Our purpose is to enable individuals and organizations to grow through experiences that foster insight and skill development. Outdoor Wisconsin Leadership School is an interactive, experience-based education program located in Williams Bay, WI at Holiday Home Camp. An OWLS program can assist your group with: leadership development, positive communication skills, motivation, group bonding, creative thinking, cooperation, trust, goal setting, fun, confidence building, problem solving, conflict resolution and effective decision making.
OWLS facilitators receive nearly 80 hours of technical training for the safe operation of the 'high elements' on campus and spend more than 100 hours in training to learn basic and advanced facilitation skills.
OWLS staff are members of the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) and the Association for Experiential Education (AEE). OWLS facilitator certification: National certification is relatively new to the industry, and currently not mandated by any regulatory body. Favorite past experience working with people: Working with a group that had a young teenager.
What you like about working for OWLS: Staff and working with multi-generational and diverse groups. Favorite past experience working with young people: Working with ten 8th grade boys who had every difficult label the school could put on them. What you like about working for OWLS: Professional staff, high quality programming, and diverse clientele.
Favorite past experience working with people: Seeing a group of youth be faced with bad weather all week and still have positive attitudes about the experience.
What you like about working for OWLS: Fun staff, plethora of resources, and lakeside trails. Random fact: Escalators were made to speed up foot traffic, however the majority of people stand on them so think about that next time you're on an escalator.
Undergraduate Degree: Western Illinois University, BS in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration.


Graduate Degree: Western Illinois University, MS in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration.
Favorite past experience working with people: Any time I see someone achieve something, do something, or learn something about themselves that they wouldn't have been able to without their time spent in the program I am facilitating! What you like about working for OWLS: The ability to gain experience in the field with so many different types of groups. Future Plans (post-OWLS): Attending WIU for graduate graduate studies and being the Graduate Assistant for the universities Environmental Conservation and Outdoor Education Expedition. The Outdoor Wisconsin Leadership School (OWLS) program is located on the beautiful, lakefront property of Holiday Home Camp in Williams Bay, WI., close to Milwaukee, Chicago and Northern Suburbs, Rockford, and Madison. Holiday Home Camp, a non-profit organization, was established in 1887 by Chicago industrialists as part of the Lake Geneva Fresh Air Association and remains one of the oldest accredited camps in the country still operating in its original location.
Activities in which participants encounter very small physical risks while remaining in contact with the ground, such as leaning out and allowing other team members to catch and restore them to the upright position. Overcoming trepidation over perceived risks through proper spotting commands and techniques as well as communication. Trust sequence often functions as a first opportunity for participants to trust one another with their own physical safety.
Ability to trust early on relates directly to participant’s willingness to trust on an emotional level.
During OWLS activities, the risk is overwhelmingly perceived risk: when our mind sees something as dangerous even though most of the true danger has been removed.
Perceived risk is valued in adventure education because it allows for significant personal challenge without significant potential for physical harm. How one negotiates a trust sequence lays a foundation for functioning at higher levels of personal risk in future experiences. Those who fear the increased risk and challenge later in the program are able to begin addressing these issues during trust sequences.


We encourage the application of these experiences to promote healthier, more fulfilling and productive communities. It is a convenient drive of less than an hour from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and under 90 minutes from Madison, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois . In addition to formal training sessions, OWLS instructors also spend time shadowing one another in order to learn new facilitation techniques and to provide constructive feedback for professional growth.
As industry leaders OWLS has been an early supporter of the voluntary certification process developed by ACCT. Their low self-esteem was evident: and by the end of the OWLS experience while working on leadership and team building, they had learned that anything was possible by trying. We co-created an amazing, heartfelt experience that left the school counselor and me in tears of joy by the end. The amount of services we offer to any type of group is amazing and I love being able to work with a special needs group one week for example and then facilitate a high school leadership group the next week.
With over 30 years of experience and more than 3,000 participants per year, OWLS is one of the leading providers of challenge course adventure education experiences in the Midwest.
Throughout a typical summer, Holiday Home Camp provides age-appropriate six and eight day camp sessions that serve over 500 youth (2nd - 12th grades) from economically disadvantaged communities.
ACCT has developed standards for certifying facilitators in four classifications: Site Specific, Level 1, Level 2, and Challenge Course Manager. Over the years, OWLS has successfully trained many staff to pass the ACCT certifications (see full list of current certified staff below).




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