Eagle Rock is Scouting for an Outdoor Education Course Manager

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If leading a group of incoming students on a multi-week wilderness orientation program at one of the nation’s most progressive high schools sounds like an exciting and rewarding opportunity, then you may be interested in our full-time Outdoor Education Course Manager opening.

Backing up for a moment, numerous studies have shown the benefits of wilderness orientation programs. From metrics associated with fostering a sense of place to those related to social benefit, you don’t have to look very far to understand why curriculum-based outdoor and experiential programming — including a multi-week orientation program like ours — offers tremendous efficacy with respect to student engagement and growth.

Eagle Rock School students participating in a recent Wilderness Orientation Program.

Here at Eagle Rock, our new outdoor education course manager will serve as part of our Student Service Team within our Human Performance and Outdoor Education (HPOE) department. If hired, you will support field-based courses and contribute to residential life on our Estes Park, Colo. campus. Located on the border of Rocky Mountain National Park, this position offers unmatched opportunities for foster rich relationships with students and peers, with the great outdoors serving as your classroom.

Required qualifications and essential tasks of the position include:

  • At least three years of leadership experience in outdoor programming.
  • Experience as a course director/program manager.
  • Successful lead instructor for extended wilderness trips (21-plus day courses).
  • Current WFR & CPR certifications are required (SPI, AIARIE Avalanche Safety Training, Swiftwater Rescue, Lifeguard certifications are preferred).
  • Strong logistical, organizational, supervisory, and managerial skills.
  • Exceptional role model, mentor, and advisor for students.
  • Experience teaching social/emotional, restorative practices, and technical outdoor skills curriculum.
  • Ability and willingness to work long hours in difficult and stressful conditions in the backcountry. Excellent physical condition, ability to carry a 60-pound or heavier backpack.
  • Clean driving record and experience driving multi passenger vehicles (15-passenger vans and/or small buses).
  • Experience working with diverse populations, including teen-aged students from low- and middle-income backgrounds; LGBTQ students; students from suburban, urban, and rural settings; students from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds; and students who have not found success in traditional educational settings.

In addition, our next Outdoor Education Course Manager should possess a deep love of working with high school students; an ability to gracefully adapt to changing circumstances; a sense of humor; visionary thinking; a commitment to being anti-racist and to promoting social justice; seasoned judgment; and an appreciation for the fact that working at a residential school is more of a calling than a job. Finally, a desire to align with our organizational commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is a must.

Specific responsibilities in curriculum and instruction for our Outdoor Education Course Manager include but are not limited to:

  1. Ability to lead and instruct students in five- to 24-day wilderness course experiences multiple times in a school year
  2. Develop and assist in the creation of an outdoor education curriculum that is culturally competent and relevant to our diverse student body
  3. Create and deliver outdoor education experiences for students that include personal growth, technical wilderness skills (rock climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, telemark skiing, hiking, etc.), first aid and safety, environmental science, and others depending upon expertise
  4. Create and implement programmatic offerings to engage students in outdoor education opportunities outside of class time, including evenings and weekends;
  5. Support programming to effectively engage historically underrepresented students in the outdoors and increase equity in the outdoor education field
  6. Serve as a mentor for all instructors and support the professional development and training of instructors and Eagle Rock staff
  7. Support OE programming on campus to be responsive to COVID-19 protocols

For a complete rundown of job requirements and responsibilities, please see the Outdoor Education Course Manager job description on our website. Once you do, if our outdoor education position sounds ideal to you, please send your resume — along with a cover letter and three professional references that include name, phone number, and email address  for each reference — to Eliza Kate Wicks-Arshack by email using eliza at eaglerockschool dot org. Please feel free to use the same email for answers to any clarifying questions you might have.

As always, we want to hire the perfect fit for our school, and we realize we might have to make changes to our schedule in order to hire the best candidate. That said, phone interviews have begun and we’re looking at virtual community interviews beginning in January with a mid-January start date, if possible.

Finally, for anyone interested in learning more about our Wilderness Orientation Program, check out the documentary film All Who Dare, which is now streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service. As one reviewer of the film wrote, “I ask myself nearly everyday what school can’t be different. Students are often in such contrived environments that are disconnected from learning and true personal growth. This film highlights what is possible if we dare to do school differently. Eagle Rock School’s model is designed with purpose and intent, and Faye does a wonderful job capturing the heart of what the school is trying to offer. Every educator, parent, and student should watch this film.”

Click image to watch “All Who Dare” documentary featuring Eagle Rock’s Wilderness Orientation Program.

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