Developing Your Outdoor Program Model

This path was designed to help you develop a program model you can use to work with youth outdoors. The path 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. For detailed information about creating a long-term program model see the AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS/ADVENTURE CLUBS Path.

Planning Your Program

GUIDE Developing Your Outdoor Program Model (046)

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.

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 (030)

This guide serves as an example of a theory of change for outdoor youth development programs. A theory of change helps your organization communicate the work it is doing in the world and what the results or the impact of that work will be.

You can use the Theory of Change template (TEMPLATE Theory of Change ) to modify and customize your own theory of change based on your mission, vision and program model.

SAMPLE Memorandum of Agreement (126)

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.

The purpose of this document is to provide a template that facilitators or program leaders can utilize when developing 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.

Evaluating Program Partners

Below is a document that will help you evaluate you program partnerships. For further information regarding evaluating programs, see the TYO Path for PROGRAM EVALUATION.

SAMPLE Partnership Evaluation (128)

This form is a sample program partner evaluation created by our partner Outdoor Outreach. This form can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of partnerships following their facilitation. Use this sample as a reference when evaluating partners.

Other Resources

SAMPLE Partner Program Manual (127)

This is a manual is a comprehensive guide for facilitators designed by our partner Outdoor Outreach. 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. Use this document as a reference when developing program partnerships and encountering challenges along the way.