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


Anyone interested in taking families outside to explore and learn in nature. This program is for parents, grandparents, teachers, community leaders, environmental educators, professional outdoor guides and more.

The GDP is also 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 up to 6 hours of CPE credit by attending this course.

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


You are invited to join FIN’s community of Guides with three options for participating in our Guide Development Program.

  1. You can join our new Guide Development Online Training – developed during COVID-19 to make our programs more accessible to communities in all geographic locations, and to create access for teachers, parents and leaders who cannot attend an in-person training.
  2. You can bring our staff to you to train leaders from your own organization, city, school district, or collaborative.
  3. You can attend a Guide Training in person in Central Texas

The Guide Development Program includes:

  • Information and inspiration to take students and families out into nature, including why people need nature, how to teach hope and foster a love of nature, how to plan successful adventures, risk management and keeping families safe outdoors, the benefits of teaching science outside, discovery-style outdoor teaching methods, outdoor skill development, raising up the next generation of conservation leaders, and more.
  • Training on and access to FIN’s exclusive Ecologist School Program, which includes access to the FIN Guide version of our original Guidebook before it is published. The Ecologist School Guidebook contains an informal science curriculum of more than 1,000 hands-on S.T.E.A.M lessons in 16 branches of science relevant to ecology, with which participants can earn badges and even certification as a Junior Ecologist.
  • Inspiration and knowledge to help you create your own Nature Community.
  • Demos of camping and other gear (tents, sleeping pads, camp kitchens, etc.) from FIN’s Gear Library. Completion of the training will allow local Austin area guides to borrow our gear for use at events in their communities. (in-person program only)
  • Training on FIN’s campus campouts program for schools and other community organizations.
  • Outdoor skill building, including how to make a campfire, outdoor cooking, how to teach knife safety, knots and shelter building, and more. (in-person program only)
  • Fun nature activities and lesson examples from the Ecologist School Guidebook.
  • Community building with a meal around fire. (in-person program only)
  • Individual and small-group mentorship opportunities during and after training.
  • Inclusion in FIN’s community of practice to enable you to share experiences and learn from our community of Guides.


Register for this course on our website, or email to set up a private program for your own organization, school district, collaborative or city. Then help us meet your specific needs with our program by registering to become a FIN Guide, completing our online registration form.


Questions? Email Jordan Joly, FIN’s Program Coordinator, at