Adventure Instructor

Company: Keystone Science School


Job Description

Dates of Employment: May 24, 2021 – August 14, 2021
Schedule: 5 to 6 days per week
Reports To: Programs Manager
Housing Available: Housing and food are provided at no additional cost. A housing deposit may be collected.

Program Overview and Job Summary

Keystone Science Schools Adventures are designed to build a novices skill and excitement to explore the outdoors. Adventures are either 6-day car camping programs designed to expose students to the possibilities of outdoor recreation or 12 day backpacking programs designed to build competency in outdoor living and leadership skills. The unique locations for our Adventures cater well to place-based environmental education as students explore beautiful landscapes and ecosystems. We believe that students can utilize lessons learned on an Adventure in their future including: relationships with friends, projects at school, and future work opportunities.

Adventure Instructors are responsible for planning and facilitating curriculum and activities during field-based programs. Adventure Instructors are familiar with the daily schedule, risk management practices, emergency action plans, and the overall energy of Adventure programs. They are responsible for guiding students in their personal growth and daily living skills. Adventure Instructors also manage logistics and packing for off-site programs on a rotating basis.

Main areas of focus:

  • 75% Teaching and facilitating programming;

  • 15% Lesson planning and curriculum development;

  • 10% Support staff duties (e.g. facilitation of meals, set up/clean up, transportation, student free time).

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Supervise up to 26 students while camping in the front-country and up to 13 students in the backcountry on backpacking trips for 6-12 day programs with other instructors;

  • Teach students outdoor living skills such as packing, camp set-up/take-down, outdoor cooking, orienteering, and risk management;

  • Plan, prepare, and teach age appropriate curricula;

  • Clean, repair, and inventory gear after trip completion;

  • Plan Adventure logistics including schedules, trip routes, emergency action plans, menus, etc.;

  • Supervise and maintain high standards of health and safety, and follow Risk Management policies by engaging with incident prevention and response;

  • Attend and help facilitate wilderness trainings for Instructors, and attend all staff meetings and trainings as assigned;

  • Administer client medications, perform student health screens, and utilize first aid skills;

  • Gather and submit pictures and videos to reflect the experience children have during KSS programs;

  • Document course progression/student concerns, participate in self and peer feedback system, and engage in a post trip debrief;

  • Provide an electronics-aware experience for all children;

  • Maintain storage of all KSS equipment and repair outdoor gear as necessary;

  • Drive a 15-passenger van with a trailer and successfully complete Van Driver and Trailer Training;

  • Abide by and uphold the policies and procedures set forth by KSS;

  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Minimum Requirements

  • Have an interest in, respect for, and ability to work with children in a backcountry setting;

  • Have an interest in, respect for, and ability to work with people with diverse backgrounds, opinions, beliefs, abilities, and experience;

  • Proven ability to develop and facilitate science, diversity & inclusion, leadership, and risk management lessons;

  • Ability to adapt instruction and lessons to meet a wide variety of learners utilizing different educational philosophies; 

  • Ability to be creative, adaptable, and flexible while managing children in a variety of situations;

  • Strong work ethic and will work until the job is complete;

  • Growth oriented mindset and willingness to give and receive feedback;

  • Motivation to contribute positively to the KSS at-large community;

  • Interpret a variety of instructions provided in written or verbal form;

  • Multi-task efficiently while managing a high-volume workload in a fast-paced, changing environment;

  • Superior customer service skills, with the ability to be creative and think ‘outside the box’

  • Strong command of communication, writing, and organizational skills; 

  • Ability to work in a busy environment with many distractions;

  • Write incident reports and lesson plans with attention to detail.

Required Education, Experience, and Certifications

  • Experience leading/guiding participants in a wilderness/backcountry setting (minimum of 5 overnight trips);  

  • Prior experience working with school-age children: at least three (3) months (460 hours) of full-time or equivalent part-time satisfactory and verifiable experience with school-age children;

  • Experience with risk management practices of the outdoor education industry;

  • Current Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and CPR certifications, from an approved vendor, or the ability to obtain before the first day of employment;

  • KSS is looking for staff with a strong background in outdoor sport climbing. Applicants should have a demonstrated history of sport climbing and be confident and knowledgeable to guide outdoor climbing trips for participants ages 5-17. Professional experience and industry specific current certifications are a plus.

  • Age 20+ with a minimum of 5 years driving experience, excellent driving record, and a valid driver’s license;

  • Must be able to successfully pass a comprehensive background check;

Preferred Skills

  • Equipment familiarity with all aspects of outdoor sport climbing

    • This includes, but is not limited to:

      • i. Harnesses

      • ii. Helmets

      • iii. Dynamic and static rope

      • iv. Belay devices

      • v. Slings and webbing

      • vi. Quickdraws

  • Ability to properly inspect software and hardware used for outdoor sport climbing.

  • Able to build safe and clean sport anchors for top rope belays.

  • Familiarity with tying knots and hitches related to sport climbing.

  • Demonstrated background in working with youth in an outdoor climbing setting.

  • Demonstrated awareness of safety practices associated with outdoor climbing crags.

  • Ability to climb, at minimum, 5.10 on lead.

  • Ability to clean routes.

  • Familiarity with safe rappel practices.

  • Familiarity, or ability to learn, basic rescue techniques such as belay transfers.

  • Ability to lift 50 pounds and hike steep terrain with climbing equipment.

  • Familiarity with climbing crags associated with the KSS climbing program is a plus but not required.

  • Climbing certifications such as an SPI are a strong addition to any application.

  • Strong ability to manage groups of youth in climbing situations is a requirement for this position.

  • Not having a strong background in climbing does not disqualify you from this position. All skills will be reviewed during training week prior to the start of programming.

  • Ability to communicate verbally and teach in Spanish;

  • Previous experience driving with a trailer;

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc.) and Adobe;

  • Extensive experience on personal backcountry trips.

Required COVID 19 Vaccine Policy
Keystone Science School has adopted a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy. Individuals hired after January 1, 2022 are required to be either fully vaccinated or partially vaccinated before their start dates. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the revocation of the employment offer. Employees in need of an exemption from this policy due to a medical reason, or because of a sincerely held religious belief must submit a completed Request for Accommodation form to the Human Resources Department to begin the accommodation process. Accommodations will be granted where they do not cause KSS undue hardship or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.

Equal Employment Opportunity 
Keystone Science School is committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, and we seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a wide variety of backgrounds. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type, without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, religion, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. 

Posted on: April 14, 2022
Job Starting Date:
May 24, 2022
Application Closing Date:
April 23, 2024
Job Salary Range:
2947.00 to 3330.00
Years of Experience: 1 – 2 years
Population(s) Served: Youth - K-12