The AP Instructor manages the emotional and physical risks of adventure-based activities in the field while also weaving into the experience thematic metaphor to deepen the student’s therapeutic experience. Rooted in challenge by choice principles, AP instructors provide opportunities for students to step out of their comfort zone and into a zone of growth by guiding outdoor rock climbing TR, rappelling, and team building initiatives. AP Instructors also guide stand-up paddle boarding, fly fishing, canyoneering, leather working skills and mountain biking, but only after receiving the necessary training. AP instructors will occasionally work with the family services department to facilitate a guided adventure day for a visiting family. This position will require strong emotional and physical risk management skill sets, clear communication, creativity, flexibility and previous experience guiding clients in a professional outdoor setting.

6 days on / 8 days off schedule

During a shift, there will be a mix of office days and days of facilitating adventure activities in the field
● Facilitations days can be one day (most common) to multiple days long, depending on the activity
● During facilitation day:
○ Call the group prior to the facilitation to come up with a plan & gain pertinent information that will apply to
the day
○ Contact the group’s therapist if needed when considering highly supervised clients for participation in an
○ Arrive on site before the group in order to set up
○ Hard skills instruction, staying within the scope of relevant, certified training
○ Supervision of the AP site and the safety of all participants is paramount
○ Collaboration with field staff to construct a theme for the day that will help deepen the meaning of the
student’s therapeutic, adventure experience
○ Checking gear back into storage after the facilitation & inspecting for wear/damage
○ Completion a report for each facilitation day (sent to therapists and the field department)

● On office days, actively work on gear shed projects (inventory, cleaning, repairing, etc.) or projects that
either expand upon our current curriculum or introduce new activities/curriculum
● Be familiar with Elements Policy & Procedures and the AP Manual, as working with an at-risk population
can be different from guiding with an outfitter
● Scout new areas for curriculum development/other current sites that need ‘cleaning’ and/or risk
● Participate in annual Elements trainings, as well as quarterly evaluations within your department

Pay starts anywhere between $36,000 to $40,000 a year based on experience
● 3 weeks paid time off
● Health insurance + Vision & Dental
● Reimbursement of wilderness medicine re-certifications and AMGA SPI exams upon passing grade
● Professional development stipend (with a time commitment)
● Pro-deals

Tagged as: Backcountry Skills, Climbing Skills, Instruction and Guiding, Mountaineering Skills, Teaching/Education, Therapeutic Counselors


AMGA Single Pitch Instructor certification or have taken a more advanced AMGA rock course /

NOTE: If you have taken your course, are planning on taking the test, and can submit your evaluation from
your course instructor you can still be considered a candidate for this position.

Wilderness First Responder certification or higher
Be at least 21 years of age

Required Skills:

At least 1 year of experience guiding high angle activities
Backcountry navigation skills
Ability to carry a 40lb pack for at least a couple miles on rough, off-trail terrain
Strong interpersonal & rapport building skills
Detail-oriented, risk management mindset
Openness to providing others with feedback and receiving feedback
4x4 capable vehicle

Preferred Skills:

A benefit, although not a requirement, to have personal knowledge/professional experience guiding:
mountain biking, water sports (SUP, fly fishing), yoga/meditation practices, leather crafts and/or

Preference given to those with prior experience working in a therapeutic setting

About Elements Wilderness Program

Elements Wilderness Program provides a healthy therapeutic environment for people struggling with a variety of issues. While with us, our clients (and their families) are provided the opportunity to explore past choices and set a new course for their futures. In order to accomplish this, we use wilderness therapy: embracing the outdoors, healthy role modeling, adventure activities, and evidence-based therapeutic methods.

Application Instructions

Please submit your resume, cover letter, and SPI eval and/or certifications to: ○ Madison Brandt - Adventure Program Director [email protected] ○ Include in your resume a section about your climbing/high angle experience in both professional and personal capacities.