The Lead Instructor is most often a solo position responsible for leading a variety of outdoor based programs with students from partnering youth development organizations. These programs include day programs, 1 to 2-night campouts, and 5 to 7-day backpacking or canoeing expeditions (Minnesota only), with varying group sizes dependent on the type of program. Adult team members include volunteers and staff from our partnering organizations.

Lead Instructors will support logistics, and 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. Instructors work closely with Regional Program Managers, adult team members, and students to facilitate experiences that encourage student agency and decision making, strengthen social emotional skills, increase awareness of self and others, and help cultivate positive relationships with nature, and community. Lead Instructors are responsible for delivering outcome-based curriculum, managing risk and safety, and overseeing direct program logistics. Programming takes place in city, regional, state parks, and national forest settings. Lead Instructors report to and work closely with Regional Program Managers. Visit bigcitymountaineers.org/careers/lead-instructor for full position details

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


Personal and professional values consistent with BCM’s mission, values, and principles
Lived experience as an individual who comes from a community that is underrepresented in the outdoors and/or experience working with youth who come from racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse communities.
Visit bigcitymountaineers.org/careers/lead-instructor for full position details

Required Skills:

Strong understanding of risk management practices that prioritize the physical AND emotional well-being of a group
Knowledge of technical outdoors skills and gear and the ability to guide a group in acquiring these skills
Significant documented experience leading multi-day backcountry trips (we recommend about 35 total days) and/or experience relevant to the type of programming offered in your region of interest

Preferred Skills:

Spanish speaking or bi-lingual preferred
Priority will be given to instructors who can commit to facilitating multiple programs during the summer including day programs, overnights, and weeklong expeditions.

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

Apply at: https://formstack.io/EC95E Priority will be given to applications received by Friday, January 7. Additional applications will continue to be received on a rolling basis.