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Learning Outside the Box: Co-Developing a CTE Pathway in Outdoor Recreation

Photo of a group of children bike riding in the woods with adults

Joe Klementovich/The Conservation Fund

Project Name
Increasing Access, Skills, and Talent for Outdoor Recreation in the North Country

Project Description

This project is part of a sustained collaborative investment to boost the human powered recreation economy in Northern New Hampshire. Funded by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund and coordinated by The Conservation Fund and The Appalachian Mountain Club, this project focuses on a triple-bottom line approach to rural economic development.

In New Hampshire, the outdoor recreation industry supports 79,000 jobs and $2.6 billion in wages and salary. The state’s Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA) Commissioner stated, “New Hampshire offers the best combination of a vibrant and diversified economy with outdoor lifestyle on the East Coast.” However, there is a shortage of individuals in the local workforce with the skills needed by the outdoor industry.

This project addresses the skills gap and creates a system of programming to prepare students for the opportunities that exist in the outdoor recreation industry. Through this project, a competency-based Outdoor Recreation pathway will be developed within the existing Career & Technical Education (CTE) programming in the region. Additionally, extended learning opportunity content will be developed with the Outdoor Recreation competencies to create work-based learning opportunities for students that don’t have access to CTE programs.

The competencies and extened learning opportunities will be developed using a CAST-led iterative co-design process with stakeholders including students, teachers, and industry partners. This process gives CAST access to the user’s expertise and better insights into their authentic needs and experiences.;

This project will put into place a strategy that ultimately will enable students in the North Country to be able to enroll and complete an entire Outdoor Recreation CTE program.


May 2020 – April 2021


Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund


Appalachian Mountain Club
White Mountains Regional High School
Littleton High School
Berlin Middle High School
White Mountain Community College

Project Leadership

Amanda Bastoni, Project Director


For questions about this project, please contact Amanda Bastoni.

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