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Guide Development Program

Train to become a certified nature guide through Families in Nature’s Guide Development Program. Gain the skills and confidence to get your school or community out into nature to play, learn and volunteer together!

Who Can Participate

This program is for anyone interested in taking their friends and family outside to explore and learn in nature: parents, grandparents, teachers, community leaders, environmental educators, professional outdoor guides and more.

Being a volunteer guide is a great resume builder for those looking to grow or expand their career in the outdoor, environmental education or conservation fields. Texas teachers can earn CPE credit by attending this course.

All are welcome to this training and as participants in FIN.

Nature Communities

Create your own Nature Community and get outdoors with friends, family, or any group of nature lovers!

Ways to Train

Developed to make our programs more accessible to communities in all geographic locations and to create access for teachers, parents and leaders who cannot attend in-person training.

ONLINE OR IN PERSON. We bring our staff to you to train leaders from your own organization, city, school district, or collaborative. This in-person training is customizable to meet your needs. Our traditional training includes two days of camping and learning, but shorter one-day sessions are also available. There will also be approximately three hours of reading and reflection to prepare for the training.

The cost of our GDP hosted by your organization, school, city or collaborative varies with location and duration of the course. We are also available to consult with individuals and organizations. Fees vary.

Contact our staff at for more information or schedule an in-person Guide Development Program for your community.

Become a Guide

How to Apply and Register for the next Guide Development Program

Register for this course on our website, or email to set up a private program for your own organization, school district, collaborative, or city. Full and partial scholarships are available. Apply here. Our scholarships are offered thanks to our generous donors and sponsors! Questions? Email Program Coordinator Jordan Joly at

Benefits of Being a FIN Guide

  • Access to the Ecologist School Guidebook
  • Invitation to join our community of practice that is filled with like-minded conservation leaders
  • Invitation to our Annual Guide Summit
  • Mentoring and leadership development opportunities
  • Access to Gear Library for local guides after training
  • Options for liability insurance

Guide Development Program Learning Objectives

  • Teach from the perspective of hope and inspire conservation mindedness
  • Engage families to build connected resilient communities
  • Invite everyone and create equitable access to nature
  • Plan successful outdoor adventures
  • Keep families safe outside with our risk management guidelines
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