This field educator position at Cottonwood Gulch works with a small staff team to implement outdoor educational programs and the mission of Cottonwood Gulch Expeditions (CGE). Our mission is to provide outdoor learning adventures to youth of all backgrounds that foster personal growth, strengthen community, and inspire stewardship of the natural world. We have been leading outdoor expeditions since 1926, and currently work with hundreds of students (or “trekkers,” as we call them) each year. Using the outdoors as our classroom to explore science, culture, history, art, and adventure in New Mexico and surrounding states, we aim to inspire personal growth and build strong community. During the school year, we partner with more than 30 schools and nonprofits, primarily serving New Mexico students in grades 1-12 on trips ranging from one day to two weeks. These treks vary between classroom visits, day trips, overnight multiple day road-loops or Basecamp stays, and backcountry experiences. During the summer, we run multi-week expeditions for 8-18 year olds. This totals about 10,000 field days each year, a thriving Gulch Community, and hundreds of lives impacted for the better.

The field educators work in tandem as a group staff team during the season and are responsible for key elements of a group expedition. The Group Leader is the member of the group staff team who is primarily responsible for key elements of a group expedition including risk management, logistics, community, culture, and learning. The Program Staff is the member of the group staff team who supports the creation of a curriculum tailored to the specific destinations of the expedition and interests of the trekkers. In addition, they manage the packing and organization of gear for their designated expedition. The Road Cook is the member of the group staff team who designs, purchases, cooks and adheres to the food budget for their designated expedition. Road cooks work with the staff team to create a menu which takes into account nutrition, caloric needs of trekkers, dietary restrictions, time restraints, and logistical realities of backcountry cooking. Together, they lead a group on their travels around the Southwest, each utilizing expeditionary learning skills to inspire growth in their trekkers. We are also currently hiring basecamp facilitators such as basecamp cooks to help create three meals a day in our full commercial kitchen and an operations assistant to help run the day to day basecamp life. Both of these positions will be asked to include campers in their work as much as possible. Other basecamp based positions include specialists in several fields including climbing/adventure, mountain bike, art specialist, naturalist, culturalist, and farmer.

This is a full-time, 24/7 residential position throughout the summer.

Tagged as: Backcountry Skills, Camp Counselors, Camp Staff, Cooks and Food Service, Instruction and Guiding, Teaching/Education


- Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by the position start date and possess a valid driver’s license. Must have a clean driving history.
- Experience as an educator, leader, risk manager, group cook, artist, scientist, and/or adventurer.
- Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or ability to acquire within 30 days of hire; WFR/WEMT preferred.
- During the summer, must be able to live at our Basecamp near Thoreau, NM
- Ability to communicate effectively and professionally with a range of audiences

Required Skills:

- Plan and execute effective outdoor programming in the field and at CGE’s Basecamp. Actively seek out and participate in opportunistic learning opportunities
- Provide leadership and support to outdoor education expeditions across the American Southwest, including in front country and backcountry settings and at CGE’s Basecamp
- Manage risk in line with CGE’s practices and policies; provide medical care within trained scope of practice
- Drive large vehicles (pickup trucks, 15-passenger vans) on a variety

Preferred Skills:

- Standard or waterfront lifeguard certication encouraged

About Cottonwood Gulch Expeditions

Cottonwood Gulch Expeditions offers unique expeditions rooted in the culture and landscape of the American Southwest. Our programs offer an opportunity to immerse yourself in the majestic land and cultural heritage of the American Southwest. At the Gulch, we’ll inspire you with all of the places we explore. We will take you on world-class backpacking and hiking into pristine wilderness areas. We’ll connect you with hands-on science and nature. We’ll engage you in the art and culture that is the backdrop of this poetic place we call “The Southwest.”

Application Instructions

Find full position descriptions and explore our website at: https://cottonwoodgulch.org/join-our-team/. --- Applications open now. Apply at: https://cottonwoodgulch.campintouch.com/ui/forms/application/staff/App --- Reach out to Naina Panthaki with any questions at: [email protected]