The Youth LEAD (Leadership, Environment, Adventure, and Diversity) Program (YLP) is one of ETC’s three main programs. We provide life-changing outdoor experiences for youth from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds, focusing on technical outdoor skills, environmental education, socio-emotional growth, and leadership development.

Our 14-to-21-day courses incorporate sea kayaking, rafting, and backpacking. Students learn about themselves, their community of peers, natural history, and environmental science through lessons, storytelling, community-building, and adventure in the wilderness.

2023 Course Dates & Details:
Note: All Field Instructors are required to attend ETC’s YLP 5-day Instructor Training in the San Francisco Bay Area (dates below). Before each Course, Field Instructors are required to attend 3-4 preparation days in San Francisco, working alongside co-instructors and ETC staff to organize gear, meals, and lessons. After the Course, Field Instructors are required to attend one debrief day in San Francisco.

Course details:

Each YLP Course has a team of one Lead Instructor, one Instructor, and one YLP Fellow Field Intern. This core Instructor Team is supported by 3-6 ETC Volunteers during the sea kayak and rafting portions of each Course (depending on the activities of the Course).
▪ The Lead Instructor position is for individuals with exceptional technical and interpersonal skills, advanced medical wilderness certification, and previous experience with ETC. Most Lead Instructors have worked a minimum of one Youth LEAD course or have extensive experience with another ETC program.
▪ The Instructor position is for individuals with experience and competence in the outdoor education and/or wilderness guiding fields.
▪ The YLP Fellow Field Interns are youth who have participated in a YLP summer course and the YLP Fellowship. They are growing towards becoming amazing future Instructors!

● $125/day starting wage for Instructors (for course days and prep/post days)
● $140/day starting wage for Lead Instructors (for course days and prep/post days)
● All receive $400 for participating in the 5-day Instructor Training
● Early signing bonus: $100 per course if contract signed before February 16th, 2023
● Optional: YLP Instructors are invited and encouraged to join ETC’s Inclusion Training (May 20-21, 2023) and YLP Instructor River Trip in August 2023 (exact dates TBD)

Transportation and Lodging:
Instructors must provide their own lodging and transportation to/from Fort Mason Center in San Francisco on June 5 & 6th for Instructor Training, as well as the 3-4 preparation days before course and one post debrief day after course. While on course, all meals and camping accommodations are provided.

***Full position description:

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


●Age requirement: 20+
●Current Wilderness First Aid (WFA) Certification or higher before course begins; Wilderness First Responder certification highly preferred (some scholarships available)
●Hiring is dependent on criminal background check and DMV driver check
●Must have clean driving record; Must have 2+ years licensed driving experience; Ability to safely drive youth in a large SUV for up to 6 hours
●Previous experience as a leader in a backcountry setting during extended expeditions

Required Skills:

●Attend mandatory field staff training from June 5th - June 9th in the SF Bay Area, including overnight kayak camping component from 6/7- 6/9.
●Work collaboratively and communicate compassionately with the core Instructor Team and 3-6 ETC Volunteer Sea Kayak/River Guides to safely instruct 10-12 high school students on the Course.
●Engage students in meaningful, honest, inclusive community as a starting point for genuine learning in the outdoors. Hold space for individual strengths and areas for growth.

Preferred Skills:

●Experience as a sea kayak, backpack, and/or raft guide preferred
●Bilingual (English/Spanish)
●Class B Commercial Driver’s License
●Comfort navigating both on and off trail in alpine environments, particularly in the Sierra Nevadas

About Environmental Traveling Companions

ETC is a non-profit, volunteer based organization that provides outdoor adventure and environmental education experiences for people of all abilities. ETC conducts Sea Kayak, Whitewater Rafting, and Cross Country Skiing trips for youth and adults from under-resourced backgrounds and people with disabilities as well as extended Youth Leadership Programs for disadvantaged youth.

Application Instructions

Thank you for your interest! Please send a resume and cover letter detailing your qualifications, related experience, and which course(s) you're interested in to Isabela Celedón at [email protected] If you have any questions about the position, please email [email protected] or call 415-474-7662 ext.16.