Community Adventure Program Instructor

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Deadline to Apply:

Monday, November 28, 2016, 7:00pm



Denver, CO
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:



Job Description:

Cottonwood Institute (CI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit that provides environmental education and service learning programs for middle and high school students. Our mission is to connect students to the natural world and empower them to take action in their schools and communities. We run programs in the Boulder and Denver areas and trips throughout the Front Range.


Cottonwood Institute is looking for an inspiring and passionate educator and well rounded outdoor professional who can learn quickly, teach with integrity and work autonomously. The CAP Instructor will teach the Community Adventure Program (CAP) at one of a number of schools in Denver (see specific openings below). CAP blends service learning, environmental education, and outdoor education. The individual will receive full curriculum and guidance in how to successfully implement the CAP curriculum. The position location is split between the school we are partnering with, New Vista High School in Boulder where gear is stored, and the CI office at the Alliance Center in Downtown Denver.



  • Must be 21 years or older
  • College degree (preferably in pertinent field) or pertinent life experience
  • A minimum of two years experience leading, instructing, or teaching high school students in the outdoors and/or the classroom
  • Experience working in under resourced urban neighborhoods
  • Passion for connecting with teenage students and empowering change
  • Willingness to be flexible to changing conditions and program demands
  • Outstanding people skills; ability to work well with adults and teens
  • Excellent written and verbal skills
  • Knowledge of local environmental issues and ability to teach multiple aspects of issues to teens
  • Experience facilitating project-based and/or service-learning curriculum with teens
  • Familiar with classroom management tools and techniques
  • Reliable transportation
  • Experience camping and/or hiking and willingness to take on outdoor challenges
  • Currently hold a Wilderness First Aid Certification or willing to obtain in the first 2 months of employment

​Preferred Qualifications:

  • Current certification as a Wilderness First Responder and in CPR
  • Spanish speaking competence is strongly preferred
  • Valid driver's license, good driving record, and competency driving 15 passenger vans
  • Strong preference for candidates with experience in the neighborhoods we serve (Montbello, Westwood, Northwest Denver)
  • Classroom teaching experience in addition to outdoor experience is preferred  
  • Experience leading teenage students in the outdoors

Responsibilities and Expectations:

  • Teach Community Adventure Program (CAP) at selected school. Specific schedule will vary, see below.
  • Begin training in advance of scheduled course, December 15th-16th and January 5th-6th.
  • Facilitate amazing student led projects focused on positively addressing local environmental issues.
  • CAP requires classroom-based and camping trip components. Responsibilities include:
  • Create a physically and emotionally safe space.
  • Record experiences with pictures, video, and participant quotes.
  • Meet course educational goals and objectives.
  • Lesson planning, sometimes in collaboration with on site teacher.
  • CAP Class Progression: Facilitate teambuilding activities; lead local outings; teach students about local environmental issues; guide students through an environmental action project.
  • Overnight Trip dates depend on season and class: Provide in-class guidance for students; help facilitate a positive overnight camping trip with a co-instructor; Facilitate a reflection with students to connect trip to class.
  • Clearly communicate with CI Administration, Co-Instructors, and Partner Organizations.
  • Conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times.
  • Attend annual Cottonwood Institute Instructor Training (March 3rd-5th).
  • Oversee the overall risk management during programming activities and be responsible for the safety of all participants and volunteers.
  • Follow CI Emergency Action Plan and Risk Management protocol identified in CI Risk Management Plan.


  • This is a temporary independent contract. Compensation will be based on experience and paid monthly for the contract.

Contracts Available for Spring 2017:

  • STRIVE Prep – RISE, 18250 E 51st Ave, Denver, CO 80249


  • Two 30min sessions/day 4x/week M, W, Th, F 11:45-12:15 and 12:50-1:20

Starts January 9th, 2017

Ends June 1st, 2017


Winter Field-day Saturday March 4, 2017

Overnight Saturday and Sunday May 20-21, 2017


KIPP Montbello Collegiate High School, 18250 E 51st Ave, Denver, CO 80249

Schedule: M,T, Th and F 9-10 a.m. (Tuesday 9:30-11 a.m.)

Starts January 9th, 2017

Ends June 1st, 2017


Winter Field-day Saturday March 18, 2017

Overnight Saturday and Sunday May 13-14, 2017


STRIVE Prep – Westwood, 3201 West Arizona Ave, Denver 80219

Schedule: Monday and Wednesday 4:15-5:15 p.m.

Starts January 23rd, 2017

Ends May 24th, 2017


Winter Field-day Saturday March 11, 2017

Overnight Saturday and Sunday May 13-14, 2017


How to Apply:

Send cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to  by Monday November 28th at 5pm MST.