Climbing Instructor & Camp Trip Leader Intern

Company: Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School


Job Description

Position Description:

Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School offers aspiring climbing guides and instructors a Climbing Instructor and Trip Leader Internship. Interns assist in providing climbing instruction to groups, families, and individuals in Acadia National Park and throughout Maine. Interns will also be expected to lead several coed, week-long rock climbing and adventure trips in Maine and NH for teens. We seek highly motivated expert climbers who are passionate about rock climbing and trip leading and who are attentive to detail, thirsty for knowledge, and willing to a full schedule. In return, you will take home many new skills and experiences. 

The primary purpose of this position is to lead summer youth camp programs and provide support logistics. Our camp trips focus primarily on rock climbing but also include group living, wilderness skills, cooperation, independence, and fun. Programs range from day camps for 6 – 8-year-olds to overnight lead climbing camps for older teenagers. As a camp leader, you will have 24/7 responsibilities while in the field. In this position, you will be making real decisions with real consequences and expected to develop appropriate itineraries and curriculum material as well as manage course logistics such as menu planning, equipment, and camp preparation. 


Periodically during the summer, you will have the opportunity to assist the guide staff with instructional days. The typical instructional day begins around 7:30 am with a morning guide meeting to set the stage for the day. Clients arrive usually between 8 – 9:00 am for most local guiding. During the summer a large percentage of the guiding in Acadia is comprised of half-day entry-level sessions for families, couples, and groups. These require a high level of organization and efficiency to get a reasonable amount of climbing in. Morning sessions run until noon with a 30 – 60 minute break before meeting afternoon clients. After returning from the afternoon session, guides are expected to put the gear away, complete equipment logs, and complete all course or client-related administration such as confirming payment, verifying client data, and reviewing evaluations. The day usually ends around 5:30 pm. 

Interns are expected to arrive in early June for three-four solid weeks of training and to work through August 20th with possible paid extensions into October.  


This position spends a portion of time in Bar Harbor, ME , in Orono, ME and in the field.  

Instructional Related Expectations (75%):

  • Assist in selecting climbs and managing large and small groups of clients in busy top rope settings

  • Lead 3 – 5 weeks of youth climbing camp programs 

  • Respect and enjoy the mountain environment

  • Enjoy people and teaching climbing sports 

  • Demonstrate high level of professional competence and ability to instruct technical skills such as belaying,            anchoring, partner rescue in efficient and effective manner

  • Aware of strengths and weaknesses

  • Demonstrate sound judgment and decision-making skills

  • Tolerance and patience for adversity, diversity and uncertainty

  • Punctual and reliable

  • Able to give and receive constructive feedback, sense of humor

  • Maintain high regard for client safety and client experience

  • Learn client expectations and strive to meet them

  • Develop appropriate curriculum for each client based on skills and ability

  • Relate local knowledge including natural and cultural history

  • Demonstrate and promote minimum impact practices and environmental awareness

  • Provide leadership, instruction and medical care during an emergency

  • Inspect and maintain equipment

Guide Administrative & Logistics Expectations (25%):

  • Review and file related client paperwork

  • Process reservations, prepare and edit written course materials

  • Plan curriculum and itineraries 

  • Plan and organize transportation, equipment, and food logistics for trips

  • Assist in climbing school operation, marketing, and sales 

  • Contact potential clients and sources of potential clients.

Preferred Technical Qualifications:

  • Age 21 or older with significant personal skills in rock climbing, backcountry travel/camping, and other outdoor pursuits, expertise in teaching rock climbing, outdoor skills, and environmental consciousness; strong interpersonal / leadership skills with teens and pre-teens;  excellent driving record; excellent physical condition; proven judgment and decision-making; and a desire to serve as a positive role model to participants. 

  • Climbing resume showing a minimum of 2 years of climbing experience with 30 days of outdoor climbing per year.

  • Demonstrated ability to currently and safely lead routes up to grade II, 5.8.

  • PCIA or AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Certification. (Certifications may be completed at the start of the season)

  • Wilderness First Responder and CPR certification 

  • Demonstrated ability in the following: managing top rope sites safely and efficiently, teaching and leadership, climbing equipment, natural history, environmental consciousness, judgment and decision-making, improvised rescue, and general outdoor skills.

  • Requires excellent people skills, solid organizational skills, and a strong knowledge of outdoor activities and outdoor equipment.

  • Preference will be given to candidates seeking future seasons of employment and who are pursuing further guide education and certification.


A stipend is commensurate with education and experience with a range of 150.00 – 200.00 / week including the training period. Access to professional courses (climbing/ mountaineering, Maine Trip Leader, WMA wilderness medicine, PCIA, and AMGA training) is available at discounted rates. Housing assistance options. Pro-purchase access and worker’s compensation insurance are provided. One of the best aspects of working at AMG is the community of friends and climbing partners you will join.

How to Apply

Complete our application (available at acadiamountainguides.com) and return electronically with a letter of interest and resume to Rowan Ballman & Jon Tierney ([email protected]) or via mail to AMGCS, PO Box 121, Orono, ME 04473. 207-866-7562. After receiving your application, we will evaluate it and, if you are among the qualified candidates, we will arrange an in-person or phone or zoom interview. We prefer in-person interviews and can often meet at organizational meetings or major climbing areas. EEOE.
Posted on: September 15, 2022
Job Starting Date:
May 27, 2023
Application Closing Date:
April 27, 2023
Job Salary Range:
Years of Experience: Not Specified
Job Activity(ies): Top Rope Rock Climbing
Population(s) Served: Youth - K-12
Job Category(ies): Outdoor Skills School
Region(s): Northeast US
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