Monthly Youth Program Instructor

Join us this coming school year as a Nature Instructor or Site Director at our Monthly Programs! This fun, down-to-earth, all ages nature school is looking for seasonal, part-time (718 hr/week) Monthly Program Instructors/Site Directors to join our team. Our ideal candidates are creative, inspirational, and are well-versed in (or willing to learn about) our Coyote Mentoring teaching models. 

  • Make a difference in the lives of kids by helping them connect with the natural world
  • Learn to be a “Coyote Mentor” capable of igniting children’s passion for learning
  • Join our team of experienced and committed nature instructors in a connective work environment.
  • Have a lot of fun!

Our Teaching Philosophy

Coyote Mentoring utilizes a number of teaching styles that mimic how children naturally learn. The end result is something of an “invisible school” where kids experience having fun and playing games without even realizing how much they’re learning.

Nature Connection

Children’s lives are becoming more and more screen-based and indoors-focused. Wild spaces are shrinking and our impact on the planet is reaching a breaking point. It is more urgent than ever for people of all ages and backgrounds, especially children to experience and fall in love with the natural world.

Become a Nature Instructor

In the quickly growing industry of Forest Kindergartens and nature-based education, there is an increasing need for skilled, diverse, and experienced instructors. As one of the oldest and most respected nature schools, many of our students and staff have gone on to become leaders in the industry.


Qualifications and Expectations

  • Creativity and passion for mentoring youth in a natural flow learning environment with an open and flexible structure
  • Committed to practicing on-the-ground routines that foster justice, equity, diversity and inclusion for all
  • Current Wilderness First Aid and CPR certifications (or able to acquire before working).
  • Able to supervise up to 10 kids at a time with minimal support or supervision
  • Have empathy, compassion, and an open mind
  • Able to drive to various camp locations in the Puget Sound area, many of which aren’t accessible by public transportation
  • Able to pass a background check
  • This is a physically demanding job and instructors must be able to be on their feet for 6+ hours at a time, carry a 20 lb. pack, walk long distances, move over uneven terrain, and be out in the elements all day
  • Must demonstrate good judgment and risk assessment
  • Strong ability to work as a contributing member of a team, able to bring your unique voice, gifts, and contributions to a relational work setting
  • Willing to participate in a healthy feedback culture
  • Uphold Wilderness Awareness School’s mission and policies

Preference will be given to applicants who have:

  • Ability to work at least two to four Fridays or Saturdays per month
  • Experience as a naturalist instructor working with youth ages 4-13 in the outdoors
  • Experience with the 8-Shields Model and Coyote Mentoring method, including facilitation through stories, songs, games, observation, and sensory awareness activities.
  • Knowledge of Pacific Northwest hazards, wildlife, tracking, edible/medicinal plants, navigation without map/compass, field ecology, trees, survival techniques, birds/birdsong, and awareness of local Indigenous Nations and right relations.
  • Experience (lived or otherwise) with diverse populations from various social and economic backgrounds
  • Ability to integrate social awareness practices into the mentoring curriculum (such as acknowledgment of indigenous land history, honoring of human diversity, interest in sharing origins of songs/stories/skills, etc.).
  • Completed one or more Wilderness Awareness School programs 


Beautiful state and local parks in the greater Seattle, WA area: Tolt-MacDonald Park (Carnation), St Edward State Park (Kenmore), Seward Park (Seattle), and Cougar Mountain Park (Bellevue).

Schedule & Hours (Tentative Dates)

  • 8am to 4pm, two to four Fridays and/or Saturdays per month.  Our Nature Explorer program for 4-6 year olds is held from 8am-2pm on Saturdays.
  • Each Monthly Program includes 1 hour for planning and preparation, usually in collaboration with your teaching team.
  • Instructor Start/End Dates: Aug 30 2024 – May 3 2025
  • Site Director Start/End Dates: Aug 29 2024 – May 3 2025
  • Required Staff Orientation Day: Aug 30 2024 8am-4pm
  • Required Fall Debrief Day: In December, date and time TBA
  • Required Spring Debrief Day: Jun 3 2025 time TBA

Monthly Program Instructors can instruct 2-4 Fridays and/or Saturdays per month at Seattle and Eastside parks. Instructors will be paid for:

  • 7 hours per class day for Nature Explorer, 9 hours per class day for Nature Adventure, 9.5 hours per class day for Nature Skills (includes planning and prep the week before each class day)
  • 8 hours per year for Monthlies Staff Orientation on August 30
  • 1 hour per year for yearly mentoring meeting with supervisor
  • 4 hours per year for debrief meetings (2 in late Fall and 2 in Spring)
  • This is a 7-36 hour per month contract position, paid by the hour

Monthly Program Site Directors can direct two to four Fridays and/or Saturdays per month at Seattle and Eastside parks. Directors will be paid for all of the above, plus:

  • 1.5 hours of planning, prep, and follow-up time per class day
  • 3+ hours per year to hold mentoring check-ins for instructors
  • Other director-specific meetings paid hourly
  • This is a 10.5-42 hour per month contract position, paid by the hour


  • Pay scale starts at $20 per hour
  • Discounts on WAS programs and store items
  • Be a part of a work culture that fosters peer mentoring and lifelong learning in the context of the 8-shields model and Coyote Mentoring curriculum
  • Referrals to instruct at our other school year and summer youth programs

How to apply

Mail or Email a complete application packet including:

1. Employment Application
2. Resume
3. Cover letter to Shivani Gogna, Youth Program Manager

Please include in your cover letter:

  • Why you are an excellent candidate for the position
  • What relevant experience you have with outdoor education and nature connection, including anything related to Coyote Mentoring or the 8 shields curriculum

First round of applications due by June 7, 2024. After that, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. Interviews take place the weeks of June 10-14 and June 24-28. 

Shivani Gogna
Wilderness Awareness School
POB 219, PMB 137
Duvall, WA 98019
[email protected]


Contact: [email protected] or call 425-788-1301

Wilderness Awareness School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, disability, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Wilderness Awareness School