Challenges: 2022 Wildland Fire National Leadership Campaign - Learning in the Wildland Fire Service

2022 campaign banner - Learning in the Wildland Fire Service


The theme for the 2022 Wildland Fire Leadership Campaign is “Learning in the Wildland Fire Service”.


The campaign is an opportunity for personnel at the local level - whether collectively or through self-development - to focus on leadership development activities relating to the national campaign theme.


  • To promote leadership development across the wildland fire community disciplines.
  • To provide an opportunity and resources that can be used for leadership development at the local unit level.
  • To collect innovative leadership development efforts and share those efforts across the community.

End State:

A culture that creates and shares innovative leadership development efforts in order to maintain superior leadership in the fire community.

Dates of Campaign:

Any time between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022.


All wildland fire personnel - line-going and support.


The campaign is flexible. Local units or teams may use or adapt any or all materials found on this website or posted on our social media platforms or develop a program or activity of your own spotlighting the campaign theme. Campaign coordinators are encouraged to craft the campaign to the needs of the local unit and team. Innovation should fuel your campaign delivery: workshops or tailgate sessions, to kick off staff meetings, as a team activity or self-directed, etc.

2022 Campaign Activities

Challenge #1

Challenge #2

  • Prepare a leadership journal for 2022.
  • Journalize your intentions for leadership development.
    • Capture key points from the Learning in the Wildland Fire Service bi-weekly reading found on our blog or social media platforms available via our website.

Challenge #3

Learning is vital to thriving in high-risk environments.

  • Update your self-development plan.
  • If you do not have a self-development plan, see our website.

Challenge #4

The three chief pillars of learning within the wildland fire service:

  • Inquiry. We seek to understand.
  • Opportunity. We create conditions for learning.
  • Dialogue. We constructively exchange ideas.
    • Devote one page per pillar in your journal. Throughout the campaign, write down ways you can practice each pillar. Document your progress.
    • Look for opportunities to talk with your team about the pillars. Take action to improve as students of fire.

Challenge #5

Tenets of Inquiry: Be Humble • Know the System • Be Accountable

Respond to the following on your “Inquiry” page in your journal:

  • Are you open to the possibility for improvement?
  • What are the informal and formal learning systems around you and your part in them?
  • What and how are you teaching and learning in those systems?

Challenge #6

Inquiry: It is each individual’s responsibility to think about how they are learning and seek any and all avenues to improve their knowledge and skill level.

  • Identify how learning takes place in all the environments you operate in.
  • Make an effort to improve what needs improving.
  • Monitor goals and progress in your journal.

Challenge #7

You are responsible for yourself first—building on the strengths you bring to the organization and improving the weaknesses you have.

In your journal, take inventory of your gifts.

  • What do you do really well?
  • What does your organization need you to do that you are not very good at?
  • How do you learn best, and how can you better yourself so that you can provide more value to your team?

Challenge #8

Leaders build learning organizations.

Select at least one Rapid Lesson Sharing submission from the LLC's database.

In your journal or with your team discuss the following:

  • What happened?
  • What are the lessons?

Challenge #9

Good leaders apply critical thinking and not judgment to sense making.

  • Listen to LLC podcast "Bad Apples."
  • Reassess discussion/thoughts from Challenge #8.
    • Did you or your team members apply the Bad Apples Theory to this incident?
    • Are you less likely to judge those you know than those you don't?

Challenge #10

Effective teams adopt and internalize a common set of values.

  • Review the wildland fire leadership values and principles with your team.
  • Reread “How Did We Learn ‘Duty, Respect, and Integrity?’” (Learning in the Wildland Fire Service, pp. 14-15)
    • Why are “common definitions and agree-upon principles for leadership” important?

Challenge #11

Good leaders look for new opportunities for inquiry and dialogue.

  • Discuss the difference between training, education, and experience (TEE) with your team.
  • Look for ways to artfully combine TEE into a well-crafted opportunity.
  • Seek opportunities to be a teacher and a student throughout the campaign.
    • Share your experience with your team members and in your journal.

Challenge #12

Good teachers craft great learning experiences.

  • Visit the Tactical Decision Game Library and facilitate a sand table exercise with your team.
    • Interplay questions and answer and problems and solutions to produce tangible results.
    • Ensure participants get to be teachers and students.
    • Conduct an AAR with your team.

Challenge #13

When planning and conducting teaching and learning, leaders target behaviors for change. Be better!

  • Assess your leadership environment.
    • Ensure team and individual behaviors are ethical and align with organizational values.
    • Seek an outside source to ensure that perceptions match reality.
  • Develop a plan for behavioral change.
  • Implement the plan.

Challenge #14

Students of fire have a desire and responsibility to learn.

  • Review your learning plan.
    • Break opportunities into two categories—desired learning and responsible to learn.
  • Work with your local training officer to set goals and register for learning.
  • Never stop learning.

Challenge #15

Students of fire learn from accidents.

Challenge #16

Effective leaders are critical thinkers.

Challenge #17

Leaders are readers.

Challenge #18

Leaders learn from past events and apply them to the future.

  • Download and review the “Wildland Fire Staff Ride Guide.
  • Brainstorm with your team about a local event that could be made into a staff ride.
    • Reach out to the Staff Ride Coordinator for assistance.
  • Attend or reflect upon a staff ride you have attended. Journal about the following:
    • Lessons learned
    • Impacts of experiential learning impacts on you, your team, and the wildland fire service

Challenge #19

Effective leaders know what motivates their team.

  • Read “Magnets” in Learning in the Wildland Fire Service, pp. 27-28.
  • Work with team members to identify personal and team “magnets”—things that draw you in and things that repel you.
  • Select a past event. Apply the concept of “magnets” as you review the incident.

Challenge #20

Students of fire honor through learning.

  • Review case studies found on the LLC website.
  • Select a study and facilitate a learning session for your team.
  • Develop a case study for a local incident and send to the LLC as appropriate.

Challenge #21

Effective leaders debrief the day’s events with their teams.

Challenge #22

Effective leaders cultivate learning organizations to pass on lessons.

Challenge #23

Good leaders create psychologically safe environments in which their team can share.

Challenge #24

Good leaders are self-directed learners.

  • Seek out at least one opportunity to teach or learn this week.
  • Share what you’ve learned with your team.
  • Write about your experience in your journal.

Challenge #25

Students of leadership understand how their biases may affect learning.

Challenge #26

Effective teams ensure multiple perspectives of an issue and solutions are considered.

Challenge #27

Effective leaders are proficient in the use of constructive feedback and positive reinforcement.


Campaign Archives

2018 campaign bannerNo 2018 Reference Guide - No awards given for 2018


Page Last Modified / Reviewed: