Expedition Instructor
Camp Programs, Camp Programs
  • Full Time

Expedition Instructor

Job Description


Job Title: Expedition Instructor

Employment Class: Seasonal Part-time

Pay Status/Range: Exempt, $110-122 per day

Schedule: 5 to 6 days per week

Dates of Employment: May 24, 2021 - August 14, 2021

Reports To: Programs Manager

Housing Available: Yes

Number of Positions Available: 8


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.


Located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Keystone Science School’s historic campus serves as base camp for our diverse suite of inquiry-based learning programs. We combine hands-on science education with outdoor adventure to create engaging experiences for our students. At KSS, we change lives, we bring fun and laughter to everything we do, we care about each other and those we serve, we strive for excellence, we offer competitive compensation and generous benefits, and we are committed to serving students from diverse backgrounds. We’re proud to be Summit County’s #1 Best Non-Profit and #2 Best Place to Work (2019)! Visit KeystoneScienceSchool.org to learn more! 


Program Overview and Job Summary

Keystone Science School Discovery Adventures and Discovery Expeditions are designed to build a novice’s skill and excitement to explore the outdoors. Discovery Adventures are 6-day car camping programs designed to expose students to the possibilities of outdoor recreation. Discovery Expeditions are 6-day backpacking programs designed to build competency in outdoor living and leadership skills. The unique locations for our Expeditions cater well to place-based environmental education as students explore beautiful landscapes and ecosystems. We believe that students can utilize lessons learned on an Expedition in their future including: relationships with friends, projects at school, and future work opportunities.


The Expedition Instructor is responsible for planning and facilitating curriculum and activities during field-based programs. The Expedition Instructor is familiar with the daily schedule, risk management practices, emergency action plans, and the overall energy of Expedition programs. They are responsible for guiding students in their personal growth and daily living skills. Expedition Instructors also manage logistics and packing for off-site programs on a rotating basis. Expedition Instructors will be expected to adhere to dynamic health guidance and policy set forth by KSS while working with children during a global pandemic, which may include living with other Instructors in a communal living environment.


Main areas of focus:

  • 75% Teaching and facilitating programming;
  • 15% Lesson planning and curriculum development;
  • 10% Support staff duties (e.g. facilitation of meals, set up/clean up, transportation, student free time).


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Supervise up to 25 students while camping in the front-country and up to 13 students in the backcountry on backpacking trips for 6-day programs with other instructors;
  • Teach students outdoor living skills such as packing, camp set-up/take-down, outdoor cooking, orienteering, and risk management;
  • Plan, prepare, and teach age appropriate curricula;
  • Clean, repair, and inventory gear after trip completion;
  • Plan expedition logistics including schedules, trip routes, emergency action plans, menus, etc.;
  • Supervise and maintain high standards of health and safety, and follow Risk Management policies by engaging with incident prevention and response;
  • Attend and help facilitate wilderness trainings for Instructors, and attend all staff meetings and trainings as assigned;
  • Administer client medications, perform student health screens, and utilize first aid skills;
  • Gather and submit pictures and videos to reflect the experience children have during KSS programs;
  • Document course progression/student concerns, participate in self and peer feedback system, and engage in a post trip debrief;
  • Provide an electronics-aware experience for all children;
  • Maintain storage of all KSS equipment and repair outdoor gear as necessary;
  • Drive a 15-passenger van with a trailer and successfully complete Van Driver and Trailer Training;
  • Abide by and uphold the policies and procedures set forth by KSS;
  • Other duties as assigned.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities – Minimum Requirements

  • Have an interest in, respect for, and ability to work with children in a backcountry setting;
  • Have an interest in, respect for, and ability to work with people with diverse backgrounds, opinions, beliefs, abilities, and experience;
  • Proven ability to develop and facilitate science, diversity & inclusion, leadership, and risk management lessons;
  • 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;
  • Strong work ethic and will work until the job is complete;
  • Growth oriented mindset and willingness to give and receive feedback;
  • Motivation to contribute positively to the KSS at-large community;
  • Interpret a variety of instructions provided in written or verbal 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;
  • Ability to work in a busy environment with many distractions;
  • Write incident reports and lesson plans with attention to detail.


Required Education, Experience, and Certifications

  • Experience leading/guiding participants in a wilderness/backcountry setting (minimum of 5 overnight trips);
  • Prior experience working with school-age children: at least three (3) months (460 hours) of full-time or equivalent part-time satisfactory and verifiable experience with school-age children;
  • Experience with risk management practices of the outdoor education industry;
  • Current Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and CPR certifications, from an approved vendor, or the ability to obtain before the first day of employment;
  • 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.


Preferred Skills

  • Ability to communicate verbally and teach in Spanish;
  • Previous experience driving with a trailer;
  • Extensive experience on personal backcountry trips.


Travel Expectations

In many situations, KSS will provide transportation to satellite programming locations. However, staff may be asked to use personal vehicles to travel within Summit County. Any travel mileage outside Summit County may be reimbursed.


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 often stands for up to 16 hours per day, but may be required to stand longer in emergency situations. The employee must be able to lift and carry at least 40 pounds for an extended duration. The employee is frequently 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.


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 their teammates and children. Staff will be expected to adhere to dynamic health guidance and policy set forth by KSS while working with children during a global pandemic. 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 often works outside and drives vehicles in various weather conditions.  



Housing and food are provided at no additional cost. A housing deposit may be collected.


Ready to find yourself at the heart of Science. Adventure. Fun? Apply now!

Please submit the Employment Application (Seasonal Positions) found at KeystoneScienceSchool.org/Employment. All applications will require a cover letter, resume, and 3 references. In your cover letter, please indicate your desired salary/wage. Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled. For more information, please contact the Human Resources department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Equal Employment Opportunity

Keystone Science School is committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, and we seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a wide variety of backgrounds. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type, without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, religion, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.