Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Wilderness Mentors (Nationwide)
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As a BCM Volunteer Mentor, you will engage under-resourced urban teens to establish meaningful relationships. You will serve as a positive role model while coaching and encouraging these youth to have a transformative outdoor experience in which they gain and transfer critical life skills into their lives. Under the guidance of a professional lead instructor, you will mentor as part of a high functioning 4-5 person adult leadership team.
BCM programming may take place in remote settings. Communication and consultation with BCM administrative and program staff is not always possible. Adult mentors must be prepared to support the leadership of the instructor and positively resolve issues to be an independently high functioning adult team.
Here's a short video about BCM.
- Physically fit for expedition
- Backpacking expeditions will hike with backpacks weighing up to 50 pounds all day, for up to an hour without rest, and hike at elevations up to 12,000 ft.
- Canoe expedition will paddle 4-12 miles per day and carry 60 pound canoes or packs weighing up to 50 pounds on up to 8 portages a day.
- Pass background check
- At least 21 years old
- Reside locally in one of the BCM regions
- Pay a $125 volunteer fee (BCM as alternate options to fee if needed)
- Experience in youth development:
- Experiential education and facilitation
- Mentoring or teaching teen-aged youth
- Delivery of youth development programs
- Experience in the outdoors:
- Wilderness travel & camping: navigation, camp cooking, canoe or hiking experience
- Spanish speaking or bicultural
- Priority given to volunteers who can make the full BCM program commitment
BCM organizes pre- and post-expedition events and family gatherings with expedition participants. Your attendance role models commitment, reliability, and trust, and fosters a strong mentoring relationship serving to support transference of the teens’ learning into their lives at home.
- A full-day adult training and an online orientation (spring)
- Family and teen kick-off orientation (spring/early summer)
- 1-2 local pre-expedition single day trust and team-build activities (spring/early summer)
- The expedition (summer)
- 1-2 local post-expedition single day transference celebration activities (late summer/early fall)
While BCM expressly encourages group decision-making, the instructor is ultimately responsible for all field decisions.
- Follow BCM policies, procedures, and guidelines and provides reminders and guidance for the teens
- Mitigate and manage risk, health, and safety under the guidance of the instructor
- Be clear about ground rules, group agreements, and various responsibilities
- Program details will be provided in emails, orientation, and training. Good communication with BCM and the team you are placed on is key to ensure that you and the adult leadership team are thoroughly prepared for the BCM journey.
Content and Quality:
- Participate in required training and orientation
- Help to create a fun and safe experience as part of a high functioning 4-5 person adult leadership team
- Engage youth to build meaningful relationships
- Be a positive role-model
- Coach and encourage youth outdoors in transferable life skills
- Assist in facilitating parts of the BCM curriculum and create an atmosphere that fosters youth life
Skills development and learning:
- Ask for feedback and evaluate your mentorship performance
- Portland, OR
- Seattle, WA
- Bay Area, CA
- Minneapolis, MN
- Madison, WI
- Denver, CO
How to Apply:
For those that are interested in volunteering this summer, please get in touch with us by filling out a request for information here:
Here's a link to our volunteer page: