YMCA of Greater Seattle

Wilderness Program Course Director

Job Locations US-WA-Seattle
Posted Date 6 years ago(1/6/2016 3:38 PM)
# of Openings
YMCA at Cascade People's Center
Teen Summer Programs
309 Pontius Ave N


Wilderness Program Course Director

BOLD & GOLD Program

Seattle, Washington USA


The BOLD (Boys Outdoor Leadership Development) & GOLD (Girls Outdoor Leadership Development) Program is dedicated to inspiring courage and confidence in diverse groups of adolescent girls and boys through outdoor adventures.  We run, primarily, single gender expeditions and each year we engage over 600 youth on 60-70 different backcountry trips ranging in length from 8 to 22 days in places like the North Cascades, Mt Rainier, Squamish, Smith Rocks and Olympic National Park. Activities include backpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering, fishing, yoga, art, music, literature, backcountry cooking and goofing off.  Our goal is to increase confidence, courage, emotional intelligence, wonder, and community awareness in participants.   We believe these traits are the foundations of leadership and work to inspire participants to develop their own leadership style.  We prepare young people, from middle school on, to be the next generation of leaders through multicultural experiential education in the natural world. Find out more at www.ymcaleadership.org

We are currently hiring for the position of Wilderness Course Director. This person is responsible for management and delivery of 8-22 day wilderness based experiential education programs.


Primary Responsibilities Include:

  • Oversee the safe delivery of wilderness courses- with an emphasis on multicultural leadership, ranging in length from 8 to 22 days.
  • Work with the Logistics Coordinator, Operations Director and Program Manager to ensure all staff have the equipment, tools and knowledge needed to be successful.
  • Train and mentor staff in how to:
  • Build emotionally and physically safe environments with groups of middle and high school participants
  • Help students build emotional intelligence and multicultural leadership skills through wilderness experience. • Ability to mentor staff in backcountry skills, including backpacking, rock climbing, and mountaineering. • Energy and enthusiasm for working with all youth.• Extensive facilitation and youth development experience.• Role modeling compassionate and confident leadership

         • Possesses strong organizational skills, flexibility and a good sense of humor.

• Possesses self-awareness and is able to work in a collaborative setting.

• Excellent interpersonal communication skills and the ability to build strong relationships with youth and adults from a variety of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

• Experience working with diverse populations.

• A relationship focused educator who can build strong rapport with students and staff, foster positive group development, create structure and draw learning from experiential activities.

Critical Success Factors:

• Be part of a leadership team that oversees the professional development of up to 75 paid staff and a small team of volunteers

• Knowing how to have fun!



Minimum Qualifications:

  • Three or more years' experience working with youth. Diverse populations preferred.
  • Two or more years leading wilderness expeditions with youth.
  • Current Wilderness Medical Certification (WFA, WAFA, WFR, W-EMT) and CPR.
  • Current WA State Food Handlers Permit.
  • Excellent facilitation skills appropriate for working with youth and adults from different backgrounds.
  • Previous experience in Course Directing or program management is a plus.


Dates of Employment: June 6th – September 6th, 2016.  Opportunities exist for additional work based on interest and availability in beginning in May and continuing into late September.


Hours: average 40-50 hours a week, 5 days on, 2 days off


Compensation: Salary Negotiable, $6,000 - $7,500 for the season. Benefits include access to equipment, pro-deals, professional development opportunities, and a YMCA Membership


Questions: Please contact Chris Hagen with any questions at chagen@seattleymca.org


Application Closing Date: February 15th 2016


  1. 21 years of age or older.
  2. Current state approved first aid certification. *
  3. Current state approved CPR certification. *
  4. Current TB test by the Mantoux method. *
  5. Current HIV/AIDS training certification. *
  6. YMCA Child Abuse Prevention training certification. *
  7. Current YMCA Van Driver's certification. *
  8. Minimum 21 years old w/at least 3 years driving experience.
  9. Current Driver's License and a driving record which meets or exceeds YMCA standards:
    1. Maximum one minor violation.
    2. No speeding violation of more than 20mph over the limit.
  10. Thirty or more college quarter credits in early childhood education/child development, education, or possess an equivalent educational background in courses such as recreation, physical education, education, music, art, psychology, or social services preferred.
  11. Two years of experience or more working with teens in an organized setting.
  12. Experience in staff supervision.
  13. Experience in program planning and administration.
  14. Knowledge of culturally relevant and developmentally appropriate practices.
  15. Knowledge of developmental needs of teens; demonstrates an understanding of the needs of teens and the ability to evaluate their needs individually.
  16. Ability to plan, implement and oversee a variety of program activities.
  17. Prefer knowledge of, and previous experience with, diverse populations (language, culture, race, physical ability, sexual orientation, etc.). Ability to speak any language in addition to English may be helpful.

*       Within 14 days of assuming duties.


Competencies for success at the Y:

  • Values - Strengthens the Y's culture by demonstrating the values of the Y - honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility - in every aspect of work.
  • Inclusion - Models cultural competence and supports diversity, effectively working with people of different backgrounds, abilities, opinions, and perceptions.
  • Develop Self and Others - Demonstrates teamwork and personal accountability, seeking and providing feedback, coaching, and resources for development.
  • Quality Results - Takes the initiative and holds self and others accountable to meet or exceed quantitative and qualitative goals relating to people (employees and members), philanthropy, finance and volunteerism.
  • Change Capacity - Facilitates change, seeks opportunities in the change process, models adaptability, and leads transition in support of the Y's mission.
  • Inspire Others - Promotes creativity, generates excitement, and rewards risk taking, while consistently demonstrating a high level of emotional maturity, maintaining a positive attitude and building strong relationships.

Become a leader on our team at the YMCA of Greater Seattle where we promote a continuous learning environment and career opportunities. Competitive pay range and excellent benefit package includes YMCA membership, health, dental, life and disability insurance; tuition assistance; 12% retirement contribution, as eligible.


The YMCA of Greater Seattle is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity. We are a drug & alcohol-free workplace.


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