Season: May 2–October 14, 2022
Location: Sandy, Oregon (30 miles from Portland) with travel to Oregon Parks & Wildernesses
Compensation: $120/day, with ~20 days worked per month/Basic housing provided in Sandy, Oregon (optional)/Food provided while leading Opal Creek Expeditions/5 sick days
Programs: Opal Creek Expeditions/Opal Creek Outdoor School

The Lead Guide Opportunity
This summer, you’ll lead educational, fun and safe backpacking trips via our Opal Creek Expeditions program. Small groups traverse miles of backcountry trail, summit ridgelines and peaks, and visit subalpine lakes and streams, with you and one other guide as their leaders. As you teach the ins and outs of backpacking you’ll see each person’s confidence grow—in their skills and in themselves.
In the spring and fall, you teach Outdoor School in local Oregon parks using student- and nature-centered curricula developed with the guidance of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and our team’s equity consultants. Throughout the course of a multi-day program, you’ll guide students in building their relationship with the natural world.
You will take a leadership role in our small staff: you prepare participants for their upcoming trips, pack gear & food for the following week, facilitate weekly staff meetings, mentor guides-in-training, and enhance Opal Creek Expeditions and Outdoor School curricula.

View the full job announcement here: https://www.opalcreek.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Lead-Guide-Job-Posting.pdf.

Tagged as: Backcountry Skills, Camp Counselors, Conservation, Full Time, Medical, Teaching/Education


1+ seasons outdoor guiding experience, or equivalent experience
1+ seasons working with youth in a camp setting, or equivalent experience
Teaching experience, formal or informal
Backpacking experience, personal or prof
WFR, WFA or equivalent certification (by time of employment)
COVID-19 vaccine (by time of employment)
Able to lead groups on hikes up to 10 miles with heavy packs
Able to pass a criminal background check
Valid driver’s license and able to drive a 15 passenger van

Required Skills:

Strong group leadership skills
Strong navigation and backcountry cooking skills

About Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center

Our mission is to provide transformative wilderness experiences that grow a community of environmental advocates. All of our work is based around one simple idea: people will protect what they care about, and they will care about what they know. Through our outdoor school and backpacking expedition programs, we bring youth and adults face-to-face with the outdoor places that make Oregon great—pristine mountain streams, uncut vistas, and old-growth forests.

Application Instructions

Please submit an application by visiting the employment page of our website: https://www.opalcreek.org/about/employment. These positions will remain open until filled. We screen applications and conduct interviews on a rolling basis and if you are seeing this posting, this position is available and we encourage you to apply. There are two rounds of interviews in total. We anticipate hiring 2 Lead Guides, and the start date is May 2nd, 2022.