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Sierra Nevada Journeys in Portola, California
Date Posted 03/23/2021
Nonprofit-Program Management
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Sierra Nevada Journeys is seeking Outdoor Program Instructors with experience delivering camp-

based programs for schools and community partners, serving youth from communities of low

income. The programs occur at our Grizzly Creek Ranch camp. This is a 9-month seasonal position

with varying roles and responsibilities.

During the spring and fall seasons, Instructors’ primary responsibility is delivering residential, one-to-

five-day outdoor science education programs primarily serving 5th and 6th grade students from

regional elementary and middle schools. All lessons rest upon the foundation of hands-on science

and collaborative problem solving, with a focus on critical thinking, exploration, and environmental

stewardship. Instructors are responsible for leading and educating a group of 12-to-15 students

throughout their program, including facilitating large group activities, leading meals, and evening

programs. All lessons are written according to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and we

train our employees using University of California at Berkeley’s BEETLES (Better Environmental

Education, Teaching, Learning & Expertise Sharing) teaching techniques and pedagogy. Sierra

Nevada Journeys programs see several thousand participants each year.

During the summer season, Sierra Nevada Journeys delivers both residential summer camp and

community partner programs, including camps for people with disabilities and camps for teen

leadership development. During our week-long summer camps, Instructors facilitate activities such

as the challenge course, swimming, kayaking, and leadership programs. Instructors may find

themselves in a summer camp leadership position such as head lifeguard, camp helper, staff

mentor, cabin leader or challenge course assistant. During community partner camps, Instructors

deliver programming using Sierra Nevada Journeys’ challenge course, as well as delving into Social

Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies to facilitate leadership experiences and develop

collaborative problem-solving skills. Instructors also assist organizations that serve people with

disabilities by adapting traditional outdoor and camp activities to provide an enriching experience for

their participants. Many of our community partners also bring participants to camp on the weekends

in the spring and fall seasons; additionally, Instructors work with these groups to meet their program


Instructors are directly responsible for ensuring that attending schools and community groups and

participants' educational outcomes are met. Instructors are supervised by the Programs Specialist.

To learn more about this position, please visit sierranevadajourneys.org/opi-faqs. For more

information about outdoor science school and community group programs, please visit:

sierranevadajourneys.org/ool and sierranevadajourneys.org/facility-rental.

Sierra Nevada Journeys is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


Sierra Nevada Journeys celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion. We believe that an ongoing
engagement, understanding and commitment to these principles is crucial to creating a
workplace that has broad perspectives. We believe that environmental education and outdoor
recreation should be accessible for all. We believe that a workplace accessible to people from
all different walks of life helps us to serve society as a whole and all of its different communities.


  • Facilitate high quality outdoor science education, outdoor recreation, and challenge course
programs (day and evening)
  • Effectively deliver programs while working with chaperones, teachers, community group staff
members, and other instructors as needed
  • Safely facilitate the challenge course to achieve collaborative problem-solving goals
  • Proficiency in all Sierra Nevada Journeys outdoor school curriculum and teaching methods
  • Deliver, organize, and grade student assessments and related paperwork
  • Attend all staff trainings delivered by the Programs Management team
  • Lead meals and engage students before meals
  • Work on assigned projects, including but not limited to: creating necessary paper materials

schools, camp improvement projects, revamping curriculum, etc.

  • Act as overnight on call staff or cabin lead as needed – staying overnight and helping groups
with requests
  • Clean and inventory program supplies, and participate in debriefs after each program
  • On occasion, you may be asked to help with events, sanitizing common areas, or
maintenance of the grounds and equipment


The following experiences positively impact the pay range.

  • Ability to pass background checks. We work with children and their safety is our utmost
  • Leadership experience or experience working with youth
  • Enthusiasm for working with students and making a difference through education
  • Experience delivering programs for schools or community partners, serving youth from
communities of low income at our Grizzly Creek Ranch camp
  • Ability to work irregular hours and days including nights and weekends. See Frequently Asked
Questions for shift examples.
  • Ability to live and work in a communal shared environment with other staff members
  • Ability to take initiative, work independently, and maintain a positive attitude
  • Current CPR and First Aid certification, or willingness to obtain certification before start date
(at your own expense)
  • Current lifeguard certification or willingness to obtain certification (paid for by Sierra Nevada
  • Willingness to be 30-feet off the ground on challenge course high elements
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds and hike over varying terrain and distances up to seven miles

Sierra Nevada Journeys is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

  • All employees and volunteers are required to attest in writing they have up-to-date
immunizations against the diseases required for public school attendance in the State in
which they work as a condition of employment. All employees will be required to receive
a COVID-19 Vaccination when it is reasonably available within one month of their ‘tier’
being permitted to receive a vaccination by their home state, and will be required to
attest in writing that they have an up-to-date immunization for COVID-19 within one
month of their ‘tier’ being permitted to access vaccinations.


  • Compensation Package $83 - $100 per day (depends on experience) plus off-site staff
housing and meals while at camp (equivalent to $113 to $130 per/day)
  • 3 days paid time off per year and 3 sick days per year (9-month seasonal position)
  • Employees will earn $1 per day extra for each certification; for example, if you have four of
the five certifications, you’ll earn $4 more per day:

o Experience working with students from communities of color
o Fluency in Spanish or another second language; some of the students we serve are

Spanish speaking and English Language Learners

o Waterfront Lifeguard/Pool Lifeguard
o Teaching Certification
o Wilderness First Aid/Wilderness First Responder Certification

  • Home base for living, working, exploring, and recreating in the beautiful Sierra Valley
  • Employment with an innovative company focused on improving outdoor education delivery
  • Professional development toward outdoor education leadership or classroom teaching goals


Join a team that is committed to constantly improving our outstanding outdoor education programs.

Please visit our website to apply for a Residential Outdoor Program Instructor position. You will be

asked to upload your resume and cover letter within the online application at


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color,

religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected

veteran or disabled status or genetic information.

*Please mention academicjobs.net to employers when applying for this job*
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