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.

**Please see the full job description here: https://etctrips.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/2024-YLP-Field-Instructor-Job-Description.pdf

*2024 Available Course Dates & Details: 

–> 14-Day Access to Adventure
– Sea kayaking in Sausalito & Angel Island
– Whitewater rafting on S. Fork American River
– Prep days: June 11, 12, 14
– Course dates: June 15 – June 28
– Post day: June 29

–> 14-Day Young Womxn’s
– Whitewater rafting on S. Fork American
– Backpacking in the Sierra Nevada
– Prep: July 24, 25, 27
– Course: July 28 – Aug 10
– Post: Aug 12

–> Mandatory YLP Instructor training (for all Courses): June 3 – 7
– June 3 & 4: San Francisco
– June 5, 6, & 7: Overnight camping at ETC River Camp in Lotus, CA


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).

For training, course days, prep days, and post day:
– Range for Instructors: $135 – $150/day
– Range for Lead Instructors: $155 – $170/day
– Early signing bonus: $100 per course if contract signed before February 29th, 2024

● Lunch stipend ($10/day) for all Prep and Post days, and June 3 & 4 of Training (all meals provided June 5-7 of Training)
● If traveling from outside the Bay Area:
– Stipends for travel and/or accommodation (see application link in full job application, linked below)
– Folks within the Bay Area who have travel or lodging needs are welcome to fill out an application, though funds are prioritized for folks traveling from outside the SF Bay Area
– Funds are limited and we will do our best to meet all applicants’ needs!
● Wilderness Medical Certification scholarships (see application link in full job application, linked below)

*Transportation and Lodging:
Instructors must provide their own lodging and transportation to/from Fort Mason Center in San Francisco on June 3 & 4th 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.

***View full position description:

Tagged as: Instruction and Guiding


●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.