Boys Program Mentor

Wild Whatcom Bellingham, Washington
Deadline 09/01/2018
Job Type Paid permanent

Wild Whatcom is a flourishing non-profit organization dedicated to connecting youth to nature and developing positive character traits through outdoor exploration and discovery. 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 highly-skilled educator to co-lead nature explorations, outdoor skills sessions, service projects, summer camps, and wilderness trips for a variety of Wild Whatcom programs. Because this mentor will work in boys-specific programming, we are seeking a candidate who identifies as male or non-binary.

Position Description & Logistics

Wild Whatcom Mentors help organize and guide outings for youth throughout Whatcom County. Compensation begins at $14 per hour, with a likely increase within the first year, based on positive performance and additional duties. This Mentor position will be a part-time, year-round.

Start date: Monday, September 10, 2018 or sooner depending on availability.

From September through June, this position will feature mostly weekend work (see below), which will then transition to full-time work during summer. See specific details of this position’s seasonal variability below:

2018-19 School Year (September 10, 2018-June 2019)

Potential for 40-50 hrs/month (average of 10 hrs/week with some seasonal variability) working mainly within Boys Explorers Club. Potential for some mid-week schools program hours.

Summer (June-August 2019)

5-6 weeks, spread out over this time period, working as a Mentor for our summer camps or backpack trips. Each week is approx. 40 hrs of work, including preparation and field time.

Main program: Summer Adventures (see below).


● Co-lead a variety of outings with child-led, inquiry-based, experiential, and playful approaches.

● Participate in all required training with enthusiasm and engagement.

● Awaken a sense of wonder, teaching natural history and outdoor skills while exploring local areas.

● Facilitate collaborative leadership and decision-making skills.

● Practice effective risk management at all times, creating a safe learning experience for all participants.

● Maintain clear, responsive, honest, and respectful communications with participants, families, and staff.

● Serve as a mentor to participants, adjusting to individual and group needs 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 seek advice from Program Coordinators, Program Managers, and Executive Director to ensure program quality.

Required Qualifications

● Humor, adaptability, and inspiration for facilitating meaningful connections to nature and community.

● Strong work ethic and professional work habits (punctual, responsive, organized, detailed)

● Superior interpersonal and written communications skills.

● Environmental/outdoor education and/or youth development experience

● Knowledge of ecology and outdoor skills.

● Experience working with children, preferably ages 6-14.

● Demonstrated ability to monitor variable conditions constantly to ensure group safety. while also remaining attentive and focused on learning goals and the unique needs of each participant.

● Ability to prioritize effectively and handle multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously

● Flexibility, and vision to engage with a growing organization.

● Competency with Google systems, Excel, and online media tools, and access to a computer.

● Reliable method of transportation and mobile phone.

● Valid driver’s license and excellent driving record (background check is required).

● Ability to carry 30+ lbs in a variety of weather and terrain.

● Current First Aid/CPR Certification.

● Tetanus booster within the past 5 years.

Preferred Qualifications

● Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder certification.

● A regular personal practice of connection with the outdoors.

● Familiarity with collaborative learning techniques and child-led discovery.

● Experience leading groups over varied terrain on multi-day trips in the backcountry.

● Experience associated with coordination of outdoor programming.

Additional Information: Possible program areas

Explorers Club: The Explorers Club (EC) cultivates naturalist knowledge, sense of adventure, earth skills, and a community stewardship ethic for youth grades 2-8. 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 will lead outings for 3-5 EC groups Thursdays through 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. We are looking for candidates available for intermittent summer work for our camp and backpacking programs. 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 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 weekdays).

SEED: (Student Experiential Education and Discovery) 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 during the academic year. (Program typically takes place weekdays between 1:00 and 5:00PM for eight (8) weeks each in fall and spring and six (6) weeks in winter).

Special Projects in addition to Field Work:

The position may include a variety of special project work in addition to field mentoring, especially for weeks when there is less field work scheduled. These projects vary in size, skills needed, and schedule. Potential projects include: Curricula Development, Gear Management, Office Coordination, Logistics Coordination, etc.


To Apply:

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for two references to  with your name and “Wild Whatcom Mentor Application” in the subject line. All materials should be sent as attachments in PDF format. Please direct any questions to .

Priority applications will be reviewed beginning Tuesday, August 21, 2018. 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.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.
Exploring & Connecting with Nature!. Uploaded by Wild Whatcom
Exploring & Connecting with Nature!. Uploaded by Wild Whatcom