Adventure Leadership Education

Adventure Leadership Education

Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business (CCAL)

Haskayne Adventure Leadership offers unique transformational learning experiences through a range of specialized programs that take students beyond the classroom and into the outdoors. These experiences include nature-based and experiential learning, wilderness solos and expeditions, leadership retreats, martial arts training, arts-based learning, meditation, Qigong and mindfulness practice.

Our programs draw from a diverse body of traditions and research to help students enhance their academic study and experience of leadership and cultivate the foundational qualities and personal capabilities required by leaders in any domain.


Leadership Expedition

Leadership Expedition

The Haskayne Leadership Expedition (OBHR 519) is a unique field course designed to help students cultivate the practical skills and qualities they will need to thrive as leaders in the modern business world. The course is highly experiential and students will have multiple extended opportunities to practice and receive feedback on their leadership skills in a dynamic and challenging environment.

The Haskayne Leadership Expedition is a five-day backpacking expedition that will take participants into spectacular high mountain terrain in the Rockies. Recalling the old adage that “there are no passengers, only crew” on a true expedition, students will quickly find themselves engaged in learning to lead every aspect of the journey. Alongside the fun, camaraderie and adventure, course elements will include training in a range of technical skills for travelling safely and efficiently in the mountains (e.g. trip planning, navigation & route-finding, risk assessment, camp craft, wilderness skills, ecological awareness), problem-solving challenges, leadership assignments, structured personal reflection, small group work and both the structured discipline and adaptive creativity required to achieve expedition goals while travelling in challenging wilderness terrain under unpredictable conditions.

The course is intense and challenging and is designed for undergraduate students committed to both developing themselves as leaders and playing a leadership role within the Haskayne School of Business. No previous outdoor or expedition experience is required. Yet, you must be fit enough to participate in a week-long wilderness backpacking expedition in the mountains carrying a pack and sleeping in a tent.

There are only 24 places on the course, and priority will be given to Haskayne undergraduate students who are committed to developing themselves as leaders and to giving back through acts of leadership and service. Students must have achieved a C- or higher in OBHR 317 to participate in the Leadership Expedition.

The Leadership Expedition typically runs from the Sunday to Friday of the Fall Block week. A mandatory pre-trip meeting is held for all registered students during the Spring or Summer before the course. 

To get a sense of the expedition, check out this video about the 2015 program and this video about the 2019 program, and this UCalgary News article. Here's a message from Dr. Julian Norris, in which he describes the Leadership Expedition and speaks about the value of spending time in the mountains. For detailed information about the program, please read the course handbook.

In addition to tuition, there is a supplemental fee for this course to cover the additional costs associated with running an expedition.

Applications for Fall 2024 are now open. Please click here for for information.

Students must apply to participate in this course and must have achieved a C- or higher in OBHR 317. All applications are reviewed, and the top 24 will be offered a place in the course. Those not selected will be offered a place on the waitlist.

The Haskayne Wilderness Retreat

Wilderness Retreat

The Wilderness Retreat is a summer block week course held in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and is one of Haskayne's more unique and exciting elective programs. The retreat offers an undergraduate course (OBHR447) and a graduate course for MBA students (OBHR 649).

The Wilderness Retreat is an unconventional learning experience for business students that combines outdoor activities, personal growth challenges, team building, self reflection, and cross-cultural learning. The purpose of the course is to cultivate core leadership skills in the context of sustainable development. “Great leaders are people of exceptional integrity, vision, and creativity who inspire others to achieve their best for the greater good.”

Haskayne Wilderness Retreat - ii'taa'poh'to'p in Real Time

OBHR 447 for BComm students is delivered at the Barrier Lake field station of the University of Calgary’s Biogeoscience Institute. 
OBHR 649 for MBA students will be located at Cross River Education and Retreat Centre, BC.

The Wilderness Retreat courses are intended for students interested in developing their leadership skills in a changing world. The course is focused on issues including sustainability, indigenous ways of knowing, ecological awareness, and personal development.

Students learn experientially through participation in a range of activities, from hiking to Talking Circles. The courses incorporating knowledge from a variety of fields including sustainable development, organizational management, cross-cultural learning, outdoor leadership and wilderness therapy. 

OBHR447 is usually held in the first week of July. The entire course is delivered at the Barrier Lake Field Station. Students are expected to participate in a variety of outdoor activities that will require safety gear and a minimum fitness level to manage longer hikes with some elevation gain. Only one course is offered.

MBA level course (OBHR 647) is held in the third and/or fourth weeks of July, partially on the UCalgary campus and partially in the mountains. This course is not physically demanding though some outdoor activities are held.

In addition to tuition, there is a supplemental fee for this course to cover the additional costs associated with off-campus expeditions. The fee may vary by year and by course.

Applications for 2024 will open during the 2023-24 Winter Term. Watch for the registration link on MyUofC portal. Registration opens simultaneously with all Summer Registration courses. 

Spots are on a first com first served basis and are limited to 20 BComm students and 40 MBA students. Later applicants will be added to a waitlist.

Leading in Complexity

Leading in Complexity

Leading in Complexity (OBHR 668) is an intensive course designed to give students the theoretical maps, practical tools and personal foundation from which to lead and make effective decisions in complex, high stakes contexts. Drawing from both systems theory and developmental psychology it blends a traditional classroom format with nature-based activities, experiential learning, reflexive practices, and a unique martial arts-based somatic coaching approach to create a dynamic learning environment.

This course will not be offered in the 2023-24 academic year.