High Trails Outdoor Education Center is a premier residential outdoor school in Colorado. High Trails provides a unique opportunity to influence the lives of students throughout Colorado through outdoor experiences, experiential learning, and a close-knit community.
High Trails is located at an elevation of 8,600 ft in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado, 35 miles west of Colorado Springs.
The Outdoor Educator Experience
High Trails instructors run every aspect of the program, with support from High School Leaders and attending teachers.
In each outdoor Discovery Group session, instructors plan and implement lessons as they lead student groups on an activity-based learning experience, focusing on the natural environment and the history and science of various groups of people who lived before us. Role-playing, group initiatives, experiential learning, and scientific experimentation form the framework of our program.
Community building is a major focus of the High Trails experience. Each instructor is matched with a cabin to guide their stay at High Trails. High Trails instructors lead their cabin groups on morning hikes, spend time with the students in the cabin before bed, and check in on their students throughout the day. Teachers and High School Leaders provide supervision in the cabin at night, so High Trails instructors return to their own housing to sleep.
Instructors lead an evening program after dinner each night. At the Interbarn, instructors, with the help of High School Leaders, teach students about a variety of topics utilizing our hands-on interpretive learning stations. The Folk Dance is a chance for students to enjoy themselves at the end of the day. Dances are taught and led by the High Trails Staff, and provide a chance to showcase creativity and the freedom to be ridiculous.
Attention to preparation, adaptability, and excitement for learning are all qualities that are necessary to lead and teach students in the outdoor classroom.
Both our days and our seasons are long and full. An ideal candidate is looking for an immersive, purposeful, job-as-lifestyle experience where connecting with fellow staff and contributing to a hard-working, supportive community is a priority.
Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent experience)
Current CPR certification
1 to 2 years formal or informal teaching experience
Ability to perform physical work in the outdoors in variable weather conditions and uneven terrain
Willingness to give and receive feedback
Effective communication and personal skills
1 to 2 years working with children, ideally in an outdoor environment
Room and Board
First time instructors receive $60.00/day, along with the following: All staff live on our 6,000 acre property in Florissant, CO. Staff live in houses with other instructors. Houses are equipped with heat, bathrooms, and at least a kitchenette. Meals are provided throughout workdays out of our excellent and accommodating lodge kitchen. Food is available for staff to prepare or take with on weekends and a free laundry service is provided weekly.
We are a small (~16) person staff, way out in the mountains - building community is a priority not only of our education program, but within our instructor community. Downtime is spent connecting over meals, group-processing in our shared office space, or outside, as opposed to on phones and computers. (Aside from the requisite time spent staying in touch with the rest of the world, and we have WiFi for that).
Weekends are usually spent exploring the surrounding region and beyond. A typical weekend might include hiking around our expansive property, rock climbing at a local crag, driving down to Colorado Springs for dinner or a concert, lying in a golden Aspen grove, cooking big breakfasts in the lodge kitchen, etc.!
We are currently hiring on a rolling basis for both our Spring 2019 and Fall 2019 seasons.
Spring Season: March 20 - May 10
Fall Season: August 21 - November 8