ARC is hiring seasonal instructors at our two program sites – Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe. Our 33-day summer courses intersperse wilderness components (multiple extended backpacking trips and other short expeditions including rock climbing and rafting) with basecamp components (daily physical fitness, English and environmental science classes, group reading and public speaking, and leadership classes). In addition to the course days, there are approximately three weeks of training prior to the start of the course, including a week-long backpacking training trip, and four days of post-course debrief. We have the following positions open at each site: English Instructor, Science Instructor, and Academic and Operations Support Instructor. Placement in instructor roles is determined in the interview process based on experience and interest. Work for all instructors will begin in early June and end by early August 2022.

JOB DESCRIPTION for all positions:
• Create a safe, open, and inclusive culture for students and staff.
• Lead backpacking expeditions and basecamps following rigorous daily schedules.
• Teach backcountry outdoor living skills, leadership and identity lessons, and academic subject area(s).
• Work in a highly collaborative environment with other ARC staff.
• Manage student safety in frontcountry and backcountry course environments and follow all risk management protocol in all program activities.
• Drive students in SUVs between course areas.
• Oversee meal preparation in frontcountry and backcountry.
• For English Instructor: teach ARC’s English curriculum, guide students through the writing process, and prepare students for our public poetry reading at the end of the summer.
• For Science Instructor: teach ARC’s environmental science curriculum, teach students observation-based lessons, and ensure high quality outcomes in our final science project.
• For Academic and Operations Support Instructor: support the Lead Instructor in logistical tasks (involving gear, food, etc.) and support staff and students in academic lessons.

COMPENSATION: Instructors are paid $135 per day. Extensive paid training is provided. Shared housing is provided. Meals are provided during the summer courses and some portions of training.

Tagged as: Backcountry Skills, Instruction and Guiding, Teaching/Education


ARC will give preference to candidates with experience leading backpacking trips for youth, but candidates who are bilingual Spanish and English speakers or who are from communities underrepresented in the outdoor education field are especially encouraged to apply.

Required Skills:

Wilderness First Responder and CPR certifications (required; can be obtained after hire before work begins)
ARC created an Outdoor Leadership Fund to increase access for staff from underrepresented communities in the industry. OLF can be used to cover part or all of the cost of trainings, certifications, and/or gear. There is no minimum or maximum amount that can be requested. An application for the OLF can be requested at any point in the application process and will have no bearing on your application.

Preferred Skills:

• A high level of professionalism, organizational skill, and dedication to lead a rigorous summer course
• Experience leading or co-leading groups of youth backpacking in the wilderness
• Self-awareness to responsibly facilitate conversations about identity, including race and gender, in demographically mixed groups
• Experience teaching (in a traditional or non-traditional setting)
• Experience working in a dynamic and demanding work environment

About Adventure Risk Challenge

Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC) is a youth development nonprofit in Central and Northern California. We integrate academics (English literacy, writing, public speaking, and environmental science) with outdoor adventure. ARC engages high school youth from rural California communities, including English Language Learners, who have been historically underrepresented in the outdoors.

Application Instructions

Please email your resume, cover letter, and names and contact information for three references, including your most recent employer, and a cover letter explaining your interest in this position and why you would be a great fit to Mel Hoffman at [email protected] by December 18, 2021. For more information about our programs, please visit our website www.adventureriskchallenge.org.