Role of the Referring Agent:

The role of the Referring Agent is to support the efforts of prospective students through the application and enrollment process, through the Orientation,  and into the specific Expedition program best suited for his or her needs. In general, this role may be viewed as the following:  To become oriented to the Wilderness School  philosophy, methodology, and specific Enrollment Policies and procedures.

  1. To select appropriate candidates for the Wilderness School Expedition Program or to screen interested candidiates to a Wilderness School Short Course.
  2. To provide guidance in the development of the Student Contract and successful completion of an Orientation Program
  3. To ensure the applicant and family members complete all Wilderness School Enrollment requirements
  4. To support the youth throughout the Wilderness School Follow-Up experience
Who can refer a Student to a Wilderness School Experience?:
Any youth worker presently involved with an adolescent and interested in supporting the youth's Wilderness School experience may become a Referring Agent.
Typical Referring Agents are:
  1. Social Workers
  2. Probation Officers
  3. Community Providers
  4. Therapists
  5. School Personnel (teachers, guidance counselors, coaches)
  6. Youth Counselors or Leaders
Wilderness School Agency Development:
The Wilderness School will provide orientation and training to community based agencies seeking to develop a relationship with the program and to access the services we offer.


This may consist of opportunities for both wilderness experiences and as well as presentations to agency staff in the community.


The primary contact for agency orientation is the Wilderness School Enrollment Coordinator, Bonnie Sterpka (


The initial phase of agency orientation will address program philosophy, intended outcomes, enrollment policies, and student population, including screening, interviewing, and preparing applicants that are appropriate for the program. 


Most new referring agency staff will be directed to an experiential agency orientation course conducted at the Wilderness School.


Agency Orientation Courses:

We have found that the understanding of our program gained through experience offers the most reliable information base when selecting applicants for the Wilderness School.


1-Day Agency Orientation Courses include the option of  group-building activities and a hiking, canoeing, snow shoeing, or ski touring activity.


Schedule Information:  Course dates may be found on the Wilderness School Program Calendar.


Agency Course Enrollment:  Please contact the Wilderness School Enrollment Office to enroll in an agency orientation course.


Base Camp Information Sessions:

Groups of Referring Agency staff may visit the Wilderness School base camp for an orientation of the program. 


Base Camp Information Sessions are approximately ninety minutes in length and may be scheduled through the Enrollment Office.


Community Agency Information Sessions:

As determined by the Wilderness School and the Referring Agency, information sessions occurring in the community may be held through agency staff meetings, regional meetings, etc.