Guided Outdoors Youth Environmental and Outdoor Educator
Position Dates: June 7, 2021 – November 5, 2021
Through Guided Outdoors programming, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) offers an engaging slate of staff-led outdoor experiences for the youth, adults, and families, which promote the appreciation, understanding, enjoyment, and responsible use of natural resources. We provide people of all ages and backgrounds with the skills to enjoy the outdoors and an increased understanding of their connection to the natural world. Our Youth Environmental & Outdoor Educators predominantly lead trips for participants in grades K-12 and teens, but will also be cross-trained and occasionally scheduled to lead with adults and families as well. Schedules are varied and include all days of the week. Trips range in length, but time off and work are balanced for staff.
Job Summary: Guided Outdoors (GO) Youth Educators are responsible, energetic people who are excited to share their knowledge and love of the outdoors with young people. During the spring and fall months, educators primarily work with public, private, and home-schooled students and other youth groups. These 1 – 5 day programs are based at Pinkham Notch, The Highland Center, Cardigan Lodge, facilities in NY, ME, NJ, the AMC’s backcountry huts, and in local schools and communities. Academic lessons on forest and watershed ecology, map and compass, geology, weather and climate, outdoor skills, community building and leadership development are integrated and taught in a nature- and student-centered hiking-based program.
During the summer months, GO Youth Educators primarily work with a co-leader to facilitate 5-12 day backcountry trips for teenagers age 12-18. These multi-day, single- and multi-element outdoor experiences take place on public lands either in the backcountry or while base camping. Educators are responsible for delivering outdoors skills instruction in hiking, backpacking, and canoeing, and environmental ethics as well as positive youth development activities on trips that are safety-focused and meaningful.
Throughout their employment, GO Youth Educators are supported by office-based Supervisors who seek to both assist Educators in providing great programming and foster a culture of professional growth.
The AMC’s Guided Outdoors Program values diversity, equity and inclusion. We are working to create a team that is representative of the student populations that we serve and thus welcome hardworking individuals from all backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and abilities.
Responsibilities (including but not limited to):
- Prepare thematic, place-based environmental education, leadership, and community building lesson plans that meet the needs of diverse student populations, are culturally relevant, transferable for students and incorporate the learning objectives of the program.
- Create and foster an inclusive group culture and learning environment among participants and co-workers.
- Work long days including overnight courses and evening programs.
- Work independently on projects such as curriculum development, the creation of teaching tools, and logistical tasks.
- Lead and facilitate single and multi-day hiking, backpacking, and canoeing wilderness programs, which are student-centered and experiential
- Facilitate day programs within local communities and at schools and front country and backcountry multi-day programs that travel to AMC huts and backcountry tent sites, and from AMC’s roadside lodges throughout New England, New York and New Jersey.
- Ensure the physical, emotional, and social safety of 8-12 student and teen participants on programs – providing supervision for groups around-the-clock for hut trips and for summer teen programs
- Manage incidents in the backcountry; communicate effectively with on-call team and facilitate evacuations when necessary
- Model responsible behavior in the outdoors and Leave No Trace ethics
- Perform logistics functions for the program including: issuing, collecting, cleaning and maintaining gear, preparing teaching supplies, organizing food, and evacuations
- Plan menus and handle food requisitions
- Drive 12-passenger vans carrying participants
- Maintain professionalism through lesson planning, personal appearance, and communication with other staff, chaperones, and/or participants
- Work weekends (primarily during the summer months with occasional weekend work during the fall)
- Collaborate with other AMC Guided Outdoors Staff to guide day-long or multi-day adult and family workshops
- Friendly, outgoing, flexible personality with a commitment and enthusiasm for teaching youth
- Experience leading student/youth groups in the backcountry
- Experiential teaching experience
- Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and ability to work with youth across a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences
- Able to effectively collaborate and communicate with co-leaders that may have varying leadership and communication styles
- Able to create an emotionally safe and inclusive learning environment, create a positive group culture, and build healthy rapport with youth
- Able to maintain effective self-care during extended trips so as not to compromise the student experience
- Wilderness First-Aid & CPR certification (WFR preferred) or the ability to obtain certification prior to starting employment
- Bachelor’s degree with course work in natural sciences, experiential education, or related field, or equivalent work experience
- Work requires frequent backcountry travel. Requires ability to hike 6 – 8 miles per day on uneven terrain, carrying a backpack and other equipment up to 40 pounds, in all weather conditions
- Willingness to, at times, work long hours in mentally and physically demanding conditions
- Satisfactory driving record and background check, as verified by state record check
- 21+ years old and ability to obtain DOT medical clearance to drive vehicles strongly preferred
Compensation and Benefits: Competitive pay based on experience, starting at $11/hr with overtime paid. Benefits include AMC membership, bed nights at AMC facilities, employee discounts, employee pro-deals with outdoor gear companies. Optional room and board is available for $45/week.