This job listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!
20 Dec 2017

Temp/Seasonal Short Term Backcountry Program Instructor

Keystone Science School – Posted by KSSHR Keystone, Colorado, United States

Job Description

Job Title: Short Term Backcountry Program Instructor
Department: School Programs
Employment Class: Seasonal Part-time
Pay Status: Exempt
Expected Hours: Varies
Dates of Employment/Start Date: The Short-term Backcountry Program Instructor must be able to work the following dates: June 18-22, 2018; June 25-29, 2018; and July 23-27, 2018. Training will begin in late May (exact dates TBD). Candidates may choose to extend their term by applying to work for additional positions at KSS.
Reports To: School Programs Manager
Housing Available: Camping and meals are provided at no cost

At Keystone Science School, we believe that the power of inspiring curiosity and critical thinking, through the lens of science, changes lives and strengthens communities. We create future leaders who can problem solve and work together in an ever-evolving world and workplace environment.

The employees of Keystone Science School collectively work for the Mission, and truly live the Vision and Values! We offer competitive health and welfare benefits. Our campus is located at 9,200 feet on the site of Old Keystone Village in Keystone, Colorado. Our historic 23-acre campus serves as the ultimate outdoor laboratory and is the home base for our diverse suite of programs. Our facilities include modern log-style dormitories, a central dining hall, an outdoor amphitheater, a state-of-the-art observatory, and a geothermal field. Visit to learn more!

Program Overview and Job Summary:
KSS offers a range of programs that provide a balance of hands-on science activities, field-based exploration, and adventure, all based upon themes including aquatic ecology, forest ecology, earth science, snow science, weather, and climate ecology. Programs can be hosted on the KSS campus, at a school location, or at a camping-based location for a duration of one day to seven days.

The Short Term Backcountry Program Instructor is a teaching and guiding position responsible for running programming for the wide variety of curricula and trip options offered by KSS. This position is a part-time opportunity with varying hours based on program needs. Programs can be scheduled for a variety of durations which range from 1-5 days in length. Short Term Backcountry Instructors may be responsible for hiking, camping, cooking, attending program trainings, facilitating programming, preparing for programming, supporting programming, or completing other tasks as assigned. Short Term Backcountry Instructors may also be responsible for the facilitation of meals, evening programs, and the completion of manual labor tasks on a rotating basis.

Our ideal candidate will focus on the following essential duties and responsibilities:
• Main areas of focus:
o 75% Backpacking guide;
o 25% Program logistics support.
• Teach middle school and/or high school students the basics of backpacking, which includes but is not limited to: how to properly pack a backpack, safe backcountry travel, leave no trace, backcountry cooking and cleaning, how to hang a bear bag/use a bear canister, etc.;
• Facilitate team, leadership, and character building activities;
• Safely navigate and teach a group of no more than 13 students;
• Oversee the successful execution of logistics and operations tasks for backcountry trips, which includes but is not limited to: trip planning,packing gear and food, unpacking/organizing/cleaning gear, etc.;
• Supervise and maintain high standards of health and safety, and follow Risk Management policies in all activities;
• Participate in and pass Van Driver Training, and drive program participants in a 15-passenger van;
• Abide by and uphold the policies and procedures set forth by KSS;
• Other duties as assigned.

The minimum requirements in knowledge, skills, and abilities for the candidate of our choice:
• Ability to work a flexible schedule, including days, nights, and weekends;
• Have an interest in, respect for, and ability to work with children;
• Knowledge of backcountry travel and Leave No Trace practices;
• Proven ability to creatively develop science and education curricula and lesson plans;
• Ability to adapt instruction and lessons to meet a wide variety of learners utilizing different educational philosophies;
• Ability to be creative, adaptable, and flexible while managing children in a variety of situations;
• Ability to read, analyze, and interpret professional journals and educational methods;
• Must poseess an intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, expererience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action;
• Disciplined in thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence;
• Strong work ethic and will work until the job is complete;
• Motivation to contribute positively to the KSS at-large community;
• Interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written or oral form;
• Multi-task efficiently while managing a high-volume workload in a fast-paced, changing environment;
• Superior customer service skills, with the ability to be creative and think ‘outside the box’;
• Strong command of communication, writing, and organizational skills;
• Effectively interact with people of diverse backgrounds and different levels of experience;
• Ability to work in a busy environment with many distractions;
• Write reports, correspondence, and lesson plans with attention to detail.

Our required education, experience, and certifications:
• Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree;
• Minimum of 1 trip leading/guiding professional experience in an outdoor setting;
• Current Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and CPR certifications, from an approved vendor, or the ability to obtain before the first day of employment;
• Medication Administration training and certification, from an approved vendor, or the ability to obtain before the first day of employment;
• Experience with risk management practices of the outdoor and environmental education industry;
• Candidates must complete a pre-employment physical exam;
• Age 21+ with a minimum of 5 years driving experience, excellent driving record, and a valid driver’s license;
• Must be able to successfully pass a comprehensive background check.

In addition to the above required talents, our ideal candidate will have these preferred skillsets:
• Desired computer skills include proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc.) and Adobe;
• Comprehension of the Spanish language via written and/or verbal form.

Travel Expectations:
There will be significant travel in Summit County and around Colorado, and some travel outside the state, depending on the program location.

The physical demands of this position:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform 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 job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands and fingers to feel, handle, or hold objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; and talk and hear. The employee must be able to lift and carry at least 40 pounds for an extended duration. The employee is occasionally required to travel for extended periods over rugged terrain. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.

Our work environment:
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This position requires the employee to work in close contact with his/her teammates. The office space is small and the employee must have the ability to stay focused while others are working in close proximity. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate, but varies seasonally due to programs and staffing on campus. While performing the duties of this job, the employee frequently works outside in various weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Ready to find yourself at the heart of Science. Adventure. Fun? Apply now!
Please submit the General Employment Application found at All applications require a cover letter, resume, 3 references, and an upload of your current Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification. Positions are open until filled. For more information, please contact the Human Resources department at

Keystone Science School is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

Job Categories: Outdoor Education and Recreation. Job Types: Temp/Seasonal. Job Tags: backpacking, instruction, outdoor, and teacher. Salaries: Salary.

Apply for this Job