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Assistant Wilderness Instructor

Company: Waya Outdoor Institute

Job Type: Seasonal

Job Description

Overview: Camp Wa-Ya is hiring an Assistant Adventure Instructor to work Summer 2023 (June 19th through September 1st). Our Assistant Adventure Instructor will support the Lead Adventure Instructor in the delivery of Wa-Ya’s Teen Adventure Trips program and teaches lessons centered around sea kayaking, backpacking, and camping with a focus on outdoor survival and naturalist skills, environmental stewardship, Indigenous teachings, and mindfulness. As an Assistant Adventure Instructor, you will be responsible for providing support and co-teaching a group during 9, five-day sessions including overnights (4-day, 3-night kayaking and backpacking trips). You will be partnered with a Lead Adventure Instructor to design safety and route plans, teach lessons, run activities, and organize games for your group of up to 10 campers, ages 13-16.

Assistant Adventure Instructors assist in the overall management of day-to-day camp operations and logistics necessary for the support and delivery of science & adventure-based activities. Specific to each camp, the Assistant Adventure Instructor will be expected to support the instruction of sea kayaking, backpacking and camping skills including basic kayaking skills such as standard paddle strokes tracking and navigation, wet exits and assisted reentry; dressing and packing for the elements (including how to pack a backpack and sea kayak); camp safety including Leave No Trace principles; outdoor survival skills such as shelter building, water purification, fire building; and orienteering and navigation including map, compass, and GPS use.

All Wa-Ya staff engage in a culturally integrated environment, where Wa-Ya’s values of respect, diversity, equity, and inclusion are practiced. Logistical direction and support provided by the Camp Director.


  • Support the Lead Adventure Instructor in teaching South Puget Sound plant and wildlife identification, natural history, conservation, marine science, geology, river systems, survival skills, orienteering, and Indigenous culture.
  • Support the Lead Adventure Instructor in providing outdoor adventure instruction specific to sea kayaking, backpacking, and camping.
  • Contribute to and take leadership in curriculum, lesson, safety, and trips planning, weekly preparation, and clean-up.
  • Support the Lead Adventure Trips Instructor in the management of Adventure Trips logistics including travel plans, meal planning and prep, equipment management, trail or route planning.
  • Provide care and quality control of Wa-Ya field equipment, adventure equipment, and teaching supplies including maintaining a well-organized and clean equipment storage room.
  • Follow camp policies and procedures and ensure the safety and wellbeing of all participants at camp.
  • Adhere to Wa-Ya COVID protocols, including protocol changes as state requirements evolve.
  • If needed, driving the Wa-Ya vans (12- and 15-passenger) to teaching sites, including periodic requirements for towing Wa-Ya’s Sea Kayak Trailer.
  • Engaging with parents and the Camp Director.


  • First Aid/CPR certified, Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder preferred.
  • Preferred certifications in Open Water Rescue and Boating Safety.
  • Valid driver’s license preferred, clean driving record, and ability to pass a background check.
  • Must be 16 or older.
  • Available to work 8:00am – 5:00pm, Monday – Friday, including Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday overnights, and attend orientation.
  • Confidence in providing assistance leading sea kayaking and/or backpacking overnight trips including competency in supporting overnight camping conditions for youth required.
  • Experience developing and delivering environmental science and/or outdoor curriculum to kids preferred.
  • Familiarity with local flora and fauna, and STEAM activities.
  • Passion, curiosity, patience, and reliability required.


In-person 4-day All Staff Training begins June 19th, 2023, followed by an additional week of training for Adventure Camp instuctors, which will include a sea-kayak training trip provided through one of our partners. Adventure Camps then start July 3 and runs Monday through Friday each week, ending September 1, 2023 . Adventure Camps are 5 day programs and include a 4-day, 3-night kayak or backpacking trip. All day-program shifts run approximately 8 hours, although additional time may occur for curriculum prep, cleanup, or to provide normal and routine child care needs.


  • $640 per week base pay ($16.00 per hour equivalent); $50 per night additional compensation
  • Additional training such as WFA/WFR, kayak skills advancement, and other safety certifications will be provided for the right candidate.

Non-Discrimination Policy:

Wa-Ya does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and campers.

How to Apply

Submit the following required materials for consideration to [email protected]: Resume Cover Letter 3 References Open until filled - priority for applications receivec before March 1st 2023
Posted on: January 27, 2023
Job Type: Seasonal
Job Starting Date:
June 19, 2023
Application Closing Date:
March 31, 2023
Job Salary Range:
Job Activity(ies): Backpacking
Population(s) Served: Youth - Teen
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