- Spring: Early April – June
- Application Deadline for Spring: December 30th, 2018
- Summer: June 3 – August 18
- Application Deadline for Summer: March 1, 2018
- Fall: August – Late October
- Please email for Fall-only Application information
Please feel free to submit applications now.
- Group Leader (Spring, Summer* & Fall) – Working in both our Group Program and Adventure Camp, you will facilitate, host, and provide support for groups of many ages and interests. Leaders will guide activities during the day and may often work overnight with backpacking/camping groups. In addition to guiding and hosting, you will be assigned support, maintenance, and hospitality duties. For more information on our group programs and trips, please see our Retreat Center page.
- Trip Leader (Summer*)– Trip Leaders primarily work in the Adventure Camp program. After completing our extensive training you will lead participants through backpacking expeditions in the Jefferson and Washington National Forests. You will teach Leave No Trace skills, facilitate high and low ropes, climbing, canoeing, camp cooking and more. In addition you may be assigned support, maintenance, and hospitality duties. Trips assigned can include our Outdoor Discovery, Classic Adventure and/or Specialty Trips. The following are required:
- Some backpacking or camping experience and your own equipment.
- Current Wilderness First Aid and CPR certification. (We will provide training for those needing it. )
- Staff Orientation and Trip Leader Training*
- Support (Fall through Spring)– Cooks, Kitchen Staff, Landscaping and Grounds Workers, and Maintenance Workers are welcome to apply, though openings in these areas are typically part-time and may be filled. Please call our office if you’re looking to apply for a support staff position. **CURRENTLY SEEKING COOKS who are interested in working in the kitchen as well as alongside leaders in the field. **
- Instructors: These positions require a minimum of one season as a WAEL Leader and in-house training: Activity Instructor(s) in rock climbing, mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, caving, and zip lining; and Area Managers (ie Gear Barn manager, First Aid manager, etc.)
- Assistant Directors or Directors: These are long-term positions that require an exceptional demonstrated commitment to the company, for this reason we almost exclusively promote staff members to these positions after thorough experience as a WAEL Leader and instructor.
*Summer staff (Group & Trip Leaders) are required to participate in a 14 day comprehensive Orientation. The 2018 Orientation is June 3-16th.
What are we looking for in our staff?
Personality: Our core staff are called “Leaders” for a reason. At a minimum a WAEL staff member should enjoy speaking to and caring for large groups and have a firm respect for safety practices. Beyond that, we are searching for the outdoor enthusiasts who also identify as:
- team players
- independent hard workers
- positive influences
- great teachers
Age: Most of our staff are in their mid-twenties, but we accept applications from anyone 18+. 21+ is preferred for Fall & Spring season staff. Please note, a portion of the pay is room & board. For those of you who prefer to live off-site, we may not be able to offer entry positions that do not include this benefit.
Experience: Experience and desire to work with children is essential. Any experience in guiding/instructing any of our activities is a great plus, but not required. We train everyone in the “WA way” from first timers to the professionally elite. We find that beginning with a common base benefits our program as well as the staff-community.
Skills: Personal responsibility, proficiency in reading (guides are required to adhere to the schedule, staff manual, and other company documents often without supervision), and the ability to speak to groups are essential skills. The following skills are not required but highly valued: mountain bike maintenance, cooking for large groups, grounds work, vehicle or building maintenance, proficiency in French or any other languages, and proficiency in computers/IT.
Growth: The desire to learn and grow is essential to a good leader. Once you have a scope of the program you are highly encouraged to take on further responsibilities and learn as much as you can about the varying program areas.
Time Commitment: Due to the nature of the retreat and recreation industry, our “year” is usually April through October. We work under a daily or weekly rate in which days could be any number of hours. The benefit of this is a flexibility characteristic of the outdoor professionals’ “work hard, play hard” philosophy. The majority of our staff live on property while working and generally get 2 days off a week. You may have to work holidays, week-ends, and for multiple weeks 24 hours/day while on trail. October through March, staff usually use to travel or head to the ski slopes.
Too young to be staff, but you still have a desire to be a leader? Come spend your summer learning the ins and outs of what goes on behind the scenes in an adventure camp! You must be a former or current participant and be at least 17 years old or a senior in high school. After successful completion of the week-long course, you will work the rest of the summer as an Apprentice. More information here.