Outdoor Instructor

Job Description

Whole Earth Nature School is looking for staff who want to make a positive impact on youth in our area while gaining experience mentoring students outdoors. We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds with a wide range of nature connection and youth development experiences to apply. We employ staff in several positions and programs, giving employees options to work at day and overnight summer camps, after-school programs, and/or overnight Outdoor School programs. Program and instructional staff work as valued members of our Whole Earth Nature School community in service of local youth and their families.

General Job Responsibilities

  • Teaches prescribed curricula and leads interactive activities for outdoor programs.
  • Develops activities and lesson plans for programs that don’t already have curricula.
  • Shares stories and songs with participants.
  • Participates in role-playing (when appropriate) for themed fantasy camps.
  • Treats participants with kindness and respect while consistently maintaining group agreements.
  • Provides guidance and discipline to students when necessary.
  • Communicates in a positive and constructive way with parents and teachers.
  • Ensures safety of all participants at all times and maintains participant confidentiality.
  • Respects and preserves outdoor and indoor teaching spaces for current and future users.
  • Communicates with instructional team or volunteers to make sure all group needs are taken care of.
  • Communicates with Directors about issues that arise during programs such as hazards or conflicts.
  • Embodies Whole Earth Nature School’s Core Values.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Skills & Qualifications

  • Interest in youth development and sensitivity to participants’ life experiences and physical and emotional needs.
  • Ability (or interest to develop skills) to confidently lead small and large groups of kids outdoors.
  • Passionate desire to connect youth with nature.
  • Must be able to comfortably carry a 20-pound backpack outdoors for three to ten miles throughout the work day in all types of weather, potentially through uneven terrain.
  • First Aid and CPR Certification required (can be obtained upon hire).

Additional Desired Skills

  • Multicultural Environmental Education: Using student-centered teaching approaches, allow space for diverse voices with different environmental values and perspectives to actively participate in all programs. Have an understanding of social and environmental issues that impact youth and their communities.
  • Wild plant uses, tracking, primitive survival skills, background in nature awareness, art skills, musical skills, crafting skills, stealth skills, weapons instruction, martial arts, storytelling.
  • Spanish language proficiency or fluency


  • Annual training stipend of $150 
  • Free professional development opportunities
  • Social gatherings, annual staff retreat
  • Hazardous weather pay
  • Opportunities for wage increases
  • Program discounts for your children
  • Access to extensive environmental education library
  • Sick pay
Job Availability: 

Role & Program Specific Information

Outdoor School Program: Coyote Outdoor School is seeking 5 program guides and 4 lead instructors for the Spring season. Field Instructors will lead groups of 30-40 students with the support of six high school volunteers. Program guides will lead activities for 15-30 students and facilitate programs (like campfire) for the entire Coyote Outdoor School community. Interview tryouts will be held on March 30 or April 7.

  • Job Title: Field Instructor & Program Guide, Outdoor School

    • Job Purpose: Supervise and instruct participants at Coyote Outdoor School including leading curriculum, engaging students in activities, and managing safety.
    • Pay Range: $285-$306 per program ($1710-$1836 for whole season) + paid training
    • Additional requirements: High school diploma, GED or equivalent
  • Outdoor School required staff training: May 4-5, 2019
  • Outdoor School dates: May 15-17, 20-24, 29-31, June 3-7
  • Job location: Camp Lutherwood in Cheshire, Oregon

Summer Camps & After School Programs

Whole Earth Nature School offers day and overnight summer camp programs and after school programs throughout the school year. Depending on program needs, employees can choose to work Outdoor School, Summer camp and/or after school programs depending on their interest and availability. Interview tryouts will be held on March 30 or April 7 for summer camp positions.

  1. Summer camp required staff training: June 10-14, 2019
  2. Summer camp dates: Mid-June through late August
  3. Job location: Eugene/Springfield area sites; Big Bear Camp in Walton, Oregon
  4. After school program dates: September - May
  5. Job location: Eugene/Springfield area
  • Job Title: Lead Instructor, Summer Camps & After School Programs

    • Pay Range: $13.25/hr-$14.25/hr
    • Job Purpose: Supervise and instruct participants in Whole Earth Nature School programs including developing curriculum, engaging students, managing safety, and communicating with parents/customers. You and your Assistant Instructor will teach up to 12 students for a maximum staff to student ratio of 1:6.
  • Job Title: “My First Nature Camp” Lead Instructor, Summer Camps
    • Pay Range: $13.25/hr-$14.25/hr
    • Job Purpose: Same as Lead Instructor, above, but with special focus on working with students ages 3-4. Supportive work environment. Emphasis on student-centered and inquiry-based approaches. You and your Assistant Instructor will teach up to 8 students for a maximum staff to student ratio of 1:4.
    • Additional requirements: 2 years minimum professional experience working with 3-4 year olds. Training in early childhood development.
  • Job Title: Assistant Instructor, Summer Camps & After School Programs
    • Pay Range: $10.75/hr-$11.75/hr
    • Job Purpose: Support group management and instruction during Whole Earth Nature School programs. More focus on one-on-one student connection. Opportunities to lead whole group activities. You and your Lead Instructor will teach up to 12 students for a maximum staff to student ratio of 1:6.

To Apply

TO APPLY Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. You must complete our online application to be considered for this position: https://goo.gl/forms/nCsgTVoKvNOsg75G2. May additionally send cover letter and resume to: [email protected].

Application Closing Date: 
April 25, 2019
Application Contact Email: 
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Eugene, OR and surrounding areas
Job Salary Range: 
Job Degree Level: 
Not Specified
Job Starting Date: 
May 4, 2019 or June 10, 2019

Job Details

Job Details: 
Environmental Education Program/Center

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