Below, you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions by prospective staff. However, don’t hesitate to email us or call us at 888-954-5555 with any questions!
Each instructor’s summer begins with our mandatory seven-day “big orientation” in Battle Ground, WA, on June 9, 2022. Everyone will gather for the week to go over the big picture of Adventure Treks, including policies and protocols, traditions, risk management, and how to create the most incredible student experience ever. Then each trip team will head out for a second week to scout the logistics and locations of their specific itineraries, bond as a community, and prepare for their students to arrive.
Adventure Treks trips spend time in both the frontcountry and backcountry and are fast-paced; it’s not uncommon to experience late nights and early mornings throughout each trip. Instructors must be prepared to maintain high energy and fulfill their responsibilities while supporting students and co-instructors.
Unless an instructor is needed on another trip due to unexpected staffing changes, teams will stay in their contracted trip locations until the end of summer. Instructors will have several days between each trip to de-rig, prepare for the next group of students, and have a day to relax and reset.
Once all trips for the season have ended, instructors will converge back in Battle Ground, WA, to de-rig and close out the summer.
Our application process is very thorough and one that our instructors appreciate. Interested candidates will email a resume and brief introduction to our staffing director, and those who meet our minimum requirements will complete an additional online application. Applicants will have two to three interviews with our directors, and we will contact three to four professional references and perform a background check.
This rigorous process is to ensure that we are a good fit for each other, as we want all of our instructors to succeed at Adventure Treks. We hire on a rolling basis, but we recommend that you submit your resume no later than February to work as an instructor for 2022.
Read more about our application process here.
When creating staff teams each spring, the Adventure Treks directors spend hours building cohesive, experienced, and dynamic groups of instructors. There are several determining factors to consider: former experience with Adventure Treks, personality, areas of expertise and hard skills, leadership style, schedule conflicts, etc. When recruiting new and returning instructors, we not hire staff for a specific location; rather, we hire people who would be a great fit and help grow a fantastic community on any of our trips.
Trip placements are usually finalized in spring, but please know this could change based on any unexpected situations that crop up. In addition, instructors may not or may not work with the same age group all summer; it depends on the region and trip location.
All first-time applicants apply to work as instructors; our trip leaders, who supervise and manage each staff team, are always returning Adventure Treks instructors (in 2020, trip leaders’ average AT tenure was six seasons). It is crucial that trip leaders are seasoned, experienced outdoor educators who are familiar with our program, standards, and policies. Professional development and growth are important to us, and there are opportunities for growth within the company for all instructors.
We do not formally offer internships for field instructors, but if acceptable by an advisor, the instructor role can be applied toward an internship requirement. Please note that writing papers, submitting evaluations, and regular communication with an advisor throughout the summer is not possible due to our remote locations and the demands of running an outdoor adventure trip. The advisor and instructor must agree to our internship policies prior to being hired.
Interns must meet the same minimum requirements as instructors.
While we prefer new instructors to be wilderness first responder–certified when applying to work at Adventure Treks, it is not required. However, when our instructors arrive at orientation in Idaho, they must have a current wilderness first responder and CPR certification (meaning you can obtain your certifications between your hiring and the beginning of the summer). While we do not reimburse new instructors for certifications, Adventure Treks does offer reimbursements toward WFR recertification for returning instructors.
Compensation for new instructors for a full summer (two to three trips) starts at $2,800 to $3,100, dependent on certifications, education, and skills. Instructors are typically assigned to two trips; compensation will scale for instructors who can only work a partial summer season.
Instructors also receive a plethora of benefits, including:
- Pro-deal accounts with access to discounts on a wide range of outdoor brands
- Travel reimbursements to and from orientation
- Reimbursement for wilderness first responder (WFR) certification for returning instructors
- A focus on year-round personal and professional growth, including career resource webinars and reimbursements toward professional development
Adventure Treks instructors will have minimal free time during a trip. When with students on a trip, instructors must keep personal cell phone use to a minimum, as our program is technology-free for students. (Of course, instructors will be able to use phones to play music during van rides, look up directions, take photos of students, and for any Adventure Treks–related business.) We hope you understand that students must come first, and we cannot guarantee free time.
The time between trips is also busy, filled with closing responsibilities (e.g., de-rigging gear, sorting food, and submitting finances), writing evaluations for both students and co-instructors, and preparing for the next group of students to arrive.
While these are full days of preparation, we work hard to give instructors up to a day off between trips (as long as all required tasks have been completed). Instructors are responsible for their expenses during this time if they choose not to utilize the campsite and food we provide.
Instructors are responsible for providing their own personal gear, including a two-person tent; backpacking backpack (we recommend 70–85 liters); daypack (25–35 liters); duffel bag (80–20 liters); sleeping bag (rated to at least 15 degrees); sleeping pad, and personal items like clothing, outdoor accessories, and toiletries. We do provide technical gear for rock climbing, water activities, mountaineering, mountain biking, etc., though you’re welcome to bring your own if you’d like.
We will provide a detailed packing list to all staff upon hiring, and instructors will have access to pro-deals in early spring.
Additionally, Adventure Treks will cover all accommodations, meals on your trip, outfitted activities, group equipment, and transportation to and from the trip locations.
Adventure Treks is unique in the summer program industry in that we offer three seasons of work. Instructors can apply to work our outdoor education programs in the spring, outdoor adventure in the summer, and gap semester for college students in western North Carolina in the fall.