How to Lead

Event Planning

  1. Events published by Outwoods should be fun, non-competitive and inclusive to all: gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender persons, and their friends.
  2. Ideally, we would like to see both women and men listed as co-leaders for each event as this encourages greater participation. Having a co-leader also helps if one person is unable to attend the event at the last minute.
  3. Pick an activity you enjoy, are comfortable with, and reasonably adept at.
  4. Pick a location with which you are reasonably familiar. If you are planning a trip to a new location, mention it in the newsletter. (Example: You may want to ride the bike route you have chosen before listing it. Provide the participants with maps of the route.)
  5. Pick a date and time.
  6. Designate a specific place to meet.
  7. When planning your event, take into consideration that persons of different levels of expertise may be participating in your event. If there is a distance to be covered in a given time, please state that. (Some activities, such as kayaking, biking, or skiing, may require a certain level of skill/guides. If that is the case, please specify this in your event description.)
  8. Find out if equipment rentals are available for your activity, preferably near the site of the event. This could include camping gear, ice or inline skates, rock climbing gear, canoes or kayaks, etc.
  9. Determine costs for your event, if any, such as: park fees, trail permits, boat rentals, ski passes, camping costs ($5/night/person), meals, etc.
  10. If there is a limit in number of participants, such as a campsite number limit, state that in the trip write-up. If you want to have an idea of how many people will be attending your trip, don’t list the exact meeting location in your ad. Request that all participants call for exact meeting location.
  11. Helpful information for specific types of trips:
    • Biking events: bike on shoulder of highway or designated trail (paved or graded limestone), encourage bike helmets and tire maintenance equipment
    • Camping events: intoxicating beverages are unlawful in state parks
    • Canoeing and kayaking events: PFDs (life jackets) required
    • Cross country skiing events: trails groomed for Nordic skiing, skate skiing, or not groomed
    • Inline skate events: encourage use of protective gear
  12. Encourage carpooling for out of town trips. One way to do this is to meet at a central location and set up carpools from there.
  13. Add a meal or snack component to your event. A big part of Outwoods is social. What better way to encourage socializing than with food! This can be done in parks, restaurants, your home, etc. Tradition for a weekend event is a Saturday night potluck!
  14. Write your trip description, including: trip title, date(s), trip leader’s name(s), phone number(s), time(s), concise activity description, locale, directions, equipment/clothing required, skill level, costs, meal plans, reservation deadline, group size limits, and weather backup plan. The deadline for submitting a trip to be published by Outwoods is the 15th of each month. Trip description should be sent to the Outwoods newsletter editor via email to , or by phone. Trips may be listed in the GLBT press with the Trip Leader’s name and phone number. Outwoods reserves the right to edit or decline newsletter submissions.
  15. Some events published in the Outwoods newsletter are listed in the GLBT press. We have no control over what is listed. We have requested first names only be printed. If you do not want your name listed in the paper, we will do what we can to prevent it but we make no guarantees that it won’t be listed.
  16. It helps to have an answering machine. This allows participants to leave messages and ask question relating to the trip. It can also be used to leave weather updates, meeting locations, etc. near the day of the event.
  17. Contact the Outwoods Equipment Manager for any equipment to help with the event, such as: tent, gazebo, tarps, first aid kits, Outwoods banner, etc. Note: Please return all equipment in same condition to Equipment Manager.
  18. The leaders of trips/events/activities have the right to deny an individual’s participation in any event they are leading, if, in their judgment, the inclusion of the individual puts the safety of the group at risk or prevents the group from having an enjoyable experience in accordance with the core values of Outwoods.
  19. The leaders of trips/events/activities should be familiar with Outwoods’ bylaws and policies and agree to abide by the regulations and guidelines therein.

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Day of the Event

  1. Arrive ten minutes early.
  2. Introduce yourself to everyone as they arrive.
  3. Review what the trip entails and make sure participants have what they need for the trip. Hand out maps and other pertinent information, if applicable. If applicable, state a place and time to meet at the end of the trip.
  4. Have participants sign the waiver. The waiver formally notifies participants that they are taking part in an activity publicized by Outwoods at their own risk. Note: If someone refuses to sign the waiver, it is the leader’s decision whether or not to allow them to participate in the event. If the event is potentially hazardous (i.e., rock climbing, kayaking, etc.), it is best to deny participation to anyone refusing to sign the waiver.
    View/Download Waiver (MS Word)
  5. On overnight events, ask participants to fill out health information cards to the best of their ability. These cards are designed to help in an emergency. After the event, return cards to participants or destroy them.
  6. Give sample newsletters to any persons who are new to the group.
  7. Have participants introduce themselves by first names to the group.
  8. At biking, paddling, hiking, and skiing events, it is best to station one leader at the head of the group and the other leader near the end of the group.
  9. If there are any concerns or complaints from individuals about a participant in the event, solicit their opinion in writing and submit it to Outwoods along with the waiver.
  10. If you are so inclined, take pictures! Get written permission from participants for pictures to be used by the organization for public relations purposes, included, but not limited to, Pride, the newsletter, the website, etc. If all participants give their permission, a statement to that effect can be included on the waiver form.

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After the Event

  1. Return the completed waiver to Outwoods.
  2. Ask the participants for feedback on the trip.
  3. Bask in the glow of praise as people thank you for leading the trip.
  4. Start planning your next trip!

Outdoor Recreation Club for the GLTBS Community