Leave No Trace Master Educator

This course provides participants with a comprehensive overview of Leave No Trace skills and ethics through practical application in a field-based setting. It is run as a combination of a one-day classroom component, three-day/two-night field component, and one-day community outreach opportunity. Students will practice Leave No Trace teaching strategies by delivering a planned lesson. The Master Educator course prepares students to deliver two-day Leave No Trace Trainer courses and one-day or shorter Awareness Workshops. Course completion results in Master Educator registration with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, a Leave No Trace Master Educator certificate, and a one-year Leave No Trace membership.

Please Note: The Master Educator course is not designed to provide instruction on backcountry living skills. The backcountry aspect of the experience is meant to provide relevance to the curriculum, through practicing Leave No Trace techniques and methods, observing examples of impact, and creating an awareness of use and its purposes. The course itinerary is very full, and does not allow time for teaching how to light stoves, cook, purify water, and set up tents, for example. It is assumed that participants come with a level of comfort for living in a backcountry setting, and with all their own gear. If you feel that you would require instruction in any of these backcountry living skills, please contact our office to discuss your goals and alternatives available to you.

Course Length: 
5 Days
Secondary Classifications: 
Certifications Received: 
  • Leave No Trace Master Educator
Continuing Education: 

Scholarship Information is available on the Leave No Trace website.

This course will run rain or shine, so be prepared for whatever weather we could encounter. You will be responsible for providing your own camping gear. Landmark will provide group gear for cooking, a classroom shelter, and instructional gear. You will need to leave room to pack your share of the group gear and food.

  • Day 1: 8:30AM Course start at Base classroom. We’ll cover the foundations of the course in a variety of formats (lecture, discussions, group breakouts, practical workshops, etc). Trip packout and gear shakedown at the end of the day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are on your own.
  • Day 2: 8:00AM Class reconvenes, final packout, and travel to the trailhead. Meals are provided from lunch through the end of the course. Enter the backcountry portion of the course, and begin Teaching Topics. Setup camp. Evening activities.
  • Day 3: Pack up and move camp. Continue Teaching Topics.
  • Day 4: Pack up and prepare to return to Base. Finish Teaching Topics. Return to Base and break down gear, clean-up. Showers and preparation for Day 5. Bring “street clothes”, something tidy and clean for Day 5 activities.
  • Day 5: Pack up and drive to Oconaluftee Visitors’ Center in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Interface with visitors; provide demonstrations, literature, and activities for groups. Graduation and departure by 3PM.

Please remember as you pack that you will need to save room for your share of the group gear, kitchen gear, and food! Pack small and light, beware of redundancy!

  • 2 sets of clothes suitable for the time of year (one to hike, one to wear clean).
  • Sun screen, SPF 15+ is best.
  • A hat to keep the sun off or a hat to keep the heat in depending upon time of year.
  • A set of synthetic long underwear (poly pro, thermax, polarmax).
  • 2 one-quart water bottles - empty gatorade bottles or Nalgene bottles are good.
  • A rain jacket and rain pants or poncho.
  • An insulating layer jacket, compact and synthetic (fleece is ideal).
  • A pair of boots or all-terrain shoes for hiking that have good tread and offer support.
  • A pair of comfortable closed-toed shoes (no sandals) to wear around camp, and that can get wet.
  • 2 sets of wool or synthetic socks for daily hiking, with sock liners if preferred.
  • 1 set of socks (synthetic or wool) for sleeping - in addition to your daily wear socks.
  • A hand towel, and your personal hygiene stuff (tooth brush, paste, comb, etc).
  • A plastic mug, bowl, and spoon.
  • A foam pad or small air mattress for sleeping (thermarest, ridgerest, ensolite pad).
  • A synthetic sleeping bag with a rating appropriate for the time of year. It should come in a stuff sack lined with a plastic garbage bag.
  • A frame pack with hip belt (internal or external frame) lined with a plastic bag.
  • A flash light or headlamp with extra batteries.
  • A camera/notebook/pen or pencil.
  • Any medications, inhaler, bee sting kit, or other personal items that you would normally have with you (we’ll provide you with clean, dry storage).
  • Please pack all these items in ziplocks to keep them dry and clean (2 gal bags are great). Bring a couple of extra zip locks and heavy-duty trash bags.


  • Tape players and other “urban” electrical devices
  • Hunting knives (less than 3”, please),
  • Firearms, Fireworks, etc.

Teaching Topics: The Teaching Topic is the cornerstone of the Master Educator experience. It provides the opportunity to prepare a lesson plan, deliver it, and receive immediate feedback from peers and instructors. Each Master Educator candidate is expected to teach one of the seven principles of Leave No Trace to the class, incorporating into their topic the content and style necessary to teach a group they may encounter as a Master after this course. For example, if the candidate will be working with school groups, s/he should address our class as school-aged students and prepare activities or discussion to fit that particular audience. Or, if the candidate will be working in general education at trailheads or on the trail, s/he should address our class as recreationists s/he might encounter. In preparing your topic, imagine that we (your classmates) know nothing about Leave No Trace. Each candidate will be evaluated through peer review and by course instructors for depth of content, appropriateness for the chosen audience, and instructional style. Sign up for your topic with your registration material, and get online to research: lnt.org


Cullowhee, North Carolina

Mon, 2018-06-18 to Fri, 2018-06-22

Course Details

Banner Elk, North Carolina

Mon, 2018-07-30 to Fri, 2018-08-03

Course Details