Are you an outdoor educator? Or do you prefer outdoor recreation? See how you stack up against some of these criteria.
You prefer to spend your day alone bagging peaks.
You can tackle a 5.10 route without breaking a sweat. You live for 5.11's.
You preferred gym classes in school and participated in a lot of competitive sports.
You travel and like to take rafting trips, visit major National Parks and spend time at beautiful landmarks.
You have organized groups of friends to join you on outdoor trips.
Outdoor Education & Leadership
You enjoy being in charge of groups who rely on you to lead them and provide for their overall wellbeing.
You prefer to share your experiences and help spread environmental awareness, appreciation, and understanding.
You liked natural sciences in school and stayed active in your own ways.
You hold certifications in wilderness medicine, have been a camp counselor, or guided tours.
What does it matter?
It really doesn't. However, as an outdoor educator and leader jobs like Naturalist and Nature Interpreter are right up your alley. You like to get into the biological and ecological aspects of nature and share your insight and knowledge with others. In Outdoor Recreation your focus is more on leading groups of people in technical wilderness settings such as mountaineering and whitewater excursions.
Can there be an overlap? Absolutely. A lot of people (myself included) are proficient at, and enjoy, both educational and technical aspects of outdoor jobs. Usually, however, you'll find that each job focuses a little more on one or the other. Either your job will be more technical oriented, teaching climbing techniques and self arrest methods, or more educational, exploring natural ecosystems and habitats and their interactions. There is definitely a lot of crossing over in these two disciplines. As a trip leader or a guide it's helpful to have a feel for both disciplines as it makes you a more well rounded leader and educator.