Lead Instructors are an integral part of the BCM program model. Most often a solo position, Lead Instructors are responsible for leading a variety of outdoor-based programs and activities with students from BCM’s partnering youth development organizations. Instructors are responsible for leading single day programs, 1 to 2-night campouts, and 5 to 7-day expeditions. The group size varies anywhere from 3 to 12 youth depending on the type of program as well as a team of up to 5 other adults composed of local volunteers, staff from partnering organizations, and potentially student leaders. Lead instructors manage implementation of the field component of BCM’s programs, while working to create a collaborative and inclusive environment that fosters students’ connection to nature, self, community, and joy.

Lead Instructors are responsible for delivering outcomes based curriculum, managing risk and safety, and overseeing direct program logistics with support from the regional program manager. BCM programming takes place in city and state parks as well as remote settings. While BCM expressly encourages group decision-making, instructors are ultimately responsible for all field decisions, including but not limited to:

Itinerary and/or route changes
Behavior management
Curriculum delivery
Adult team coordination

Tagged as: Backcountry Skills, Instruction and Guiding


Current WFR with CPR or WEMT certification (or an ability to obtain one by employment date)
Ability to attend Regional Instructor Training (stipend included).
Ability to pass a background check.
Clean driving record.

Required Skills:

Experience working with youth who come from racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse communities.
35 days of documented multi-day backcountry trip leading experience relevant to the type of programming offered in your region of interest.

Preferred Skills:

Spanish speaking
Priority will be given to instructors who 1) can commit to facilitating multiple programs during the summer including day programs, overnights, and weeklong expeditions, 2) live within 100 miles of BCM hub cities.
Expedition Locations:
Bay Area, California
Boston, Massachusetts
Denver, Colorado
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Portland, Oregon
Seattle, Washington

About Big City Mountaineers.

Big City Mountaineers (BCM) is committed to providing transformative experiences through nature that strengthen life skills and build community for youth from disinvested communities. BCM creates opportunities for 12 to 18 year-old students to connect with nature, themselves, community, and joy by providing free, fully outfitted, and professionally led outdoor programs and backcountry trips.

BCM has been connecting youth with experiences in nature since 1989 and our work has been regularly recognized within the outdoor industry. Our history and legacy serve as a strong foundation for improvement and innovation. BCM is committed to a culture of continual learning and strives to create an environment that promotes a growth mindset and authentic investment for all team members, including full-time staff, seasonal trip instructors, and volunteers. For more, you can visit our website www.bigcitymountaineers.org

Application Instructions

Click here to apply now. Please include any personal or professional experience that you feel will be relevant for the Instructor Position. Priority will be given to applications received by Friday, January 7. Additional applications will continue to be received on a rolling basis.