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Wilderness Inquiry

  • 325 Randolph Avenue, Saint Paul, MN
  • https://www.wildernessinquiry.org/

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Canoemobile Outdoor Leader

At Wilderness Inquiry, we recognize the experience of our staff is just as important as the experience of our participants. Check out some of the perks and improvements we offer to make sure our staff have a fun and rewarding experience working for Wilderness Inquiry: Training: We'll prepare you for the work you will do whether or not you're a wilderness expert, never camped in your life, or just interested in leading land-based local day activities. Our training is paid at $14/hr, or $112/day for overnight experiences. Wages: Our seasonal staff wages range from $14-$20/hr for daily work or $112-$160/day for extended programs. Check out each available position for more compensation details. Professional Certification Stipends: We know the cost of obtaining and maintaining certifications required for professionals in the outdoor field can be a financial burden. We offer a $300 stipend to our Outdoor Leaders who work 55 trail days for Wilderness Inquiry while holding valid certifications to help offset these costs. Inclusion: Not sure if you can see yourself working at Wilderness Inquiry? Don't hesitate to get to know us better! We've been making some big changes to our organization over the past few years and would love to connect with prospective applicants to talk about how you can become a part of the Wilderness Inquiry community! When we say "community" we mean it! Many of our current and former staff's lifelong friendships and careers have come from their time working for Wilderness Inquiry. If you're looking for a place to make friends, participate in cool experiences, get paid to spend time outside, and work with a crew of amazing individuals where you feel like you truly belong and make a difference- work for Wilderness Inquiry!


min experience

salary range

$14 - $20 / hour

Additional Job Details

International Applicants Allowed?
Work Visa Sponsoring Available

Job Overview

At Wilderness Inquiry, we believe that everyone belongs. We work to ensure this belief holds true in our workplace, in our community, and in the outdoors. We pursue this belief through our mission and shared values of paddling togetherseeking the exceptional, and finding a way.

Outdoor Leaders create the magic at WI. Leading single to multi-day adventures for adults, youth, and families of all backgrounds and abilities, Outdoor Leaders bring Wilderness Inquiry programming to life in the field. Canoemobile Outdoor Leaders are dynamic facilitators who share their excitement for exploration and learning, while building community with Wilderness Inquiry’s youth participants.

Canoemobile experiences include mostly day trips within the Twin Cities Metro Area, but may also include extended camping trips 2-12 days in duration, as well as extended national tours 2-12 weeks in length. Activities on these trips range from canoeing, hiking, environmental education facilitation, and leadership and team-building activities. During the spring and fall Canoemobile travels city-to-city with Wilderness Inquiry’s 24-foot, 10-person North canoes to facilitate introductory and accessible experiences that connect youth and communities to their local waterways and green spaces. Canoemobile national tours are made up of 6-8 Outdoor Leaders and all equipment necessary to facilitate programming for an extended period of time. A full season for a Canoemobile Outdoor Leader can take place from the end of March – November (or portions within that time frame).

Canoemobile focuses on introducing youth and young people from historically marginalized communities to the outdoors. We recognize that as an industry, there is much to do to increase representation in our field to reflect the communities we aim to serve. We also know that diversity of identities, experiences, and ways of thinking result in better solutions for our communities. For this reason, we especially encourage folks from communities who experience systemic barriers — including people of color, women, LGBTQIA+ and people with disabilities — to apply for this position.

For a first hand experience, read more about Canoemobile from Outdoor Leader Jake Marble in Spring 2022: https://www.wildernessinquiry.org/current-news/news-notes/canoemobile-2022-a-day-in-the-life/


Two Employment Opportunities (applicants have the opportunity to work any combination; dates subject to change as programs are confirmed):

1. Twin Cities Canoemobile Day & Overnight Programs:

    • Training: Since WI’s Annual Staff Training has passed, training for mid-season hires will occur case-by-case with your Staff Advisor, Trip Directors, and co-leaders on the job and during pre-trip meetings. Upon hire, we will work with you to schedule a North Canoe Stern Training and Assessment.
    • Start Date: Immediate work available. Canoemobile programs take place May through October 2022 (with limited local work beyond October

2. Fall Canoemobile Extended Tours:

  • Trainings in Saint Paul, MN:
    • North Canoe Training and Stern Assessment: TBD, multiple dates available in early September
    • Driver Training: TBD, multiple dates available in early September
    • Canoemobile Training & Workshop: September 12-13, 2022
  • Fall Canoemobile Tour Start Dates (as of May 2022, end dates and locations subject to change):
    • Rig 1: September 14 – October 23, 2022
      • Locations may include: Northwest Indiana; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Troy, OH
    • Rig 2: September 14 – November 2, 2022
      • Locations may include: Northwest Indiana; Chicago, IL; New Jersey; New York
    • Rig 3: September 15 – November 16, 2022
      • Locations may include: St. Louis, MO; Dayton, OH; Lancaster, PA; Washington, D.C.; Roswell, GA

All Canoemobile staff must pass a North Canoe Stern Assessment. Qualified applicants may be asked to participate in WI Driver Training. All new Outdoor Leader hires are contingent upon successful completion of required training.


The primary responsibility of a Canoemobile Outdoor Leader is to lead engaging and welcoming educational experiences through outdoor experiences. Canoemobile Outdoor Leaders are responsible for the lives and well being of participants throughout a Wilderness Inquiry adventure. Life as an Outdoor Leader can be fun, exciting, and incredibly rewarding, but it is also a tremendous amount of responsibility and it can involve hard and challenging work.

Group Facilitation & Education

  • Provide excellent leadership and facilitation for youth participants and families in an outdoor setting.
  • Collaborate with your team to build a safe, engaging, and welcoming learning environment.
  • Possess flexibility and creative problem solving.
  • Dedicate time to learn about Wilderness Inquiry’s curriculum, learning objectives, and student outcomes.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of place-based education and facilitation strategies.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the variety and complexities of relationships youth and young people may have with the outdoors based on race, gender, experiences, and backgrounds.
  • Uphold Wilderness Inquiry’s Trail Community Agreements

On-Trail Technical Skills & Safety

  • Provide emergency first aid in an outdoor setting.
  • Use effective judgment and decision making regarding trip implementation.
  • Assess participant ability and set realistic expectations to safely and effectively meet participant needs.
  • Care for and effective use of equipment while on trail.
  • Proficiently perform activities conducted on trips including 10-person/tandem canoeing, hiking, camping, etc.
  • Safely drive a 15-passenger van pulling a loaded trailer in all weather and road conditions (contingent upon driver eligibility).

Pre-Trip Prep & Post-Trip Responsibilities  

  • Lead and/or actively participate in event specific pre-trip meetings and post-trip debriefings with your team.
  • Collaborate and coordinate with operations staff to pack-in and pack-out gear and food accordingly.
  • Complete post-trip paperwork including evaluations, incident reports, and trip summaries.


Required Certifications: (or ability to obtain- courses may be available as an addition to initial training):

  • Basic First Aid & CPR Certification required (Wilderness First Aid (WFA), Wilderness First Responder (WFR), or higher preferred)
  • Wilderness Water Safety or Lifeguard/Professional Rescuer

Preferred Certifications: 

  • *Current Driver’s License and a safe driving record dating back at least five years

*Driver’s license status will not impact eligibility for hire, but may impact eligibility to work specific programs/events

For information on how to obtain certifications visit click this link.


Outdoor Leaders are classified according to skill and experience. Compensation varies depending upon program type:

  • Local Day Programs: Compensated on a per event basis starting at $14/hr.
  • Overnight Programs: Compensated on a per event basis starting at $112/day, plus hourly pay for pre and post event work where applicable.
  • Canoemobile Tour Pay: Compensated for 6 days out of every 7 days spent on tour starting at $112/day, plus hourly pay for pre and post tour work where applicable.

Further details on compensation are available upon request. Opportunities for advancement available upon demonstrated performance with Wilderness Inquiry. Local staff housing and professional service stipends available. Food budgets and lodging expenses are covered by Wilderness Inquiry on Canoemobile tours.

All Outdoor Leaders regardless of position/experience are compensated at $14/hr and/or $112/day for training.


  • The ability to plan, implement and follow through with responsibilities is essential.
  • Must have an aptitude for wilderness leadership, excellent people skills, the ability to oversee projects independently and as part of a team, and strong communication skills.
  • Must be interested in leading outdoor experiences for people of all abilities, including people with disabilities.
  • Must be willing to keep flexible hours.
  • Must pass a background check.
  • Complete COVID-19 vaccines are mandated for all WI staff and interns
  • The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
    • While performing the duties of this position, the employee is frequently required to sit; talk or hear; and use hands to handle, or touch objects or controls. The employee is regularly required to stand and walk. On a regular occasion the employee may be required to stoop, bend or reach above the shoulders. Must be able to lift and carry heavy loads up to 50lbs over rough terrain for distances of up to 1,000 feet. To meet the demands of the job, the employee must be able to make loud verbal commands, sit and stand for significant periods of time while also directing vessels such as a canoe, use vision to directionally navigate safely, and endure a wide variety of temperatures and elements. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.

Wilderness Inquiry is actively hiring for positions starting now and in the fall. Apply today: https://www.wildernessinquiry.org/job/canoemobile-outdoor-leader/

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