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, and finding a way. Outdoor Leaders create the magic at WI, creating life changing outdoor experiences for individuals and families of all backgrounds and abilities. Our Little Sand Bay Sea Kayak staff lead 1-5 day, front and/or backcountry kayaking adventures in the Apostle Islands out of our Little Sand Bay Base Camp near Bayfield, Wisconsin. Some staff choose to live at the base camp during the season, and others will be based out of Minneapolis and commute for each trip. Lodging at Little Sand Bay is free for Outdoor Leaders. 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, LGBTQIA+ and more – to apply.

– May 19th – June 3rd, 2022: Required Training
– June through September – Main programming season in the Apostle Islands
– September through mid to late October – options for local day programming in the twin cities area as well as work on National Canoemobile Tours

The primary responsibility of Outdoor Leaders is to serve participants and ensure the safety, quality and cost-effectiveness of WI experiences. Outdoor Leaders are responsible for the lives and wellbeing of WI participants throughout a WI adventure. Life as a WI 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 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 their needs.
– Provide emergency first aid and conduct and/or assist in back-country medical needs including evacuations.
– Care for equipment while in the backcountry and at base camp.
– Proficiently perform activities conducted on WI trips including navigating routes in the front and backcountry, cooking, kayaking, hiking, camping, etc.
– Safely drive a 15-passenger van pulling a loaded trailer in all weather and road conditions (contingent upon driver eligibility).

Pre-Trip Prep & Post-Trip Paperwork
– Work with logistical staff to pack-in and pack-out gear and food.
– Complete post trip paperwork including evaluations, incident reports and trip summaries.

Tagged as: Backcountry Skills, Camp Counselors, Camp Staff, Instruction and Guiding, Water Skills


Complete COVID-19 vaccines are mandated for all WI staff and interns. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is frequently required to sit; talk or hear; and use hands to handle, or touch objects or controls. The employee is regularly required to stand and walk. On a regular occasion the employee may be required to stoop, bend or reach above the shoulders. Must be able to lift and carry heavy loads up to 50lbs over rough terrain for distances of up to 1,000 feet.

Required Skills:

Required certifications (or ability to obtain- Wilderness Inquiry frequently sponsors courses before seasonal training):

-A minimum of Basic First Aid & CPR required. 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 or Lifeguard/Professional Rescuer

Preferred Skills:

Preferred Certifications:
- ACA Level 2: Essentials of Kayak Touring Skills Assessment, or ACA Level 3: Coastal Kayak Trip Leader
*Current Driver’s License and a safe driving record dating back at least five years
*Driver’s license status will not impact eligibility for hire, but may impact eligibility to work specific trips

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 on the Wilderness Inquiry website: https://www.wildernessinquiry.org/job/little-sand-bay-sea-kayak-outdoor-leader/