Outdoor Education Fellow

Job
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Deadline to Apply:

Thursday, June 15, 2017, 5:00pm

Organization: 

Address:

Bellingham, WA
United States

Job Category:

Fellowship

Job Type:

Part-time

Job Description:

Wild Whatcom is a flourishing non-profit organization dedicated to connecting youth to nature and developing positive character traits through outdoor exploration and discovery. We provide experiential learning opportunities that inspire participants to explore, connect, and serve, while building healthy relationships with nature, community, and self.

Wild Whatcom seeks 5-7 motivated and highly-skilled educators to serve as a cohort of Fellows to co-lead nature explorations, outdoor skills sessions, school excursions, service projects, summer camps, and wilderness trips for a variety of Wild Whatcom programs. The Fellowship is a two-year paid position, prioritized for those who can make a commitment to both years.

Fellows will help organize and guide outings, both during the week and on weekend days (with consistent days off). Program Coordinators will work with Fellows to create a personalized schedule to meet mutual goals based on interest, skills, and need. Each position offers 80-120 hours per month (average of 20-30 hours/week with some seasonal variability) and includes working in a variety of programs and settings (see www.wildwhatcom.org for program descriptions).

The first year will focus on field-based work and will include trainings on youth development, risk management, and outdoor education skills. Fellows will have the opportunity to learn from, and co-lead with, experienced Wild Whatcom staff, and will gain the mentoring skills to connect children to nature through play and wonder.

The second year will expand responsibility and leadership opportunities and may include program coordination and administrative duties, based on interest and need. There will likely be opportunities for continued work in the organization after completion of the Fellowship. Fellows will gain: extensive outdoor education skills; immersive training in Wild Whatcom mentoring philosophy; experience as part of an effective and dynamic team at a vibrant non-profit; hands-on learning alongside skilled outdoor professionals; supportive and flexible work environment; monthly compensation.

Compensation will begin at $14 per hour with a likely increase for the second year, based on positive performance and additional duties.

Start date: Mid-August 2017. Specific date TBD.

*Applications received by Thursday, June 15, 2017 will receive priority review.*

Responsibilities

  • Co-lead a variety of outings with child-led, inquiry-based, experiential, and playful approaches.
  • Participate in all required training with enthusiasm and engagement.
  • Awaken a sense of wonder teaching natural history and outdoor skills while exploring local areas.
  • Facilitate collaborative leadership and decision-making to augment developing life skills.
  • Practice effective risk management at all times, creating a safe learning experience for all.
  • Maintain clear, responsive, honest, and respectful communications with participants and staff.
  • Serve as a mentor to participants appropriate to their needs as individuals and as a group.
  • Work closely with other members of the field staff team to plan, prepare, and lead outings.
  • Assist with gear maintenance, storage, and coordination.
  • Assist with program logistics.
  • Support and contribute to documentation/record-keeping.
  • Share concerns and successes and seek advice from Program Coordinator, Program Manager, and Executive Director to ensure program quality.

Required Qualifications:

  • Humor, adaptability, and inspiration for facilitating meaningful connections to nature and community.
  • Strong work ethic and professional work habits (punctual, responsive, organized, detailed).
  • Superior interpersonal and written communications skills.
  • Environmental (or outdoor or youth) education experience.
  • Knowledge of ecology and outdoor skills.
  • Experience working with children.
  • Demonstrated ability to monitor variable conditions constantly to ensure group safety while also remaining attentive and focused on learning goals and the unique needs of each participant.
  • Ability to prioritize effectively and handle multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously.
  • Flexibility and vision to engage with a growing organization.
  • Computer access plus competency with Google systems, Microsoft Office Suite, and online media tools.
  • Reliable method of transportation and mobile phone.
  • Valid driver’s license and excellent driving record (background check is required).
  • Ability to carry 30+ lbs in a variety of weather and terrain.
  • Current First Aid/CPR Certification.
  • Tetanus booster within the past 5 years

Preferred Qualifications

  • Current Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification.
  • A regular personal practice of connection with the outdoors.
  • Familiarity with collaborative learning techniques and child-led discovery.
  • Experience leading groups over varied terrain on multi-day trips in the backcountry.

Additional Information -Possible program areas for Fellows

Explorers Club: The Explorers Club (EC) cultivates naturalist knowledge, sense of adventure, earth skills, and a community stewardship ethic for youth ages 7-16. With the natural world as a starting point, you will help develop and lead innovative experiential learning opportunities that inspire participants to explore, connect, and serve, while building healthy relationships with nature, community and self. Mentors will lead outings for 3-5 EC groups Thursdays through Sundays during the academic year.

Summer Adventures: Our summer programs are big adventure days immersed in exploring the Northwest's mossy forests, wild rivers, mountain meadows, tumbling waterfalls, and pebbled beaches. We are looking for candidates available for intermittent summer work in 2018 for our camp and backpacking programs. Summer hours are episodic, with some full-time weeks and some weeks entirely off. Program takes place late June through August.

EdVentures: Wild Whatcom provides nature outings for classrooms at various public schools. These 2-4 hour outings provide an opportunity for kids to connect to nature while experiencing hands-on environmental education. Mentors will co-lead a group of students through the inquiry process while modeling effective outdoor education strategies for teachers to inspire them to take their classes outside! Program takes place on weekdays during the academic year.

SEED (Student Experiential Education and Discovery): In this program, mentors facilitate nature outings for students in the Life Skills program within Bellingham Public Schools (students with moderate to severe developmental disabilities). This fun and inspirational program allows Wild Whatcom staff to partner with Life Skills teachers to provide an opportunity for students to have access to the outdoors and to connect to nature. Program takes place on weekdays during the academic year.

Neighborhood Nature: Guided after-school outings that encourage kids to connect with their surrounding ecosystem through exploration, play, art, and nature activities. Program typically takes place weekdays during the academic year between 1:00-5:00PM for 8 weeks each in fall, early spring, and late spring.

Playgroup: Mentors may co-lead an outdoor nature playgroup for preschool aged children. Playgroup will focus on child-development through nature connection, child-led discovery, free play and experiential learning in the outdoors alongside friends. Program takes place Monday-Thursday during the academic year.

Special Projects in addition to Field Work: The Fellowship will include a variety of special project work in addition to field mentoring, especially for weeks when there is less field work scheduled. These projects vary in size, skills needed, and schedule. Potential projects include: Girls Explorers Club Assistant Coordination, Neighborhood Nature coordination, Summer Adventures coordination/assistance, curricula development, gear management, office coordination, logistics coordination, etc.

How to Apply:

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for two references to jobs@wildwhatcom.org with an email subject heading of “Fellowship Application”. All materials should be sent as attachments in PDF format. Please direct any questions to jobs@wildwhatcom.org.

*Applications received by Thursday, June 15, 2017 will receive priority review.*

Before actual hire, prospective employees must pass a thorough background check.

Wild Whatcom is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, or marital status in employment or the provision of services.