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YMCA of Greater Seattle Wilderness Program Course Director in Seattle, Washington


Do you want to make a difference in the world and have fun while doing it? The BOLD & GOLD Program inspires young people to be multi-cultural leaders through wilderness based expeditions. We are currently hiring Wilderness Program Course Directors for this coming summer. As a Course Director, you will be responsible for supervising 8-22 day wilderness based expeditions. This includes managing the logistics, mentoring staff, and ensuring the safe and successful delivery of these programs. Activities include, backpacking, rock climbing, and mountaineering here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

The BOLD (Boys Outdoor Leadership Development) & GOLD (Girls Outdoor Leadership Development) Program is dedicated to inspiring courage and confidence in diverse groups of adolescent girls and boys through outdoor adventures. We run, primarily, single gender expeditions and each year we engage over 600 youth on 60-70 different backcountry trips ranging in length from 8 to 22 days in places like the North Cascades, Mt Rainier, Squamish, Smith Rocks and Olympic National Park. Activities include backpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering, fishing, yoga, art, music, literature, backcountry cooking and goofing off. Our goal is to increase confidence, courage, emotional intelligence, wonder, and community awareness in participants. We believe these traits are the foundations of leadership and work to inspire participants to develop their own leadership style. We prepare young people, from middle school on, to be the next generation of leaders through multicultural experiential education in the natural world. Find out more at

Dates of Employment: Training: May 18 th - May 29 th . Summer Programming Dates: June 1 st - September 1 st Opportunities exist for additional field based work in beginning in May and continuing into late September.

Hours: Average 40-50 hours a week, 5 days on, 2 days off

Application Closing Date: Open until filled


Primary Responsibilities Include:

  • Directing of all aspects of wilderness courses including logistics, staff supervision, participants, risk management situations, and a positive group culture.

  • Oversee the safe delivery of wilderness courses- with an emphasis on multicultural leadership, ranging in length from 8 to 22 days.

  • Work within a leadership team of 5 people to ensure all staff and students have the equipment, tools and knowledge needed to be successful.

  • Train and mentor staff in building emotionally and physically safe environments with groups of middle and high school participants as well as supporting students to develop to their fullest potential while engaging in wilderness based activities.

  • Be part of a leadership team that oversees the professional development of up to 75 paid staff and a small team of volunteers.

  • Follows YMCA policies and procedures, including those related to medical and disciplinary situations, child abuse prevention and emergencies.

Critical Success Factors:

  • Ability to mentor staff in backcountry skills, including backpacking, rock climbing, and mountaineering.

  • A relationship focused educator who can build strong rapport with students and staff, foster positive group development, create structure and draw learning from experiential activities.

  • Energy and enthusiasm for working with all youth.

  • Experience working with diverse populations.

  • Extensive facilitation and youth development experience.

  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills and the ability to build strong relationships with youth and adults from a variety of backgrounds.

  • Role modeling compassionate and confident leadership

  • Possesses self-awareness and ability to work in a collaborative setting.

  • Possesses strong organizational skills, flexibility and a good sense of humor.

  • Knowing how to have fun!


  1. Three or more years' experience working with youth. Diverse populations preferred

  2. Two or more years leading wilderness expeditions with youth

  3. Demonstrated experience planning and implementing group activities

  4. Current Wilderness Medical Certification (WFA, WAFA, WFR, W-EMT) and CPR.

  5. Current WA State Food Handlers Permit

  6. Excellent facilitation skills appropriate for working with youth and adults from different backgrounds.

  7. Previous experience in Course Directing or program management is a plus.


  • Minimum 21 years old

  • Current Driver’s License with a minimum of 3 years safe driving experience and a driving record which meets or exceeds YMCA standards.

  • Maximum of one minor violation.

You'll be a great fit for the Seattle Y if you:

  • Thrive on working in a collaborative environment

  • Are very adaptable

  • Have high ownership and strong work ethic

  • Are a great problem solver who can think on your feet

  • Truly enjoy being of service to people

  • Like being part of a team that cares about one another as people and enjoy working together

  • Want to know that the work you do contributes to building a better, stronger community for all

At the Seattle Y, we are an inclusive organization of people with a shared commitment to nurture the potential of youth, promote healthy living, and foster social responsibility.

Become a leader on our team at the YMCA of Greater Seattle where we promote a continuous learning environment with career opportunities and enjoy the benefit of a YMCA membership.

The YMCA of Greater Seattle is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity. We are a drug & alcohol-free workplace; all job offers are contingent on results of a background check and drug screening, including screening for marijuana.

Job Locations US-WA-Seattle

Posted Date 2 weeks ago (1/9/2020 6:54 PM)

ID 2020-9637

Type Seasonal

# of Openings 4

Location YMCA at Cascade People's Center

Category Resident Camp

Address 309 Pontius Ave N