Job Description: Outdoor Education Instructor

The Outdoor Education Instructor position at High Trails is a demanding yet rewarding seasonal work experience that revolves around responsibilities in three main areas: the Discovery Group, The Cabin, and Evening Programs.


The Discovery Group – In each 2 1/2-hour outdoor class session, High Trails Staff will plan and implement educational lessons as they lead a group of approximately 20 students on an activity-based learning experience, focusing on the natural environment and the history and science of various groups of people who lived before us.  These sessions are chosen by each school based on particular curricular goals, and one teacher and four high school counselors accompany and assist the Staff member during each lesson. Role-playing, group initiatives, experiential learning, and scientific experimentation form the framework of our program.  Attention to preparation, flexibility, and excitement for learning are all qualities that will be needed to lead and teach students in the outdoor classroom.


The Cabin - Each Staff member is assigned to lead and facilitate cabin life for students during their stay at High Trails.  Cabins are comprised of two cabins-sides, each with 8-10 students and 2 high school counselors, and are gender-specific.  One or two teachers also live in a separate room in the cabin, and are involved with the cabin group throughout the day.  High Trails Staff members lead their cabin groups on morning hikes prior to breakfast, and spend time with the students in the cabin in the evenings to close out the day.  While in the cabin, Staff will build community within the group and stay available to help with whatever issues arise.


Evening Programs - During the week, Staff members will lead an Evening Program after dinner each night.  At the Interbarn, Staff members, with the help of high school counselors, teach students about a variety of topics utilizing our hands-on interpretive learning stations.  The Folk Dance, filled with fun, costumes, and story-dances, is a chance for students to enjoy themselves at the end of the day.  Dances are taught and led by the High Trails Staff, and provide a chance to showcase creativity and hilarity.


Throughout the week, the most important role of the High Trails Staff is to create exciting learning opportunities for students in an atmosphere of safety, where students feel valued as individuals and are encouraged to explore the world around them and discover the fun of questioning and learning about their surroundings.  The program requires a wide variety of work, and Staff members should expect to help in a number of other ways to keep everything running smoothly.  Additional responsibilities include:

  1. Provide guidance and feedback to high school leaders.

 2.  Open and develop a clear line of communication with teachers.

 3.  Communicate with directors regarding any concerns.

 4.  Work closely with other staff in a spirit of cooperation and flexibility.

 5.  Lead recreational activities in the afternoon.

 6.  Assist with kitchen duties and responsibilities.

 7.  Be on call for emergency situations.

 8.  Perform necessary duties when asked by director.

 9.  Actively participate in staff training.

 10.  Maintain and keep track of discovery group supplies and materials.



-Enjoyment of the natural world and the outdoors.

-Ability to communicate with students, adults, and other Staff members.

-Flexibility and adaptability to a variety of schedules and tasks.

-Desire to learn and teach new things.

-Commitment to being a contributing member of the educational community.



$60 per day, with room and board provided.  Laundry service is also included, and Instructors are eligible for outdoor gear pro-deals from a variety of companies.


On the trail