Outdoor Educator

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Deadline to Apply:

Monday, January 10, 2022, 10:00am



Alexandria, VA
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:


Job Description:

Wilderness Kids Alexandria is building a talented team with a diverse set of perspectives and skills to provide low-income youth from Alexandria with life-enriching experiences in nature. 

Specifically, we are seeking experienced Outdoor Educators for our After-School and Weekend Nature Programs with middle school students. 

You are the right person for this role if you are:

  • An adult (>18 years old) who is passionate about nature and about sharing it with young people.
  • Experienced working with young people in or out of the classroom--as a teacher, camp counselor, coach, or other youth worker.
  • Passionate about and skilled with working with young people from low income families, with immigrant children, and with children from the BIPOC community. Your passion and skill may come from having worked with such children before and/or from living experiences similar to those of the young people we serve.
  • Joyful when you are outside and comfortable among spiders and snakes. You have skills and knowledge to share. Perhaps you can identify plants and trees, identify the call of a bird, share the best way to set up a tent or tarp, or otherwise share your enthusiasm for the natural world.
  • Prepared to respond to emergencies in outdoor settings that are not far removed from emergency medical care. (In other words, you have some First Aid training, perhaps even Wilderness First Aid certification.)
  • Can follow, or even devise, lesson plans that build and encourage knowledge, skill, passion, fitness, or life balance among our young people.

What you will do:

  • Every Wednesday and Friday, starting in January 2022, lead a group of 12 to 20 seventh graders in outdoor education programming on a soccer field, surrounded by a narrow swath of woods, in coordination with another WKA staff member and a teacher from Francis Hammond Middle School in Alexandria. Due to Covid restrictions, this is our setting for after-school programming through the end of the 21-22 school year so extra creativity is required to engage kids in a less than ideal setting.
  • Lead students in activities that may include observing, drawing, writing, playing games, learning about flora and fauna, learning about watersheds or water cycles, learning about camping gear and LNT practices, and so on.
  • Follow the curriculum provided by WKA and/or develop your own lesson plans in coordination with the WKA Executive Director.
  • Ensure the physical and emotional safety of children in the program.

Programs run from approximately 3:15 p.m to 4:30 p.m., and you will be expected to be available for at least 15 minutes before and after the start of the program. Pay per afternoon will be $20 per hour - (usually $40 per afternoon). You may also earn hours developing curriculum for the after-school program.

One or two times per month beginning in late January, lead a group of 15 to 20 seventh graders on a longer Saturday or Sunday outing to a natural area in the greater DMV area (e.g. Great Falls, Billy Goat Trail, Huntley Meadows, Prince William Forest, etc). 

Perform similar programming to the After-School program over the course of approximately five hours. Perhaps coordinate the efforts of “expert” partners, such as climbing or paddling instructors. Pay is $20/hour (approximately $100 for the day)

What is Wilderness Kids Alexandria (WKA):

  • WKA began programming in October 2021. You are on the ground floor of this effort! 
  • Our mission is to provide low-income youth from Alexandria with life-enriching experiences in nature.  
  • Our efforts rest upon findings that time spent in nature improves both mental and physical health as well as offering other benefits.
  • Our young people are from low-income families in Alexandria and are in grades 7 through 12. In this first year, we are serving primarily 7th grade students.
  • In 2021-22, we will offer an After-School Program, longer monthly outings, and a Summer 2022 “Peak” Experience, farther afield from Alexandria.
  • WKA is founded upon seven values: Nature as Home, Gratitude, Self-Expression, Equity in Community, Curiosity, Skill, and Mindfulness. We impart these values in everything that we do. 

You’ll find more about us on our website at www.wildernesskidsalexandria.org

We hope to have staff whose life experiences resonate with our young people and strongly encourage applications from members of the immigrant and BIPOC communities.

How to Apply:

Please send a resume that highlights your work with young people and your outdoor experience and skills; and a cover letter expressing your interest in the role. In the letter, please confirm that you understand the part-time nature of this role. (4-6 hours per week with a once or twice per month opportunity for an additional five hours.) Note that, as a new organization, we do expect to grow in 2022 and hope to hire additional staff from among our Guides. Note: Background checks will be required for all Guides, to ensure the safety of our young people.

Send these materials to Jerry@WildernessKidsAlexandria.org

Start Date: Approximately January 12, 2021

Thank you for applying.