Workshop Physical Activity Ratings

Each workshop has been assigned a rating from the least demanding, Level 1, to Level 6, so students can find an appropriate activity level. Ratings reflect a combination of intensity and duration as well as distance, terrain, environmental conditions, weather, etc. For the most enjoyable and rewarding experience, please use your best judgment to match activity ratings with your health, physical condition, and individual circumstances.  The range of hours for each rating will vary from workshop to workshop, please discuss with our office staff to find the workshop most suitable for your interests and level of fitness.  Many of our long workshops involve long days out in the field starting well before sunrise and in many cases continuing beyond the dinner hour.

Bear in mind that these programs involve group activities so your level of preparedness and ability will have an impact on other participants.

All activity levels assume you will be handling your own luggage, carrying your own camera equipment, tripods and water while in the field and are able to get in and out of the vans or buses without undue difficulty.

Activity Level 1
Appropriate for most students attending our weekend workshops. Programs at this level generally are classroom style workshops that are an easy pace and may involve up to five hours of sitting.   

Activity Level 2
Appropriate for students in good health with overall good mobility that are comfortable participating in half to full day activities.  Programs at this level generally involve activities of light-to-moderate intensity at a moderate pace, mostly walking, sometimes on slightly uneven terrain with moderate elevation change.

Activity Level 3
Intended for students who are comfortable participating in half to full day physical activities. These programs generally involve activities of a slightly higher intensity and/or a more vigorous pace. Activities may include walking and light hiking on mild terrains; loading and unloading at multiple locations and field time from sunrise to sunset.

Activity Level 4
Designed for students who lead active lives and are comfortable participating in full day excursions with moderate to slightly challenging physical activity. Programs at this level generally involve some activities of higher intensity and/or a more vigorous pace. Activities may include walking/hiking on more varied terrain with some increased elevation change.  Some workshop locations require off-road travel in multi-terrain vehicles (ex: open-air trucks, snow coaches, farm trucks) that may be rough riding.

Activity Level 5
Designed for people who lead very active lives and are comfortable participating in physical activity per day. Programs at this level generally involve activities of higher intensity at a more vigorous pace. These activities may include full day excursions, multiple loading and unloading at locations, moderate to extended hiking at higher altitudes over more difficult terrain, severe weather conditions, and/or off-road travel in multi-terrain vehicles (ex: open-air trucks, snow coaches, farm trucks).

Activity Level 6
Participants must have a high level of physical fitness and appropriate expertise in the program activities, and should expect full days of fast-paced, strenuous physical challenges. Activities may require extended hours of strenuous, moderate- to fast-paced activity per day, equivalent to hiking six miles at a 3-mph pace over varied terrain.  Depending upon the workshop participants may need to plan for severe weather conditions.