Title: Outdoor Educator
Reports to: Director of Youth Education
Location: Field work through Pittsburgh, PA (primarily within the city)
Status: Part-time, hourly, non-exempt
Hours: Up to 20 hours/week (typically Mon-Fri between 9a to 6p)
Relevant candidates will be contacted for first interviews after that date. No phone calls or emails please.
About Venture Outdoors
Venture Outdoors is a nonprofit organization dedicated to removing barriers and creating access to outdoor experiences. We provide a variety of experiences that inspire an active lifestyle, promote the region’s unique natural amenities, highlight its excellent quality of life, and foster a greater appreciation for the environment.
An Outdoor Educator is a part-time employee who will lead or assist on outdoor trips and environmental lessons primarily with youth. The Outdoor Educator will also help with events for Venture Outdoors, ensuring a successful, professional and excellent experience for all participants. This staff member acts as a representative of Venture Outdoors to promote the mission of the organization. An Outdoor Educator leads lessons in schools and on outings in activities such as hiking, flat water paddling, biking, geocaching, and more. The Outdoor Educator may also lead virtual lessons and workshops with youth.
Special Hour Requirements: Hours may include weekdays, evenings & weekends; eligible for overtime after 40 hours.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Create and gather outing and lesson specific program materials when necessary;
- Check in students, provide snack, communicate with parents when necessary;
- Scout routes, schools, and areas prior to leading/assisting on trips;
- Lead outings for youth ages 5-18, adults, seniors, and college students in both an in-person and virtual setting;
- Ensure participants’ safety, fun and complete satisfaction;
- Be familiar with and follow all Venture Outdoors trip leader guidelines;
- Lead group introductions and manage expectations before the outing;
- Work with staff to develop and implement engaging new lesson plans for youth outdoor education;
- Attend professional development trainings;
- Manage classroom behavior and implement a discipline and reward system;
- Share educational concepts, including natural history, cultural, historical information, and environmental knowledge with participants on outings;
- Represent the organization at community events and outreaches;
- Monitor environmental conditions (high water, storms, lightning, heat, cold, etc.) before and during an outing;
- Care for participants’ needs, handle emergencies and contingencies;
- Ensure all relevant paperwork is completed and returned to the office in a timely manner including participant evaluations, risk waivers, final trip reports, etc.;
- Be familiar with an follow all Venture Outdoors trip leader guidelines.
We recognize that not all parts of the outdoor industry fit exactly into the categories as outlined. As such, we highly encourage anyone who doesn't see themselves fully represented in the below tiers to apply. Your experience may not fit neatly into a category, but that does not mean it is not welcome in the program.
- Experience working with youth, preferably in a school or educational setting;
- Desire to lead, motivate, and manage groups of varying ages, abilities, and backgrounds;
- Demonstrated ability to manage logistics in an organized fashion;
- Willingness to be flexible with work assignments and roles;
- Knowledge of associated skills and equipment for leading outdoor recreation activities;
- Comfort speaking in front of a group;
- Preferred - Experience working with youth with special needs.
- At least 18 years of age;
- A reliable form of transportation (car, bus, bike) to get you and the necessary equipment to the activity site for in-person trips and lessons;
- PA Child Abuse background check, PA Criminal History background check, and FBI Fingerprinting (must be acquired prior to hiring; a finding on the criminal background clearances is not automatic disqualification, but rather a conversation starter);
- Current CPR and First Aid certifications (can acquire upon hiring);
- Mandated Reporter Training (can acquire upon hiring);
- Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or religious/medical exemption;
- Once hired, an Outdoor Educator will attend Venture Outdoors’ Outdoor Leadership Training and any activity-specific training in order to accomplish the position, including biking, fishing and kayaking.
- Paid sick time (1 hour accumulated for every 35 hours worked)
- Paid professional development
- Flexible work environment
- Free kayaking!
Venture Outdoors is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Venture Outdoors Staff Equity Statement
We commit to the equitable treatment of our colleagues, participants, and community members by valuing their rights, dignity, voice, and expression.
We welcome and respect the diversity of individuality such as race, sex, gender identity, ability, culture, and religion.
We recognize the human right for all individuals to be respected and accepted without bias.
We commit to an organizational responsibility to build individual and community respect, dignity, fairness, care, and equality.
We strive to understand the role our system plays in perpetuating exclusion, and to address the dynamics that support it.
We understand that accountability is mutual and reciprocal in order to continually learn and improve.
We believe that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion extends beyond the workplace and encourage all to continue personal development alongside the organization.
We require organizational staff and participants to encourage a culture of belonging and consider the entire experience and the ecosystem that supports.
We will not tolerate explicit and implicit forms of racism, sexism, classism, xenophobia, ageism, and/or ableism.
We will not accept the use of racial or gender biases and require staff to implement inclusionary practices within their duties and program design.