The 31st International Conference on Outdoor Leadership
Judgment the WEA Way: Making Decisions That Work

February 19 - 22, 2020 @ HoneyRock near Three Lakes, Wisconsin

Submission Deadline:  October 15, 2019  Extended to November 1, 2019!
PDF of Call:          
Submission URL:
Questions:                     [email protected]  

This conference is intentionally designed to deliver an inspired, practical, and motivating learning experience for attendees. Ideal educational sessions for 2020 will emphasize applied learning, judgment and decision-making, and leadership training & development. We encourage presenters to make full use of the resources and opportunities available at HoneyRock. See the tentative conference schedule to review the anticipated presentation times.

Presentation Categories

Pre- or Post-Conference Workshops

Occurring before or after regular conference programming, these workshops are a space for concentrated learning and experiences with specific and tangible outcomes, i.e., certifications, other credentialing, organizational trainings, etc. Pre- and post-conference workshop providers are not required to attend the conference and are thus not required to register for the conference. 

Practical Sessions

Bring your expertise to student-centered, problem-based, experiential, and collaborative (SPEC) sessions rooted in practical experience. Have an assessment tool that is particularly effective? A new way to teach baking in the backcountry? We will be in northern Wisconsin in winter: how about demonstrating an innovative method for teaching snow shelters, or maintaining XC skis, or kitchen setup in the winter? Share your expertise with implementing high-quality, SPEC learning moments in the outdoor classroom. These sessions can range from 1.5 to 3 hours. Preference is given to those proposals with a clear emphasis on transferable leadership and educational skills. An assortment of gear and equipment can be borrowed from HoneyRock for your session. See below for more information. 


Like Petzoldt, these sessions won’t mince words or beat around the bush. In less than 20 minutes, these speakers will educate, inspire, and provoke. From sharing motivating personal anecdotes to presenting lofty ideas and questions to challenging trends and traditions in our industry, these short, intense sessions will be featured each day of the conference. 

General Sessions

Featured early in the conference, these sessions allow for engaging and interactive exploration of evidence-based ideas, research, and practices within the WEA 6+1 curriculum, particularly emphasizing Judgment and Decision-making. These sessions require engaging facilitators equipped with high-impact visuals and experiential techniques to challenge attendees in knowledge and skill development. These sessions tend to appeal to a more general audience with thought-provoking and research-supported insights and applications. 

Research Symposium

Featured on Saturday morning, accepted oral (20 minutes) and poster presentations will focus on empirical and conceptual research in the area of outdoor leadership training and development. Posters will be on display in a visible location both Friday and Saturday. A typical abstract submitted will include a literature review, statement of purpose/need for the study, methods used, results, discussion, and references. Data analysis does not need to be completed by the submission deadline but is expected to be completed by the final abstract submission date prior to the conference. 

Student Workshops

Also featured on Saturday morning, these 30-minute sessions allow students to develop experience as they deliver an engaging and interactive workshop. Collaborative, practical workshops will receive preference. *NOTE: Students are encouraged to submit proposals in any category and are not limited to the Student Workshop category.

Special Resources Available

Hosting the 31st ICOL at HoneyRock provides excellent opportunities for presenters to take advantage of the outdoor resources and equipment made available by the HoneyRock programs. Some of HoneyRock's activity amenities include two climbing facilities (ice in the winter), horseback riding program, challenge course, high and low ropes courses, swimming beach, canoes, kayaks, recreation rooms, and basketball court. Winter activities include downhill and cross-country skiing, tubing, skating, racquetball, broomball, and sleigh rides. Also available is a full complement of outdoor gear and equipment for winter sports - ice climbing, cross-country skis, winter camping, etc.- as well as gear for extended trips. Besides the typical indoor meeting room spaces, the HoneyRock facility also includes numerous decks, campfire rings, and outdoor classroom spaces that provide cozy outdoor gathering areas.

We encourage presenters to take full advantage of these opportunities to heighten the quality of their proposals. Coordination of equipment can be secured after proposals are accepted and confirmed. Also feel free to view the HoneyRock website to get ideas:

Reviewing Presentations

A team of volunteers will complete blind reviews of proposals and make recommendations to the Conference Leadership Team. Presenters whose proposals are accepted will be notified as quickly as possible. Presenters will receive Early Bird pricing for registration regardless of the time of notification or registration.

Submission Deadline:  October 15, 2019  Extended to November 1, 2019!
Submission URL:
Questions:                    [email protected] 

The WEA 2020 International Conference on Outdoor Leadership is built on the work of people like you: professional educators and practitioners dedicated to developing outdoor leaders who make quality decisions based on good judgment.