Expedition Instructor

Job Description

Department: Adventure Programs

Employment Class: Seasonal Part-time

Pay Status: Exempt

Expected Hours: Minimum 40 hours/week

Dates of Employment: May 18th, 2020 - August 8th, 2020

Reports To: Adventure Programs and Safety Manager

Housing Available: Yes

Number of Positions Available: 3

At Keystone Science School, we believe that the power of inspiring curiosity and critical thinking, through the lens of science, changes lives and strengthens communities. We create future leaders who can problem solve and work together in an ever-evolving world and workplace environment.

Located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Keystone Science School’s historic campus serves as base camp for our diverse suite of inquiry-based learning programs. We combine hands-on science education with outdoor adventure to create engaging experiences for our students. At KSS, we change lives, we bring fun and laughter to everything we do, we care about each other and those we serve, we strive for excellence, we offer competitive compensation and generous benefits, and we are committed to serving students from diverse backgrounds. We’re proud to be Summit County’s #1 Best Non-Profit and #2 Best Place to Work (2019)! Visit KeystoneScienceSchool.org to learn more!

Program Overview and Job Summary

KSS offers a range of programs that balance hands-on science activities, field-based exploration, and adventure programming. Curriculum themes include but are not limited to: environmental science (aquatic ecology, forest ecology, earth science, snow studies, winter ecology, weather and climate), leadership, community building, STEM, outdoor skills, and health. Summer Expeditions are fully field-based adventures, either base camping or backcountry focused, with an emphasis on wilderness skills and leadership development. Programs span different ecosystems of Colorado with adventures centered around: backpacking, hiking, stand up paddle boarding, canyoneering, climbing, and rafting/kayaking.

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

Expeditions are designed to build a novice’s skill and excitement to explore the outdoors. 6-day programs are car camping based, designed to expose student to the possibilities of outdoor recreation. 12-day programs allow for competency to build while students spend 5-6 days backpacking in sand stone canyons or alpine environments. The unique locations for our Expeditions cater well to place-based environmental education as students explore beautiful landscapes and ecosystems. Students learn to engage and practice skills in remote settings, while focusing on the transferability of these skills. We believe that students can utilize lesson learned on an Expedition in their future including: relationships with friends, projects at school, and future work opportunities.

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

  • Plan, prepare, and teach age appropriate curricula;
  • Plan and implement hard skills associated with multi-day backpacking trips (packing, camp set-up/take-down, outdoor cooking for students, orienteering, and risk management);
  • Supervise up to 13 students in mixed and single gender groups;
  • Clean, repair, and inventory gear after trip completion;
  • 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;
  • Oversee the successful execution of logistic and operational tasks for Expeditions, which includes but is not limited to: schedules, trip routes, emergency action plans, menus, etc.;
  • Provide Expedition suport by packing food, performing health screens, supporting evacuations, repairing gear, driving students to remote locations, and assisting the Adventure Programs and Safety Manager as needed;
  • 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;
  • Participate in a self and peer feedback system, contribute to documenting course progression/student concerns, and engage in a post trip debrief;
  • Provide an electronics-aware experience for all children;
  • Set up before students arrive and clean up after children depart from KSS campus;
  • Maintain storage of all KSS equipment and repair outdoor gear as necessary;
  • Candidates age 21+ with a minimum of 5 years driving experience will be required to participate in and pass Van Driver Training, and they will be required to drive a 15-passenger van;
  • 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;
  • Have an interest in, respect for, and ability to work with people with diverse backgrounds, opinions, beliefs, abilities, and experience;
  • Proven ability to creatively develop science, diversity & inclusion, leadership, risk management and education curricula and lesson plans;
  • 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;
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret professional journals and educational methods;
  • Disciplined in thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence;
  • 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

  • Minimum of 5 overnight trips, professionally leading/guiding participants in a wilderness/backcountry setting;
  • Minimum 460 hours working with school-aged children;
  • Demonstrated experience with risk management practices of the outdoor and environmental 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;
  • Age 21+ 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 Skillsets

  • Desired computer skills include proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc.) and Adobe;
  • Ability to communicate verbally and teach in Spanish.

Travel Expectations

There will be significant travel in Summit County and around Colorado, and some travel outside the state.

Physical Demands of this Position

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands and fingers to feel, handle, or hold objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; and talk and hear. The employee often stands for up to 16 hours per day, but may be required to stand longer in emergency situations. The employee must be able to lift and carry at least 40 pounds for an extended duration. The employee is frequently required to travel for extended periods over rugged terrain. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This position requires the employee to work in close contact with their teammates and children. The office space is small and the employee must have the ability to stay focused while others are working in close proximity. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate, but varies seasonally due to programs and staffing on campus. While performing the duties of this job, the employee often works outside and drives vehicles in various weather conditions.


Starting salary of $480/week. Housing and meals are available at no cost.

Job Availability: 

3 positions available.

To Apply

Application Instructions

Please submit the Employment Application found at KeystoneScienceSchool.org/Employment. Applications require a cover letter, resume, and 3 references. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. For more information, please contact Human Resources at [email protected].

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.

Application Closing Date: 
Not Specified
Application Contact Email: 
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Keystone, CO
Job Salary Range: 
Job Experience: 
1 - 2 years
Job Starting Date: 

Job Details

Job Details: 
Environmental Education Program/Center
Environmental Organizations
Outdoor Education Center
Private School
Seasonal Program
Summer Camp
Job Population: 

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