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4 Aug 2021

Other Outdoor Field Mentor – Fall

Wild Whatcom – Posted by jobs2 Bellingham, Washington, United States

Job Description

Wild Whatcom is a community based 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 an enthusiastic Outdoor and Environmental Educator to work as a Mentor across various programs. Mentors co-lead outings which include nature exploration, skills lessons covering a range of topics from plant identification to fire by friction, and service projects in parks and outdoor spaces in Whatcom County. Mentors are also responsible for communication with participant families, lesson preparation, and related clerical duties.

Position Description
This is a part-time position, approximately 25-35 hours per week, including weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and 2-3 weekdays. This average excludes December and January. December and January are low season months during which mentors can expect closer to 15 hours per week on average, excluding Bellingham Public Schools two-week winter break, during which time no programs run and mentors may take unpaid time off, or use accrued paid time off. There may be opportunities for additional weekly hours depending upon funding. See below for a sample schedule.

This position is a contract position beginning Aug 26, 2021 through June 12, 2022. Staff working school year contracts may also be offered summer contracts for our summer camps and other summer programs. Compensation begins at $15/hour, with a likely increase in the second year, based on cost of living raises, positive performance and additional duties.

Sample Schedule
Note: Depending upon funding, the amount of weekday work and specific weekdays may differ. Occasionally mentors work overnight campouts on weekends, typically in the spring. Mentors will mostly work in the following programs: Explorers Club, EdVentures, Neighborhood Nature, SEED (see program descriptions below), with
opportunities for additional programs and projects as they arise.

9am – 12pm: School Programs
12pm – 2pm: Lunch (30 min) & Prep (1.5 hrs)
2pm -4:45pm: After School Programs

9am – 12pm: School Programs
12pm – 2pm: Lunch (30 min) & Prep (1.5 hrs)
2pm -4:45pm: After School Programs

9am – 12pm: Weekly Meetings
12pm – 2pm: Lunch (30 min) & Prep (1.5 hrs)
2pm -4:45pm: After School Programs

Thurs & Friday – OFF

Saturday & Sunday
9:30am-3:30pm: Explorers Club

● Co-lead a variety of outings with child-led, inquiry-based, experiential, and playful approaches.
● Awaken a sense of wonder in participants by teaching natural history and outdoor skills while exploring local areas.
● Facilitate collaborative decision-making with participants to support leadership development.
● Practice effective behavior and risk management at all times, creating a safe learning experience for all.
● Maintain clear, responsive, honest, and respectful communications with participants, families and staff.
● Serve as a mentor to participants, responding 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 program logistics such as pre-camp emails, parent communications, and gear and materials prep/maintenance.
● Support and contribute to documentation and record-keeping such as tracking attendance, recording any incidents in the field, etc.
● Share concerns and successes and seek advice from Program Managers, Program Director and Executive Director to ensure program quality.

Required Qualifications:
● Passion for facilitating meaningful connections to nature and community, ideally with a basic knowledge of ecology and/or outdoor skills.
● Personal or professional experience recreating in wilderness environments.
● Strong work ethic and professional work habits (punctual, responsive, organized, detailed).
● Experience working with children, specifically with behavior and risk management outdoors.
● Flexibility and vision to engage with and support a growing organization.
● 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).
● Experience with or willingness to learn Google Suite applications like Google drive, calendar and gmail.
● Strong communication skills and ability to engage in dialogue with both participants and families.
● Tetanus booster within the past 5 years (or willingness to receive booster before working in the field).
● Full Covid-19 vaccination status.

Benefits and Trainings:
Wild Whatcom does not currently offer traditional health care benefits (though we are working towards that). However, there are a variety of other benefits offered to staff, including, but not limited to:
● Support with accessing Washington State Health Care, Family Leave, and Long Term Care
● Flexible work schedule for completing computer-based tasks (loaner laptops available)
● Personal gear stipend, free Discover Pass, and access to loaner gear as needed (for work or personal use)
● Regular paid trainings throughout the year including, but not limited to, Risk Management in the Field (including epi pen training), bus training, and wilderness skills trainings ranging from friction fire and carving to plant ID and navigation
● Subsidized WFR or WFA certifications (or recertifications)
● Professional development opportunities including paid positions on our Risk Management team, Board of Directors, and Board Committees, among others as they arise
● Strong commitment to personal and professional goal-setting and support through an annual retreat (each Jan/Feb) and annual review process (February)
● Fun! We plan optional social events, play games during meetings, and aim to stay silly even when we aren’t with kids.

Program Descriptions

Explorers Club: Explorers Club (EC) cultivates naturalist knowledge, sense of adventure, earth skills, and a community stewardship ethic for youth grades 2-12. 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.

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!

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.

Neighborhood Nature: Guide after-school outings during the academic year. Program typically takes place weekdays after school.

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.

How to Apply

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for two references addressed to "The Wild Whatcom Hiring Team" at with your name and “Mentor Application, School Year” in the subject line. All materials should be sent as attachments in PDF (.pdf) format. Direct any questions to *Priority application deadline is Aug 14. 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, ethnic, 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.

Job Categories: Part-Time. Job Types: Other Outdoor. Job Tags: bushcraft, child-led inquiry, experiential learning, leadership, and nature education.

Job expires in 12 days.

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