These resources aren’t journal articles, but they can provide additional credible resources for your essay.
For a high-quality, academic encyclopedia article, try the Gale Virtual Reference Library, which includes several reference titles about outdoor recreation and education. Articles in the encyclopedias in this collection are written and edited by experts and usually include citations (which can help you find more resources).
You can search the Library catalog for a book on the topic. If you just want to come to the Library and browse the books on outdoor recreation and leadership, the call number area where you will find them starts at GV 191.4. You can also request books from the OSU Libraries or other Summit libraries (Summit is a group of 37 academic libraries in the Pacific Northwest; you can request items from any of them and have them delivered to COCC for pickup).
Several organizations exist to train outdoor leaders or credential outdoor leadership programs. Their websites can help you get a sense of the industry/profession and provide information about the professionalization of outdoor leadership. Many of these organizations publish journals, post conference proceedings, or otherwise make their research and publications available in ways that might be helpful for your essay.
Association of Experiential Educators (AEE)
Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE)
Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT), which is part of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
Wilderness Education Association (WEA)