outdoor orientation programs. He's authored 32 publications on outdoor orientation. Brent has organized the Outdoor Orientation Program Symposium since 2003.


The Outdoor Orientaiton Program Symposium (OOPS) is dedicated to bringing student leaders, researchers, programs directors & public land representatives together to support learning about college outdoor orientation programs.

Outdoor orientation programs are high impact practices, utilized at 212 campuses in the United States. These programs are linked to postive results in student retention and satisfaction. These programs often take place on overnights away from campus in small groups led by trained peer leaders.

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The Adventure of Belonging: (Re)-Imagining Our Approaches for a Socially Just and Collective Community

Date & Time: November 8th & 9th, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Location: YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly - Weatherford Lodge


AEE Member - $200

Non-Member - $240

Student AEE Member - $155

Student Non-Member - $180

Presenter/Leadership Council Two Day - $160

AEE Member One Day - $105

Non-Member One Day - $125

Presenter/Leadership Council One Day - $85

First Timer Rate - $155

Presenters:  Therapeutic Adventure Professionals Group (TAPG)


This year’s Therapeutic Adventure Professionals Group Pre-Conference will be held on
Tuesday, November 8th and Wednesday, November 9th, 2022 in Black Mountain, North Carolina. In
addition, TAPG is offering a 4 hour Professional Development Intensive (PDI) on Friday
November 11th, 2022.

This event is appropriate for mental health professionals, wilderness and adventure field
staff and managers, therapeutic recreation professionals, and allied professionals who
work with adults, youth, and/or their families. All presentations are appropriate for
professionals of all levels of expertise: introductory, intermediate, or advanced.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about Adventure Therapy at its most fundamental and clinical levels, across all forms of delivery, while building their professional community.

Preview the Agenda

Register Now!

Adventure Education Conference (AEC) with Brevard College

Capacity: 200 participants

Date & Time: November 9, from 8am to 4:30pm

Location: YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly

Cost: $25 for Students, $40 for Faculty & General Admission, $155 for Exhibitors *LUNCH INCLUDED!

We would like YOU to be a part of this wonderful conference by presenting a workshop at the 2022 Adventure Education Conference on November 9th, which is taking place at Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, NC.

Please fill out this form if you would like to present a workshop.  


The Adventure Education Conference was started over 28 years ago with the purpose of creating an affordable conference for students located in the Southeastern U.S. The Adventure Education Conference gives students and professionals in the outdoor education field a chance to develop knowledge and skills through workshops and exhibitions, and provides networking opportunities and collaboration among colleges. 

Colleges that have participated in the AEC include Warren Wilson, Montreat, UNC Asheville, Western Carolina University, James Madison University, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, and more.


Follow the AEC on Facebook!

ALL DETAILS FOUND HERE (agenda, schedule & more!)

Risk Management for Outdoor Programs

Capacity: 50 participants

Date & Time: November 2-30th

The course has 5 live video-conference sessions, once each week, for five weeks: November 2, 11:00 am - 11:45 am, New York time (UTC-4) November 9, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm, NY time (UTC-5) November 16, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm, NY time (UTC-5) November 23, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm, NY time (UTC-5) November 30, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm, NY time (UTC-5) In between each live session is an Independent Work Period. There is approximately 10 hours of independent study and small group projects each week.

Location: ONLINE

Cost: $399

Presenters:  Jeff Baierlein

Jeff Baierlein is Director of outdoor and experiential program consultancy Viristar. He is the former Executive Director of Outward Bound Baltimore Chesapeake Bay and the Boojum Institute for Experiential Education. Jeff is an outdoor safety expert witness, AEE accreditation reviewer, and former AEE Board member.


The Risk Management for Outdoor Programs training by Viristar is a comprehensive, 40-hour online course that provides a systems-based approach to understanding why incidents occur and how they may be prevented. Topics include human factors in incident causation, systems thinking, legal considerations, safety standards, emergency response, risk management planning, and more. The course has weekly Zoom calls with independent work and small group projects in between. Participants review outdoor risk management models, learn best safety practices, develop a Risk Management Plan outline, complete a mock Risk Management Review, and develop a Strategic Improvement Plan for their organization. Details at https://courses.viristar.com/.

  • Outcomes:
    • Gain critical knowledge of best practices in outdoor program risk management.
    • Learn procedures, systems and plans essential to meeting key outdoor safety standards.
    • Understand how to apply successful risk management strategies to adventure programs, experiential education, wilderness expeditions, and outdoor trips.

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Team Building From the Toy Aisle

Date & Time: Wednesday, November 9th, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Location: YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly - Region Room in the Blue Ridge Center

Cost: $100 

Presenters: Michelle Cummings

Michelle Cummings is the Big Wheel & founder of Training Wheels, a known leader in the Teambuilding field. She's an accomplished author and sought-after speaker. Michelle has created a wide variety of facilitation, debriefing and teambuilding activities that have collectively changed the way trainers work.


It's time to open grandma's game closet and re-see some of the many toy and game classics (and new to you crowd favorites) in a new light. Using elements of game design and experiential theories, we will deconstruct a wide range of existing mass-market games and re-envision them for use as
purposeful, engaging tools for teambuilding applications.

This workshop will include a variety of activities that will include Icebreakers, Energizers, Problem-solving activities, Diversity and Inclusion Games, and Debriefing Tools. Come prepared to laugh and learn, and go home with multiple new activities that are sure to reinvigorate your programs.

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Wilderness Education Association-Certified Outdoor Educators (COE) Clinic

About the Event: The Wilderness Education Association will host a Wilderness Education Association (WEA) Certified Outdoor Educator (COE) clinic as a pre-conference event of the 2022 AEE International Conference in Black Mountain NC, USA. November 7-9

Capacity: 12 participants

Date & Time: Monday, November 7-Wednesday, November 9th, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Location: Black Mountain Home West Campus, Black Mountain, NC

Cost: $695 (10% off for AEE Members) 



Lodging for Nov 7-8 

WEA Associate Membership

1 Dinner: Nov 9

Presenters: Ryan Carlson

Ryan Carlson is the Executive Director of the Wilderness Education Association.


The clinic is a required component of the WEA's COE credential.The COE Clinic is an approximately 20-hour course designed to familiarize participants with the WEA certification levels and process and communicate to participants how to incorporate the WEA Credentialing Program into their curricula and outdoor expeditions. To find out more about the COE, go to: https://weainfo.org/coe. The clinic is 2.5 days beginning at 1:00 PM on November 7 and concluding by 5 pm on November 9, 2022. For questions about the COE credential, contact the WEA via phone at (971) 208-5751 or via email at: nationaloffice@weainfo.org For clinic specific questions, please contact Melissa at: nationaloffice@weainfo.org

The Certified Outdoor Educator (COE) credential recognizes the professional qualifications of individuals who work in programs that provide structured training and assessment/evaluation in outdoor leadership development. These professionals are committed to excellence and have proven their ability to deliver quality outdoor leadership experiences. In addition, COEs have also demonstrated proficiency in educating, evaluating, and assessing outdoor leadership training and development experiences based on the WEA 6+1 standards. The COE is critical to the training and recognition of WEA Certified Outdoor Leaders (COLs).

The vast majority of outdoor professionals interested in and eligible for the COE have already completed a post-secondary or graduate degree and have accumulated extensive field time and experience. This professional path provides access to the COE certification without enrolling in another extensive educational program. In summary, the COE candidate provides evidence of field and teaching experience directly relevant to the WEA 6+1 standards via a portfolio filled with original-work artifacts (other certifications, lesson plans, created rubrics, professional training, presentations/ publications, etc.). Attending a COE Clinic is one step in the process of building the professional COE portfolio.

Clinic registration includes: 2 nights lodging, 1 dinner, WEA clinic fee, instruction and the clinic manual.

Register NOW!