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Whole Earth Nature School

  • PO Box 5223, Eugene, OR
  • wholeearth.org

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Apply by Jan 30, 2022

Outdoor School Lead Instructor


min experience

salary range

$16 - $17 / hour

Additional Job Details

International Applicants Allowed?
Work Visa Sponsoring Available

Job Overview


We are hiring 13-18 full-time lead instructors to work Outdoor School programs March-June 2022 with options to continue through summer. Lead instructors will support groups of students during in-person overnight or day programs, depending on COVID-19 guidelines. If overnight programs are allowed, lead instructors will work morning, day, or evening shifts with some staff staying overnight throughout the week. Lead instructors will receive training and support to fulfill all of their job responsibilities. 



  • Lead activities and manage groups of students with support from volunteers and program leaders. 
  • Facilitate culturally-responsive lessons that encourage student voice and choice, curiosity, observation, cooperation, and nature connection.
  • Use equitable approaches to engage all students in land-based learning, including youth who are: BIPOC, LGBTQ+, Neurodivergent or English Language Learners; and/or who have exceptional needs.
  • Encourage and support students to participate in discussions, activities, stories, games and/or songs.
  • Treat participants with kindness and respect while consistently maintaining group agreements.
  • Use trauma-informed group management strategies to support student needs.
  • Ensure safety of all participants at all times and maintain participant confidentiality.
  • Provide support and mentorship to volunteers or assistant instructors to ensure all group needs are met.
  • Communicate with program leaders about challenges during programs such as hazards or conflicts.
  • Respect and preserve land and facilities for current and future users.



  • Interest in youth development and outdoor programming
  • Interest or ability to lead diverse groups of fifth- and sixth-grade students outdoors 
  • Adaptability to meet students where they are at with sensitivity to students’ life experiences and needs
  • Commitment to creating an inclusive environment for all students, especially students who have been excluded in outdoor education like students with disabilities, BIPOC students, and LGBTQ+ youth



  • Prior experience working with youth, particularly outdoors
  • Skills or knowledge in ecology, culture, conservation, wilderness skills (fire, journaling, navigation, shelter, archery), music, crafting, teambuilding, or storytelling
  • Proficiency or fluency in Spanish, ASL, Braille, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Japanese, French and/or Arabic
  • Experience or education in childhood development, particularly equity-centered and trauma-informed



Job Title: Lead Instructor, Outdoor School. Your actual job role during programs will be as a Program Guide or Field Instructor depending on your experience, interest, and availability.

To apply: Complete this online form https://forms.gle/pctjkAPNbmP9q1Cw8 by January 30.  

Hiring timeline & process: Whole Earth follows equitable hiring practices. We anonymize all materials to reduce bias. Most or all instructor applicants who meet the minimum qualifications and schedule requirements will be interviewed. Remote and outdoor/in-person group interviews will be scheduled between February 4-16. 

Reports to: Outdoor School Director

Pay: Training (80 hours) is paid at $15/hour. Programs (approx. 360 hours) are paid at $16-17/hour, depending on experience. 

Work Schedule: Staff will begin work as early as March 11, participating in approximately 80 hours of training March 11-26, with Outdoor School programs estimated to run March 28-June 10 with options for some lead instructors to continue working summer camp through August. Program schedules are subject to change.


  • Paid leave: Instructors receive paid sick leave and hazardous weather leave. 
  • Stipends and discounts: $150 annual continuing education stipend. Discounts for dependents on Whole Earth programs. Discounts on outdoor gear through “pro-deal” programs.
  • Other: Option to participate in paid Justice Talks community; access to environmental education library

Type of work required: Work will consist of: moving around the program site outdoors leading activities and supporting students (70%), participating in meetings, events, and trainings indoors, outdoors, or remotely (20%), communicating and collaborating with other staff in person or via electronic devices (7%), reviewing information and resources on printed materials or electronic device (3%). We will make reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants to perform job functions. 

Job location: From approximately mid-March to mid-June, work is performed primarily at our Outdoor School site: Camp Lutherwood. All in-person work gatherings will meet or exceed all public health recommendations.

Other Details: Finalists will complete a criminal history background check. Candidates with disqualifying criminal history set by ODE will not be eligible for this position. Employees must obtain or provide proof of First Aid+CPR certification for adults and children, which can be reimbursed using the continuing education stipend.

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