Wilderness Trip Instructor
YMCA of the Pines
Medford, NJ

Do you love working with youth and exploring the outdoors?  YMCA of the Pines is hiring Wilderness Trip Instructors for this coming summer!

We offer one to two week long expeditions focused on developing leaders. Our wilderness trips consist of two different programs, BOLD & GOLD and Rangers.

BOLD & GOLD stands for Boys Outdoor Leadership Development and Girls Outdoor Leadership Development. We are part of a thriving community of YMCA BOLD & GOLD programs across the country, offering expertly crafted outdoor leadership curriculum for youth. Participants have the opportunity to build friendships with a diverse group of peers and develop their leadership skills. Instructors help them grow in confidence, courage, community awareness, emotional intelligence, and a sense of wonder. Our Summer BOLD & GOLD trips consist of 6-7 day backpacking, canoeing, and climbing expeditions for ages 11-17 in the wilderness areas of NJ, PA, and VA.  This includes the Appalachian Trail, Delaware Water Gap, Susquehanna River, Shenandoah National Park, Stokes State Forest, the Old Loggers Path, and other beautiful trails in the area.

Rangers is a capstone of the Ockanickon and Matollionequay overnight camp programs. Participants develop friendships and grow their leadership skills while backpacking on the Appalachian Trail and canoeing on the Delaware River. The entire experience is two weeks long, spending the first and last 2-3 days at camp and 9 days adventuring off-site in the wilderness of the Delaware Water Gap. Rangers trips are for ages 14-16.

Find out more about our trips at ycamp.org/wilderness-trips and click on the BOLD & GOLD and Rangers pages from there.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for both programs, but may note a preference on their application. Please note that due to staffing needs, you may be required to work both programs.  Instructors will also help with logistics, like packing food and gear, and may drive vehicles to transport participants, canoes, and other gear.

Primary Responsibilities Include:
• Ensure both a physically and an emotionally safe environment
• Create values-forming experiences for adolescents
• Create an inclusive environment for youth in the outdoors
• Facilitate the learning of outdoor skills during our wilderness-based backpacking and canoeing trips
• Participate in instructor briefing, prep, clean-up, and debriefs
• Plan and implement participant activities such as gear prep and training, and team-building activities
• Supervise groups of youth in a sleepaway camp setting, which may include sharing a cabin with campers
• Participate in Wilderness Field Training, Wilderness First Aid Training, Boating Instructor Training, Lifeguard Training, and other staff trainings

To be successful in this position, you will need:
• Experience working with youth, preferably in an outdoor recreation or camp setting
• Commitment to making the transference of a wilderness experience relevant to the everyday lives of youth
• Strong group facilitation, communication, and conflict resolution skills
• The commitment and ability to create an inclusive atmosphere
• Excellent judgment and decision-making skills even in stressful conditions
• Experience in wilderness backpacking, canoeing, backcountry living skills, and/or other outdoor activities
• Openness to change and flexibility with scheduling
• The ability and desire to create fun!

To be considered for this job, you must:
• Be dedicated and passionate about working with young people
• Be 21 years of age by time of employment
• Have a clear criminal background check and safe driving record
• Have the ability to walk, stand, sit, kneel & bend (including on the floor) for long periods of time
• Be able to lift and/or assist children or gear up to 50 pounds in weight and hike or paddle for long hours at a time in potentially severe weather conditions
• Have the visual and auditory ability to respond to critical situations and physical ability to act swiftly in an emergency
• Be available for the duration of training and trip sessions including wrap-ups (see dates of employment, below).

Preferred Qualifications:
• Have Lifeguard and CPR certifications or ability to obtain
• Have a WFR or WFA certification

Dates of Employment: Training starts June 2nd.  Last day of work is August 30th, and possibly September 30th.  Opportunities may arise for additional work based on interest and availability from the beginning of May and continuing into the fall season. Must be available evenings and weekends.

Preference will be given to applications received by February 1st.

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three references to: Carol Yard, Wilderness Programs Director, carol@ycamp.org

In addition, please complete the online application at ycamp.org/about/employment.

For more information visit ycamp.org

YMCA of the Pines is an equal opportunity employer.