The Dunn School Outdoor Education Program is seeking experienced field instructors to serve as trail group leaders for the school’s spring 2023 trips to Joshua Tree. Both the 8th grade and the 11th grade classes will be traveling to Joshua Tree separately for hybrid trips involving basecamping, backpacking, and rock climbing.

On any given trip, instructors will generally have three (3) prep days, five (5) to six (6) days in the field, and one (1) debrief/post-trip administration day.

Daily Rates
For trail group leaders on backpacking trips, on-campus prep days pay a $120/day daily rate and field days pay a $300/day daily rate. This amounts to approximately $2,280 per trip pre-tax, depending on actual hours/days worked.

Outdoor Education Staff also receive free on-campus housing, free meals at the exceptional dining hall, and free access to the campus and school facilities in addition to a travel reimbursement up to $300 for instructors living more than fifty miles from campus. The school’s location in the Santa Ynez Valley is also an incredible location for personal exploration.

The instructor will be responsible for the facilitation of outdoor education trips, the teaching of the Dunn School Outdoor Education curriculum, and risk management while in the field. This includes pre-trip packing and planning and post-course student evaluations and debriefs.

-Serve as the lead instructor, alongside a member of the Dunn Faculty, on a 5-6 day expedition with a trail group consisting of 8-10 students
-Assist in route planning, equipment packing and repair, food packing, and trip administration
-Drive vehicles of various sizes with students to and from the trip site
-Teach and facilitate the Dunn Outdoor Education Program curriculum for each grade/trip, with learning outcomes focusing on developing outdoor skills, discovering a sense of place, and applying and reflecting on the Dunn Core Values (emotional wellness, physical readiness, intellectual growth, social responsibility, and moral courage).

The contract dates for the spring season are:
11th Grade: Friday, March 15th – Saturday, March 23rd, 2024
8th Grade:, Thursday, April 4th – Saturday, April 13th, 2024

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


The successful candidate will hold a current WFR or W-EMT and CPR certification, will have extensive personal and professional experience on extended backcountry trips, and will be passionate about facilitating powerful educational experiences for youth in the outdoors.

About Dunn School

The Dunn School community educates whole students to their fullest potential in preparation for a life of learning and responsible leadership in society. The school recognizes that not all learning happens within the confines of a traditional classroom and is committed to engaging students in a variety of different educational environments.

The Outdoor Education Program is a central aspect of a Dunn School education. These trips are designed to help students ignite an interest in the outdoors, develop a sense of stewardship towards the natural world, and build meaningful relationships amongst students and members of the professional community.

2021-2022 Outdoor Education Year in Review

2022-2023 Outdoor Education Year in Review

Application Instructions

To Apply: Send a resume, cover letter, references, and copies of relevant certifications to Mike Chapman, Director of Outdoor Education, at [email protected]