Outdoor Field Instructor
Location: Spruce Knob Mountain Center, Circleville, WV
Length of Employment: 24 August – 3 November, 2023
Supervisor: Course Director
Overview: Experience Learning is seeking outdoor professionals to lead high-quality, adventure-based, outdoor education programs in backcountry environments throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
Based at the remote Spruce Knob Mountain Center in West Virginia, Field Instructors lead students on Wilderness Learning courses (both field and residential based), helping people become confident, competent individuals with a clear vision of their responsibilities and potential for improving the human condition and the natural world.
Our courses typically serve students in 5th-12th grade. Courses can include 1-2 day dorm based courses, 1-2 day off-site courses in local communities (visiting WV public schools), 4-8 day field courses (Private schools from the Mid-Atlantic region) both in the nearby national forest, as well as variety of off-site courses in wild spaces throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including the Appalachian Trail.
Field Instructors help students gain confidence, experience, and appreciation for mountains through lessons and activities such as hiking, backpacking, camp craft, orienteering, caving, stream ecology, forest ecology, geology, rock climbing, canoeing, outdoor cooking, stewardship projects, and survival skills. In addition, Field Instructors tailor courses to meet the thematic goals of each school served, leading students in discussions and initiatives around leadership, communication, environmental stewardship, teamwork, and creative problem-solving.
o Maintain a physically and emotionally safe environment for students and guests.
o Prepare and deliver hands-on, experiential, and inquiry-based lessons in a remote outdoor setting for both day and evening programs.
o Lead 1-8 day residential and field-based programs in challenging settings that include hiking, backpacking, camp craft, orienteering, caving, stream ecology, forest ecology, geology, rock climbing, canoeing, stewardship projects, outdoor cooking, and survival skills.
o Facilitate discussions and initiatives around leadership, communication, environmental stewardship, teamwork, creative problem-solving, and other subjects.
o Implement and model excellent risk management strategies and administer first aid as needed.
o Teach and lead groups in the outdoors, in varying weather conditions, and on uneven terrain.
o Prepare facilities and gear before trips and clean facilities and gear at the end of trips.
o Prepare and cook meals for visiting educational and rental groups under supervision of Kitchen Manager.
o Maintain a professional demeanor while interacting with groups and guests.
o Assist with facility upkeep as needed, including basic carpentry, repairs, vehicle maintenance, and general troubleshooting.
o Effective communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills
o Positive attitude, determination, and unassailable work ethic
o Teaching experience, either formal or informal
o Ability to confidently lead groups in a remote setting
o Desire to teach and work with young people from varying social and economic backgrounds
o Curiosity about the natural world and willingness to learn academic natural science lessons
o Experience working in the outdoors, especially in inclement weather
o Bachelor's Degree or equivalent life experience
o Current Wilderness First Responder Certification (Preferred)
o Minimum of Wilderness First Aid & CPR/AED certification (Required) (WFA certification offered on site August 25-27, 2023)
o Valid driver’s license
About Experience Learning
Experience Learning has a fifty-year record of delivering unique outdoor experiences for both students and adults. Seasonal Outdoor Field Instructors are based at the Spruce Knob Mountain Center in West Virginia. Their primary responsibility will be facilitating beyond the classroom wilderness learning programs including four – eight day long field courses in the national forest, single and multi-day onsite residential courses, and *off-site field-based courses at various wild locations in the Mid-Atlantic region. The mission of these courses is to help people become confident, competent individuals with a clear vision of their responsibilities and potential for improving the human condition and the natural world.