Developing Your Outdoor Program Model

These resources are designed to help you develop a program model you can use to work with youth outdoors. The resources will give you the tools necessary to create and customize high impact outdoor youth development programs in your community by developing partnerships with local schools or youth service agencies.


Planning your program is the first step towards working with students in the outdoors. This section will give you the resources and guidance necessary to design your program and develop partnerships.

Guide - Developing Your Outdoor Program ModelGUIDE Developing Your Outdoor Program Model

This guide will give you detailed information about how to design an Outdoor Program Model and develop the partnerships necessary to support it. Developing the model in which you hope to work with youth outdoors can be a fun process. Moving your outdoor program from an idea to implementation can be challenging and time consuming. This guide will help you through the processes of creating your outdoor program from planning and presenting, to implementing and evaluating.

GUIDE Theory of Change for Outdoor Youth Development GUIDE Theory of Change for Outdoor Youth Development

This guide was developed to give you a detailed example of a comprehensive Theory of Change for outdoor youth development programs. Use this guide as a resource when developing your own Theory of Change for your program participants. This information is important when developing relationships, presenting your program, and designing custom partnerships.

SAMPLE Memorandum of Agreement

This document is a sample memorandum of agreement (MOA) for program partners produces by our partner Outdoor Outreach. This sample MOA lists program structure, roles and responsibilities for partners, confidentiality, payment, and cancellation policies for program partners. The language, content, and structure of this document can help you when developing MOA’s for program partners.


After developing partnerships with existing youth service organizations, and planning your interactions with youth. You are ready to execute or facilitate programs. Use the following guides, samples, and templates to help move you through the process of executing your program partnership.

TEMPLATE Lesson Plan

This document is meant to aid you in the process of developing lesson plans for after-school activities. Utilize the formatting and guidelines of the template to create detailed lesson plans. This template can be used to plan programming for trips and activities. It contains information for developing your objective, materials, activity flow, and instant advice for facilitators.


This template is set up to contain simple information that is pertinent to your trip. You can customize this template in any way you chose adding anything specific and relevant to your program. It also contains a debrief questionnaire for collecting information and feedback from the trip.

SAMPLE Climbing Flyer

This is a sample document from our partner Outdoor Outreach used by program partners to distribute information to participants. This ensures that participants have all the necessary information to participate in upcoming events. Flyers should be sent home with participants to inform families of pertinent information for the day’s events.


Below is a document that will help you evaluate your program partnerships.

Partnership EvaluationSAMPLE Partnership Evaluation

This form can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of partnerships post programs.This form can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of partnerships following their facilitation. Use this sample as a reference when evaluating partners.


Partner Program ManualSAMPLE Partner Program Manual

This is a sample manual for creating program partnerships developed by our partner Outdoor Outreach. This document can be used as a reference to create ideas for developing program partnerships. Your programs may not be identical to Outdoor Outreach programs so keep in mind what aspects of this program model you may want to change.

Best Practices Outdoor Youth Development ProgramWebinar Best Practice Outdoor Youth Development Programs

View the webinar as where we talk to the Executive Directors from City Kids Wilderness Project, Outdoor Outreach, and SOS Outreach to learn what it takes to deliver and grow a successful outdoor youth development program. In this interactive Q&A style webinar, we cover a range of topics such as fundraising, evaluation, program models, partnerships, and more.