Specialist Trainings FAQ



1. What is the role of an Outdoor Classroom Specialist?
The Specialist leads and supports the development and cultivation of the Outdoor Classroom at their center.

2. What is the benefit of attending the trainings?
ECE professionals and others who want to further the development of the Outdoor Classroom will strengthen their understanding and their skills. They will learn how to better support their colleagues, communicate Outdoor Classroom concepts and practices, model effective behavior, and evaluate and modify environments and programs.

3. Who at my center should really attend?
The teacher from a center who is the most enthusiastic about leading and supporting the development of the Outdoor Classroom. Having the director attend is also very helpful.

4. Can I attend if I don’t work directly with children?
Yes. However, you should know that the training is designed for teachers.

5. What is an Outdoor Classroom Demonstration or Recognized Site?
These are sites that have achieved certain levels of development of their Outdoor Classroom which has been confirmed by the Demonstration Site Network Steering Committee members. In addition, Demonstration Sites agree to be visited by professionals who are interested in seeing examples of the Outdoor Classroom. Click here for more information and a list of sites.

6. Can our center still be a Demonstration or Recognized Site without having someone attend the training?
Having one teacher on staff who is a Specialist is a requirement of being a Demonstration or Recognized Site.

Specialist Training Level I

1. Do I have to attend all three sessions?
If you want to receive a Certificate of Completion, you will need to attend all three sessions and complete the home assignments.

2. If I miss one of the sessions, can I make it up?
Yes, when the next Level I training is scheduled. Trainings are scheduled based upon demand.

3. Can someone else attend from my center as a substitute if I can’t make it?
Only if they are going to attend all three sessions. The training days are built on one another, and the certification can only be completed if all trainings are taken by the same person.

4. Can I pay for each Saturday training separately?
Payment for the three sessions is required in advance. If you have a financial hardship, please contact Linda Palkovic in the OCP Office (626-296-1770).

5. Will you be selling the required texts at the training?
The only book available at the training is the Outdoor Classroom Project Resource Guide. All texts are required reading prior to the first workshop so we encourage you to purchase them as soon as possible.

6. Where can I buy the required books and The Outdoor Classroom Staff Training Guide? How much are they?
The Training Guide can be purchased from OCP for $19.99 plus shipping and handling. If your center has an OCP Resource Supplement binder from a previous conference, the Guide can be copied from that binder. If you have any questions about ordering this Guide, please contact the OCP office.

  • Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv is approximately $10, plus shipping from Amazon or from your local bookstore.
  • Theories of Childhood by Carol Garhart Mooney is approximately $16, plus shipping from Amazon or from your local bookstore.

Specialist Training Level II

1. Who can attend the Outdoor Classroom Specialist Level II Training?
Only those who have completed the Level I Training may attend the Level II Training. If you have attended a portion, but not all, of the Level I training, contact us regarding becoming eligible for the Level II Training.

2. What is the benefit of the Level II Certification?
The Level II Training is designed to support the ongoing process of Outdoor Classroom cultivation. Beginning with identifying your center’s stage of Outdoor Classroom development, you will be supported in working with the next series of steps. It is intended that many of the participating centers will make progress toward or achieve Demonstration or Recognized Site status.

3. If I miss one of the trainings, can I make it up?
You may make up a missed session of The Level II Training when it is offered next. Please note that this Training may only be offered once per year.

4. Can someone from my center attend in my place if I am unable to attend?
Yes, but only if they have completed the Specialist Level I Training and can attend all three workshops. Attendees who miss a session will receive their Certificate of Completion only when the missed session is made up at a later date.

Specialist Training Level III

Specialist Training Level III Frequently Asked Questions coming soon.