Position type: Full time, salaried, seasonal
Season: April 3–October 13, 2023
Location: Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, Oregon (60 miles from Portland, Oregon)
Compensation: $3,300 average monthly salary; 7 days PTO
Perks: Meals provided while working/Basic housing on site/Staff housing in greater Portland/Salem area for subsidized rate (optional)
Programs: Opal Creek Outdoor School (spring/fall); Opal Creek Expeditions (summer/fall)
Work schedule: ODS: Mondays-Fridays (no overnight), averaging 8 hrs/day; EXP: Sundays-Fridays (includes overnight): 2 weeks on, 1 week off (always Saturdays off)
As an outdoor guide, your classroom will be the forests, creeks, and waterfalls of Silver Falls State Park, Oregon’s most beloved and largest state park and the ancestral home of the Kalapuya and Molalla Tribes. Working with mainly 5th/6th graders over the course of a 3-day, 2-night program, you’ll teach inquiry-based lessons developed with guidance from Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, The Avarna Group equity consultants, and The BEETLES Project. By the end of their time with you, students will strengthen their relationships with nature, the land, and each other – understanding that these relationships exist within an interconnected system.
As an expeditions guide, you lead educational, fun, and safe backpacking trips via our Opal Creek Expeditions program. Small groups of youth ages 10-17 traverse miles of backcountry trail, summit ridgelines and peaks, and visit subalpine lakes and streams, all with you and one other guide as their leaders. As you teach the ins and outs of backpacking you’ll see each child’s confidence grow—in their skills and in themselves.
Qualifications, Skills, and Experience
A successful candidate will possess these minimum qualifications. We are less interested in the titles you’ve held and more interested in what you’ve actually done and who you are.
● 1+ seasons/school years teaching experience, formal or informal
● 1+ seasons backcountry guiding experience
● 1+ seasons working with youth
● Backpacking experience, personal/professional
● Strong group leadership and management skills
● Strong communication skills
● Navigation and backcountry cooking skills
● Previous experience with equity, inclusion, and cultural relevance, and integrating into youth programming
● Previous backcountry medical experience
● 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
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.