At Wilderness Inquiry, we believe that everyone belongs. We work to ensure this belief holds true in our workplace, in our community, and in the outdoors. We pursue this belief through our mission and shared values of paddling together, seeking the exceptional, finding a way, and nurturing inclusion.

Outdoor Leaders create the magic at Wilderness Inquiry. Leading single to multi-day adventures for adults, youth, and families of all backgrounds and abilities, Outdoor Leaders bring Wilderness Inquiry programming to life in the field.

Our Little Sand Bay Sea Kayak staff introduce the skills and pleasure of paddling and hiking in the beautiful Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Adventures range from 1-14 days, and begin and end at our Little Sand Bay Base Camp near Bayfield, Wisconsin. Some staff choose to live, at no cost, at the base camp during the season, while others will be based out of St. Paul and commute for each trip.

We recognize that as an industry, there is much to do to increase representation in our field to reflect the communities we aim to serve. We also know that diversity of identities, experiences and ways of thinking result in better solutions for our communities. For this reason, we especially encourage applicants from communities who experience systemic barriers – including people of color, women, LGBTQI+ and people with disabilities – to apply for this position.


May 23rd – 26th, 2023: All-staff Wilderness Inquiry foundational training
May 30th – June 2nd, 2023: All-staff Wilderness Inquiry field training
June 3rd – June 7th, 2023: Kayak skills training (staff can choose to participate in an optional ACA Level 2 certification upon completion of this training.)
June – September: Main programming season consisting of extended overnight trips with optional local, Twin Cities Canoemobile day programming.
September – October: Opportunities to continue with local, Twin Cities Canoemobile day programs as well as transition to regional and national Canoemobile tours.
The primary responsibility of Outdoor Leaders is to serve participants and ensure the safety, quality and cost-effectiveness of Wilderness Inquiry experiences. Outdoor Leaders are responsible for the lives and wellbeing of Wilderness Inquiry participants throughout a Wilderness Inquiry adventure. Life as a Wilderness Inquiry Outdoor Leader can be fun, exciting, and incredibly rewarding, but it is also a tremendous amount of responsibility and it can involve a lot of hard and challenging work.

Group Facilitation
Provide excellent leadership for adults, youth, and families
Use effective judgment and decision making regarding trip implementation
Uphold Wilderness Inquiry’s Trail Community Agreements
On-Trail Technical Skills & Safety
Assess participant ability and expectations to safely and effectively meet individual and group needs.
Provide emergency first aid including evacuation plans.

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


Current Driver’s License* and a safe driving record dating back at least five years
1 or more seasons or years of professional experience in outdoor recreation or education, leadership or guiding, group facilitation, or other related experience
Experience working with youth and adults from diverse social, cultural, economic, and educational backgrounds.
Proficiency in Spanish, American Sign Language, Hmong, or Somali
*Driver’s license status will not impact eligibility for hire

Required Skills:

A minimum of Basic First Aid & CPR (or ability to obtain).
Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or Wilderness First Responder (WFR) preferred
Staff must possess a WFA or WFR to be eligible for promotion in kayak leadership.
Wilderness Water Safety, Lifeguard or other Professional Rescuer
Desire to lead, motivate, and manage groups of varying ages, abilities, and identities in an outdoor setting
Ability to provide excellent customer service
Ability to work as part of a team

About Wilderness Inquiry

Wilderness Inquiry’s mission is to connect people from all walks of life to the natural world through shared outdoor adventures. Through the medium of outdoor adventure travel, we inspire personal growth, enhanced awareness of the environment and community integration. Wilderness Inquiry is all about access, inclusion, and opportunity. We believe exploration of the natural world is a birthright we all share, and we act on that belief. We operate in a manner that facilitates full participation by everyone, including people of all ages, background, and abilities.

Application Instructions

Please apply directly through website:https://www.wildernessinquiry.org/job/little-sand-bay-sea-kayak-outdoor-leader/