Wild Whatcom is a local non-profit organization dedicated to fostering lifelong connections to nature through outdoor education programs offered to all age groups. We provide experiential learning opportunities that inspire participants to explore, connect, and serve, while building healthy relationships with nature, community, and self.
Wild Whatcom seeks a motivated and enthusiastic educator to serve as an Explorers Club Mentor. Mentors co-lead outings which include nature exploration, skills sessions, and service projects in parks and outdoor spaces in Whatcom County. This position will start at the beginning of Wild Whatcom’s 2020 Fall season with an approximate start date of August 27, 2020. This is a part-time position with approximately 12-15 hours per week predominantly on the weekends, with seasonal variability. There is a possibility for more hours during the school year, depending upon the funding of our schools-based programs. This position will also receive first priority for summer contracts, which includes co-leading summer camps and possibly backcountry backpacking trips. See detailed program descriptions below.
Potential applicants must be available beginning August 27, 2020 for orientation and training.
Compensation begins at $15/hour, with a likely increase in the second year, based on positive performance and additional duties.
Explorers Club Mentor, School Year
Approximately 12-15 hours/week working Saturdays and Sundays during the school year, excluding December and January. December and January are low season months during which mentors can expect closer to 10 hours/week average.
Summer Adventures (optional contract)
Summer work includes 5-6 weeks of work, spread out over this time period, working as a Mentor for our summer camps and/or backpack trips. Work hours average 30 hours per week including preparation and field time.
- Co-lead a variety of outings with child-led, inquiry-based, experiential, and playful approaches.
- Participate in all required training.
- Awaken a sense of wonder teaching natural history and outdoor skills while exploring local areas.
- Facilitate collaborative leadership and decision-making with participants to augment developing life skills.
- Practice effective risk management at all times, creating a safe learning experience for all.
- Maintain clear, responsive, honest, and respectful communications with participants and staff.
- Serve as a mentor to participants appropriate to their needs as individuals and as a group.
- Work closely with other members of the field staff team to plan, prepare, and lead outings.
- Assist with gear maintenance, storage, and coordination.
- Assist with program logistics.
- Support and contribute to documentation/record-keeping.
- Share concerns and successes and seek advice from Program Managers, Program Director and Executive Director to ensure program quality.
- Passion for facilitating meaningful connections to nature and community.
- Strong work ethic and professional work habits (punctual, responsive, organized, detailed).
- Experience working with children.
- Flexibility and vision to engage with a growing organization.
- Basic knowledge of ecology and/or outdoor skills.
- Personal or professional experience recreating in wilderness environments.
- Valid driver’s license and excellent driving record (background check is required).
- Ability to carry 20+ lbs in a variety of weather and terrain.
- Current CPR certification (or willingness to receive certification before working in the field, partially subsidized by Wild Whatcom).
- Current Wilderness First Aid (or higher) certification (or willingness to receive certification before working in the field, partially subsidized by Wild Whatcom).
- Tetanus booster within the past 5 years (or willingness to receive booster before working in the field).
Wild Whatcom Program Descriptions
For more information about our programs and organization, visit wildwhatcom.org.
Field Mentors may be asked to work in any of the following programs:
Explorers Club: The Explorers Club (EC) cultivates naturalist knowledge, sense of adventure, earth skills, and a community stewardship ethic for youth grades 2-12. With the natural world as a starting point, you will help develop and lead innovative experiential learning opportunities that inspire participants to explore, connect, and serve, while building healthy relationships with nature, community and self. (Mentors lead outings for 3-6 EC groups Saturdays and Sundays).
Summer Adventures: Our summer programs are big adventure days immersed in exploring the northwest’s mossy forests, wild rivers, mountain meadows, tumbling waterfalls, and pebbled beaches. Summer Adventures candidates must be available for intermittent summer work for our camp and backpacking programs for youth in grades 1-12. Summer hours are episodic, with some full-time weeks and some weeks entirely off. (Program takes place late June through mid-August).
EdVentures: Wild Whatcom provides nature outings for classrooms at various elementary public schools. These 2-4 hour outings provide an opportunity for kids to connect to nature while experiencing hands-on environmental education. Mentors will co-lead a group of students through the inquiry process while modeling effective outdoor education strategies for teachers to inspire them to take their classes outside! (Program takes place on weekday mornings).
SEED: In this program, mentors facilitate nature outings for students in the Life Skills program within Bellingham Public Schools (students with moderate to severe developmental disabilities). This fun and inspirational program allows Wild Whatcom staff to partner with Life Skills teachers to provide an opportunity for students to have access to the outdoors and to connect to nature. Program takes place on weekdays.
Neighborhood Nature: Guide after-school outings for 2-3 hours that explore the neighborhood surrounding each school during the academic year. Groups depart from and return to the elementary school that the children attend during the day. Program takes place weekdays after school for eight (8) weeks each in fall and spring and six (6) weeks in winter.
Community Partnership Programs: Wild Whatcom works with various community groups and organizations to provide tailored programming to meet community needs. Wild Whatcom has worked with various groups such as migrant worker housing communities, transitional living communities, and more! Work in these programs is reliant on grant funding and workdays vary to meet the needs of each community.
Priority applications will be reviewed beginning early August. Position to remain open until filled.
Before actual hire, prospective employees must pass a thorough background check. If any concerns arise, we will review them with the candidate and evaluate potential implications within a broader context and relevance to the position.
Wild Whatcom is actively committed to social equity and justice and encourages candidates of all racial and gender identities, cultural and economic backgrounds, and of any sexual orientation to apply. Wild Whatcom is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, or marital status in employment or the provision of services.