State Park Leadership School ~

January 7-11, 2024
Register now at the link below!

Presented by North Carolina State University in cooperation with the National Association of State Park Directors

Founded in 2007, the State Park Leadership School was formed with hopes to fill a void that was trending due to the baby boomer generation of state park employees approaching retirement. Assistant Park Managers, as well as people coming in from other industries, were in need of professional development in order to step into park manager and other leadership positions.

Ideal students include new supervisors, mid-level managers moving into greater responsibilities and high-potential employees. The program covers core competencies that are essential to effective and professional state park management.

Students can network with peers from all over the country and receive instruction from professionals with state park management experience.

The two-year program, through North Carolina State University, consists of both distance education and on-site components. Students begin the program receiving an on-line distance learning module that provides instruction on the curriculum. Each module includes study guides, sample test questions, and recommended supplemental resources. The online portion is followed up by an on-site experiential learning forum at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia. Each year concludes with a written exam covering the various topics within the curriculum. Each participant must receive a 70% each year to receive a certificate.

First Year Curriculum

  • Building Sustainable Teams
  • 21st Century Employees
  • Coaching to Success
  • Conscious Communication
  • Creating Safe Places in State Parks
  • Customer Focus
  • Disruptive Innovations
  • Identity and Traditions
  • Leadership and Decision Making from a Park Ranger’s Perspective
  • Leading Through Change
  • Managing External Relations
  • Resource Management Planning
  • The Power of Interpretation

Second Year Curriculum 

  • Business Management Planning & State Parks
  • Engage Relate Adapt – A framework for creating a more welcoming state park system
  • Ethics for State Park Leaders
  • Leadership in Design
  • Leading and Facilitating Workplace Dynamics
  • Leading Your Maintenance Program
  • Principles of Leadership
  • Public and Private Partnerships
  • Recreation Conflict Management
  • Roundtable Year 2
  • Stress Management
  • Succession Planning
  • Business Management Planning
  • “That’ll Never Happen”…State Park Leadership Case Studies

Room & Board

  • Lakeside Wing Rooms
    • $2,101.71 per person, single occupancy
    • $1,767.71 per person, double occupancy
  • West Wing Rooms
    • $2,021.07 per person, single occupancy
    • $1,727.31 per person, double occupancy
  • Byrd Wing Rooms
    • $1,940.47 per person, single occupancy
    • $1,687.07 per person double occupancy

*NOTE: Double occupancy refers to two people staying the same room. 

Package rate includes:

  • Member Tuition
  • 4 Nights Lodging
  • 4 Buffet Breakfasts
  • 3 Lunches
  • 4 Dinners
  • 4 Beverage Tickets
  • Continuous Beverage Breaks

*Includes all taxes and applicable fees

Register Now


For transportation to and from the Pittsburgh International Airport, please contact Airport Limo Service at 304-232-1175 or visit

School Itinerary

Sunday, January 7
4 p.m. | Wilson Lodge Check-In
4 – 6 p.m. | Registration
6 p.m. | Orientation/Dinner

Monday, January 8
Classes Begin

Tuesday, January 9
All Day Classes

Wednesday, January 10
All Day Classes
Graduation Banquet

Thursday, January 11
11 a.m. | Wilson Lodge Checkout

For more information, please contact the Oglebay National Training Center at 304-243-4126 or