Youth Program Instructor

Join us this coming school year as a Nature Instructor at our Weekly and Monthly Programs! This fun, down-to-earth, all-ages nature school is looking for year round, part-time (2434 hr/week) Youth Program Instructors to join our team. Our ideal candidates are creative, inspirational, and professional educators and mentors with Coyote Mentoring experience.

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 Schools 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.

Youth Programs Overview

School year programs serve close to 500 children (ages 4-18) in our weekly and monthly programs; Summer Camps serve ~2000 children. Weekly programs are held at our campus in Duvall. Monthly Programs are held in various locations throughout the Puget Sound. Year-round instructors typically work a combination of weekly and monthly programs, as well as summer programs. 

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 Seattle area, many of which aren’t accessible by public transportation
  • Able to occasionally work a flexible schedule including: 2-3 Monday staff meetings, some weekend events, and Training/Debrief weeks that will be outside your normal weekly schedule
  • Able to pass a background check
  • 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
  • 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
  • Operate professionally with integrity and accountability
  • Able to answer emails in a timely manner and communicate effectively with our admin team, co-instructors, and parents
  • Uphold Wilderness Awareness School’s mission and policies
  • An opportunity to join committee work focused on bigger picture school initiatives relating to equity work and strategic planning

Preference will be given to applicants who have:

  • Experience as a naturalist instructor working with youth ages 4-18 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 justice work – acknowledgement of indigenous land use, awareness and acceptance of human diversity, tracking and sharing origins of songs/stories/skills – into mentoring curriculum 
  • Completed one or more Wilderness Awareness School programs 


Weekly Programs take place at our 40-acre campus in Duvall, WA on traditional Snoqulamie territories. Monthly programs take place in beautiful state and local parks in the greater Seattle, WA area on Snoqualmie, Snohomish, Skykomish, and Duwamish traditional territories.

Job Description Overview

1.) Instruct multiple school year weekly and/or monthly youth programs
2.) Instruct week-long day and overnight summer camps
3.) Support WAS mission, school-wide events, marketing events, and bigger picture strategy and committee work

Potential School Year Program Schedules 

(NOTE: Actual schedule/hours will be determined based on the best match for applicants and the school)

Example Instructor #1 – 28 hrs/wk
Tuesday – Planning and meeting day
Wednesday – On call substitute instructor
Friday – Community School (13-18)
Saturday – Monthly Programs (ages 7-12)

Example Instructor #2 – 28 hrs/wk
Tuesday – Planning and meeting day 
Thursday – On call substitute instructor
Friday – Monthly Programs (ages 7-12)
8 Weekends – Wild Within (14-16 or 16-18)


  • $20 per hour to start, Depending on experience
  • 5 weeks paid time off
  • 3% salary retirement plan match
  • Monthly stipend to purchase health insurance (starting at prorated equivalent of $360/month)
  • Discounted or free Wilderness Awareness programs and professional training
  • Connective, community minded workplace

How to apply

Mail or Email ([email protected]) a complete application packet including:

1. Employment Application
2. Resume
3. Cover letter addressed 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, nature connection, and education in general
  • What experience and fluency you have around diversity, equity and inclusion work

First round of applications due by June 16, 2023. After that, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. Interviews take place the week of July 10-14. Start date is August 28, 2023.

Wilderness Awareness School
c/o Shivani Gogna
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