YMCA of Greater Seattle

  • Wilderness Instructor

    Job Locations US-WA-Seattle
    Posted Date 7 months ago(1/14/2019 8:49 PM)
    # of Openings
    YMCA at Cascade People's Center
    Teen Summer Programs
    309 Pontius Ave N
  • Overview

    Wilderness Instructor

    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


    Do you want to make a difference in the world and have fun while doing it?  The BOLD & GOLD Program inspires young people to be multi-cultural leaders through wilderness based expeditions.  We are currently hiring Wilderness Instructors for this coming summer.  As a Wilderness Instructor, you will be responsible for the physical and emotional safety of up to 10 students while engaging them in activities such as backpacking, rock climbing, and mountaineering in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  We are based in Seattle, right at the heart of the most beautiful mountains in the lower 48.


    Primary Responsibilities Include:

    • Facilitate the learning of outdoor skills during our 8-22 day wilderness-based backpacking, rock climbing or mountaineering courses.
    • Ensure both a physically and an emotionally safe environment.
    • Create values-forming experiences for adolescents.
    • Create an inclusive environment for youth in the outdoors.


    Critical Success Factors:

    • Professional instructional experience in backpacking, rock climbing, and/or mountaineering
    • Commitment to working with diverse groups
    • Excellent judgment and decision making skills
    • Strong group facilitation, communication, and conflict resolution skills
    • Experience facilitating activities addressing issues facing adolescent females and/or males
    • Experience making the transference of a wilderness experience relevant to the everyday lives of underserved youth
    • Knowing how to have fun!

    Compensation: Salary Negotiable.  Benefits with full summer commitment include a Y membership, access to pro-deals, paid training and professional development opportunities.


    Dates of Employment: Summer programs operate from June 21st – August 31st with all staff training beginning on June 12th and climbing training (for instructors working climbing and mountaineering trips) beginning on June 5th.   Instructors are contracted on a course-by-course basis including paid time for planning and debriefing.  Opportunities exist for additional work based on interest and availability in beginning of May and continuing into late September. Must be available evenings and weekends. Full summer commitment is preferred, however instructors do not have to be available for all dates.


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


    Application Closing Date: May 1st, 2019.


    Primary Responsibilities Include:

    1. Facilitate the learning of outdoor skills during our 8-22 day wilderness-based backpacking, rock climbing, or mountaineering courses.

    2. Ensure both a physically and an emotionally safe environment.

    3. Create values-forming experiences for adolescents.

    4. Create an inclusive environment for youth in the outdoors.



    1. 20 years of age or older.
    2. Two years of experience or more working with teens in an organized setting.
    3. Experience in program planning and administration.
    4. Ability to plan, implement and oversee a variety of wilderness based program activities.
    5. Knowledge of developmental needs of teens; demonstrates an understanding of the needs of teens and the ability to evaluate their needs individually.
    6. Must pass YMCA pre-employment drug screening
    7. Current W-EMT, WFR, or WFA (Assistant Instructors only) and CPR
    8. Current WA State Food Handlers Permit
    9. Instructors must be available for training in the Seattle area in early June
    10. We strongly recommend all employees within Camping and Outdoor Leadership have the following vaccinations: 1) Tdap 2) MMR 3) Varicella
    11. 21 years of age strongly preferred
    12. 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.


    • Minimum 21 years old
    • Current Driver’s License with a minimum of 3 years safe driving experience and a driving record which meets or exceeds YMCA standards.
    • Maximum of one minor violation.

    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; all job offers are contingent on results of a background check and drug screening, including screening for marijuana.




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