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Wilderness Trip Leaders & Naturalists

Wilderness Trip Leaders are responsible for all planning, pre-arrival packing, and leadership of our canoe, sea kayak, and hiking trips to the BWCAW, Apostle Islands, Quetico, Isle Royale, Split Rock Lighthouse, and surrounding areas.

The Role

General Duties of a Wilderness Trip Leader

  • Serve as role model for students and peers: display maturity, responsibility, flexibility, enthusiasm, and sound judgment
  • Teach Wolf Ridge summer program classes to diverse audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The expectation is that class is of high quality that may require preparation time. Summer programs include Wolf Ridge Summer Youth Program, Road Scholars, and family vacations, visiting summer school programs, Wilderness Trips for teens and families, and camps in residence
  • Teach/work 10-14 periods per week. A period may include three-hour long daytime classes, van driving, evening naturalist presentations, one-and-a-half-hour-long evening activities, and astronomy
  • Other projects may be substituted for teaching when necessary to fill out the work week
  • Participate in staff training and orientation
  • Be flexible to accommodate the needs of different programs
  • Understand and adhere to all Wolf Ridge policies
  • Other duties as assigned. Other duties as assigned may include, but are not limited to: wood stacking, curriculum kit organization, cleaning of west dorm facilities used by groups, setting up activities, etc.

Essential Duties, Responsibilities, & Skills

  • Lead/co-lead teen/family wilderness trips that incorporate education, sound wilderness judgment, and adventure
  • Summer Camp Wilderness programs specific: As circumstances dictate, and as directed by either Summer Camp Director or Adventure Education Coordinator, fulfill role of camp counselor while wilderness programs are in session; primary adult responsible for welfare of assigned campers, including sleeping in same room and/or tent with campers (applies to same gender), and ensuring proper supervision at all times
  • Family BWCA program specific: Act as the Wolf Ridge liaison for visiting family group- provide appropriate program and skills orientation
  • Participate in wilderness specific training and orientation as deemed necessary by the Wolf Ridge Adventure Education Coordinator
  • Participate in planning appropriate program itineraries/schedules and menus
  • Prepare/deliver wilderness trail classes
  • Execute and teach all skills specific to wilderness program; i.e. kayaking, canoe, fitting a backpack, etc.
  • Lead/co-lead teen/family wilderness trips that incorporate education, sound wilderness judgment, and adventure
  • Understand and adhere to all Wolf Ridge wilderness tripping policies and evacuation protocols

Qualifications & Skills

  • 21 years of age or older at time of employment required
  • Current certifications in Wilderness First Responder, CPR, and Wilderness Water Safety by the time of employment required (Wilderness Water Safety can be acquired during staff training)
  • At least one (1) year of trip leading experience in a backcountry setting preferred
  • Demonstrate ability to exercise sound judgment and make informed decisions under dynamic circumstances
  • Working towards or completed a Bachelors degree at an accredited college or university
  • Teaching experience – preferably in unstructured outdoor settings, such as wilderness areas

View all Wilderness Trip Offerings

Wages & Benefits

  • $320 per week, paid bi-weekly. Wolf Ridge provides room and board.

How to Apply

To apply for a position, please complete an online application.

About Wolf Ridge

Established in 1971, Wolf Ridge was the first environmental learning center (ELC) in the country to be accredited as a K-12 school. We’re recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in environmental education.  Our experienced naturalists work with school groups looking for outdoor, hands-on learning. We offer over 50+ lessons that build awareness, curiosity, and sensitivity to the natural world. In the process, we promote self-awareness and leadership. Wolf Ridge operations are conducted on a 2,000-acre main campus in Finland, Minnesota with a 400-bed facility, along with a 68-acre Lake Superior campus just down the road.

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