Full Time Program Leader

Job Description


The mission of Chicago Voyagers is to empower at-risk youth through outdoor experiential adventures that foster healthy relationships and responsible behavior.

As a Program Leader, you will be responsible for leading a group of 3-10 teens, a youth agency leader, and 1-2 volunteers on single and multi-day adventure therapy programs. You will also be responsible for program support work and spend a small amount of time on fund raising work (helping with an event, etc.).

Type of position: Full time position
Work-days: various – office work is M-F, field work can be any days.
Program Location: Chicago, IL and surrounding area Pay range $35K-$45K


  • Prefer background in counseling, social work or psychology (Master’s with license)

  • Documented 3 years’ professional youth development and experiential learning experience with adolescents

  • Two years’ experience in the following outdoor program areas:

    • Group and risk management

    • Hard skills: Canoeing, backcountry and camping

    • Caving, rock climbing, mtn biking, sailing and xc skiing skills a plus

  • Wilderness First Responder medical certification (training provided if needed)

  • At least 21 years old and be able to pass a criminal and driving background check

  • Physically fit: be able to carry a 70 lb. canoe by yourself, hike 8/paddle 15 or more miles a day and also deal with

    rain and mosquitoes in a positive manner.

  • Need to transport yourself for local programs, most of which occur at Busse Woods.

  • Minority and bilingual (Spanish speaking) candidates are encouraged to apply.


    The Program Leader is accountable for all field decisions. In order to provide for the physical and emotional well-being of participants, leaders need to be prepared to make decisions affecting all aspects of their programs including behavior management. Other responsibilities include:

    Program Content and Quality

    • Facilitation and instruction using CV program guidelines

    • Ensuring program effectiveness by:

      • Planning strategies to achieve program outcomes of growth in empowerment, responsibility and inter- personal skills.

      • Identifying youth needs and planning interventions

      • Identifying and clarifying group goals

      • Assigning and managing team member roles and responsibilities

        Risk Management

    • Following Chicago Voyagers policies, procedures, and guidelines

    • Managing risk and attending to participant health by following accepted industry standards and practice

      Program Logistics

    • Coordinating pre-program communications with agency staff and volunteers.

    • Collection and review of paperwork. This includes post program paperwork for grants and research.

    • Issuing, care for, cleaning and transporting equipment for programs.

    • Planning and purchasing food for multi-day programs.

      Program Support Administration

    • Developing new programs and enhancing existing ones

    • Signing up new customers


  • Unlimited paid time off

  • Medical insurance

  • Incentive bonus plan

  • Paid training/professional development

  • Flexible/telecommuting work hours

  • Personal use of equipment for friends/family

  • Professional discounts on equipment

  • Limited funds for relocation

    To apply for this position, please contact Kaitlin McBane at [email protected]

To Apply

To apply contact [email protected] or visit chicagovoyagers.org

Application Closing Date: 
Not Specified
Application Contact Email: 
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Chicago, IL
Job Salary Range: 
Job Experience: 
3 - 5 years
Job Degree Level: 
Master's degree
Job Starting Date: 

Job Details

Job Details: 
Adventure/Wilderness Therapy
Job Population: 

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