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Tahoe Rim Trail Association

  • 128 Market Street, Stateline, NV

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Youth Backcountry Instructor

Our Mission The mission of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association is to maintain and enhance the Tahoe Rim Trail system, practice and inspire stewardship, and preserve access to the natural beauty of the Lake Tahoe region. Join us this season as a Youth Backcountry Instructor (YBI) and help break down barriers to the outdoors by building inclusive and welcoming outdoor experiences for youth!


min experience

salary range

$3.1k - $4k / month

Additional Job Details

International Applicants Allowed?
Work Visa Sponsoring Available

Job Overview

About the Position 

This position requires a motivated individual who has experience working with kids and is passionate about outdoor education and exploration. The Youth Backcountry Program focuses on backcountry skills, natural history, and character development through new and exciting outdoor experiences. The YBI will supervise, teach, and facilitate meaningful experiences for youth during multi-day (4 day, 3 night) backpacking trips from late May through August. 

Our programs aim to familiarize youth with their natural surroundings in the Tahoe Basin, which, for many, are their “backyards.” By combining our expertise of outdoor recreation practices and our passion for wilderness ethics, we offer impactful experiential learning opportunities to empower youth in surrounding communities and beyond. Join us this season to help build the next generation of environmental stewards and have an unforgettable summer exploring the Tahoe Rim Trail! 

Position Responsibilities:

  • With a co-instructor, lead four-day backpacking trips for up to 13 youth.
  •         Facilitate program curriculum by teaching basic backcountry skills, natural history, and stewardship ethics and leading character-building activities
  •         Foster leadership skills among participants through experiential learning opportunities, encouraging them to take on responsibilities within the group.
  •         Create a positive and inclusive atmosphere that encourages active participation and fosters a sense of belonging among youth participants.
  •         Facilitate group discussions and reflective activities to enhance the learning experience.
  •         Exercise sound judgment and decision-making to assess and mitigate hazards.
  •         Respond promptly and effectively to medical emergencies and field incidents, implementing TRTA policies and procedures and coordinating with emergency services when necessary.
  •         Address and resolve conflicts among participants, applying conflict resolution skills to maintain a positive group dynamic.
  •         Effectively build rapport with participants, co-instructors, chaperones, and co-workers.
  •         Maintain high energy, a positive attitude, and attention to participants and chaperones.
  •         Conduct post-trip evaluations with participants to gather feedback and assess the program’s effectiveness.
  •         Communicate program details and outcomes with parents and guardians.
  •         Submit post-trip reports detailing the outcomes, challenges, and recommendations for future programs.
  •         Ensure the proper care and maintenance of all program equipment, including tents, backpacks, stoves, and first aid supplies.
  •         Conduct pre-trip equipment checks to confirm readiness and safety.
  •         Represent the Tahoe Rim Trail Association in a professional manner

Special Benefits


Accommodation is not provided for guides. With a fairly consistent guiding schedule (4 days on, 3 to 4 days off) From June-August, much of the summer is spent in the field. Some guides find housing together, while Others live a mobile adventure lifestyle in vans and vehicles.


Compensation is based on qualifications and experience and will range from $3,120 to $4000 monthly.

  • Paid holidays and sick leave
  •  Stipend for a portion of cellphone expenses
  •  Extensive training and professional development
  • Meals during programs

Minimum Requirements

Position Qualifications:

  •         Experience Working with Youth in Outdoor Settings: Proven track record of working with youth ages 12-17, understanding their unique challenges, and having the ability to create a supportive and inclusive environment.
  •         Risk Management Skills: Comprehensive understanding of risk management in outdoor settings, including the ability to independently implement program protocols and assess and mitigate potential hazards and emergencies during backpacking trips.
  •         Cultural Competency: Exhibit cultural sensitivity and competence, recognizing and respecting the diverse backgrounds and experiences of the youth participants.
  •       Effective Communication Skills: Possess strong communication skills to effectively interact with both youth participants and support staff, ensuring clear instructions, active listening, and the ability to address concerns and conflicts.
  •       Teaching and Facilitation Skills: Experience implementing educational activities during backpacking trips, fostering personal growth, teamwork, and leadership development among participants. Ability to facilitate these activities in Spanish is a plus!
  •       Adaptability and Flexibility: Ability to adapt plans based on the needs and abilities of the youth, as well as unexpected changes in weather or other conditions.
  •       Environmental Stewardship: Commitment to environmental stewardship and educating participants on responsible outdoor practices to instill a sense of respect and appreciation for nature.
  •       Conflict Resolution Skills: Strong conflict resolution skills to manage interpersonal conflicts that may arise among participants during the backpacking experience.
  •       Backpacking Expertise: Extensive backpacking experience, including a strong knowledge of outdoor safety, navigation, camping, and leave-no-trace principles. Ability to hike and camp in the backcountry for several days at a time at various elevations up to 10,000’ carrying up to 75 lbs.
  •         Background in Education or Youth Development: Background in education, youth development, or a related field to enhance the educational and personal growth aspects of the YBCC experience.

·         Passion for Youth Empowerment: Genuine passion for empowering disadvantaged youth through outdoor experiences, fostering personal growth, confidence, and resilience.

Required Certifications

Certifications valid through the employment end date.

o   Wilderness First Aid certification or higher.

o   CA Epinephrine Auto-Injector.

o   CPR.

o   Lifeguard.

Preferred Qualifications

  •         Youth Mental Health First Aid certification.
  •         Leave No Trace Trainer certification or higher.
  •         Nature-based Social-Emotional and Behavioral Interventions.
  •         Experience hiking on the Tahoe Rim Trail.
  •         Tahoe/Sierra Nevada Naturalist.

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