Earth Task Force and 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. As the CAP Instructor, the individual will teach the Community Adventure Program (CAP) at New Vista High School (NVHS) in Boulder, Colorado each Spring and Fall. In addition, this contract mentors Earth Task Force (ETF) throughout the school year. Both ETF and CAP blend service learning, environmental education, and outdoor education. CAP is an accredited elective course that runs through the first and last quarter of each school year at NVHS. ETF is an accredited student-run club that focuses on implementing environmental action projects around school and in the community throughout the school year.  The individual will receive the full curriculum and guidance in how to successfully implement the CAP curriculum and mentor ETF. The position location is at New Vista High School in Boulder, CO.


  • 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
  • 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
  • Ability to work on multiple projects with overlapping timeframes
  • 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 preferred
  • Valid driver's license, good driving record, and competency driving 15 passenger vans
  • Classroom teaching experience in addition to outdoor experience is preferred  
  • Experience leading teenage students in the outdoors


Responsibilities and Expectations:

This job has two distinct aspects, ETF Mentor and CAP Instructor, listed separately below:

Community Adventure Program Responsibilities:

Teach Community Adventure Program (CAP) at New Vista High School (NVHS) in Boulder, CO: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 1-3 pm 2-4 quarters during the school year.

Facilitate amazing student led projects focused on positively addressing local environmental issues.

Complete job activities, responsibilities, and pre/post course logistics outlined in the CAP Instructor Training Manual.

  • Classroom instruction and lesson planning in line with course objectives.
  • Stay current in completing required tasks and paperwork for Boulder Valley School District and NVHS.
  • Attend and promote CAP at all promotional events and periodically attend staff meetings at NVHS.

Post articles about CAP Action Projects and a summary of each quarter to CI Website.

Coordinate and facilitate 2 overnight camping trips and transportation per quarter. You will have professional wilderness instructors to help facilitate these trips and teach essential camping and wilderness survival skills.

  • Review the medical history of each participant and submit pertinent information to risk management committee.
  • Follow CI Emergency Action Plan and Risk Management protocol identified in CI Risk Management Plan.

Conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times.

Oversee the overall risk management during programming activities and be responsible for the safety of all participants and volunteers.

Attend annual Cottonwood Institute Instructor Training (March 3rd-5th).

Earth Task Force Mentor Responsibilities:

Mentor the Earth Task Force student led club Mondays 12:05 – 1 p.m. and Wednesdays 11:30 – 2 p.m. at New Vista High School (NVHS).

Work closely with NVHS Teacher mentor to facilitate and guide ETF throughout the school year.

Mentor student projects, bring in/suggest pertinent speakers on environmental issues and chaperone field trips.

Allow students to guide what projects they take on and the content of the club.

Oversee student blog posts about their Action Projects.

Share your own passion for and experience in the environment.

Occasional overnight trips can be part of this mentorship.

Compensation:  This is a temporary independent contract. Compensation will be based on experience and paid monthly for the contract January through May 2017.

Preferred Start Date: December 15, 2016 with light training schedule. ETF starts January 9th, 2017 and CAP starts March 13th, 2017 both run through May 26th, 2017 with intention to renew contract annually for school year.


How to Apply:

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