Job Description: Summer 2020 Assistant Trip Leader

Reconnect Earth seeks a motivated, skilled trip leader to help facilitate outdoor educational experiences for college and/or high school-age students in a backcountry setting in Washington’s North Cascades/Puget Sound region this summer. This position includes the following duties:

  • Assist with packing and preparation for two 7-8 day backpacking trips.
  • Work with a co-leader to implement a curriculum focused on environmental and social justice, natural history, and grassroots activism skills while in the field during two 7-8 day trips. The amount of time spent on curriculum work is subject to some adjustment based on applicant’s level of expertise and interests.
  • Assist with camp logistics and backcountry risk management while in the field.
  • Coordinate backcountry-to-frontcountry communications from a frontcountry location during one 7-8 day period.

Reconnect Earth is running three backpacking trips in Summer 2020: two eight-day trips for college students in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, and one seven-day trip for high school students in Olympic National Park. As a Trip Leader you will be in the field for two of these sets of dates, assisting with logistics, risk management, and curriculum delivery. You will also help with packing and preparation for one day before each of these two trips.

During the third trip, you will facilitate any routine or emergency communications between the group in the field and relevant parties in the outside world (parents, emergency responders, etc.). This can be done from home, though you should not be much more than a three-hour drive from the Park or Forest where the group in the field is headed. However, you must be prepared to head into the field on short notice in an emergency.

Exact pay depends on if you are on a 7-day or 8-day trip and how much time the communications role requires. However, it should come to about $3,000-3,500 over the course of our mid-June to early-August season. This includes pay for about 12 hours of training time to take place over a two-day period in June. Meals on the trips are provided.

About Reconnect Earth: Reconnect Earth works for a socially and ecologically just future by fostering and growing a network of empowered young leaders to sustain grassroots social movements for years to come. We seek to challenge dominant narratives in environmental education (EE), and to create a new EE paradigm that is inclusive, multicultural, and action-oriented. Summer 2019 was our first season leading backpacking trips for students.

Because Reconnect Earth is still a new organization trying to change the way EE is done, the Backcountry Trip Leader will have the rare opportunity to be involved in shaping an organization that is in the process of doing something different and a bit radical. This is an ideal position for an educator with a strong interest in social justice and activism who wants to help change what mainstream environmental education looks like.

Required skills and qualifications. The successful candidate will be:

  • Dependable, self-motivated, and well-organized.
  • Have a strong interest in environmental and social justice issues.
  • Enthusiastic about working with college and/or high-school-age students.
  • Comfortable hiking for long periods and spending time outdoors in various types of summer weather.
  • Wilderness First Responder (preferred) or Wilderness First Aid certified; or be able to get certified prior to mid-June (with potential for Reconnect Earth to partially offset the cost of certification).
  • Available to be in the field (backcountry) during two of the following sets of dates: June 27 – July 3; July 11 – July 18; July 26 – Aug 2.
  • Available for backcountry-to-frontcountry communications work on the set of dates above for which you are not in the field.
  • Available for about 12 hours of training over the course of two consecutive days in June; ideally these will be June 20-21, but there is some flexibility.
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or higher in environmental education, environmental studies, social justice education or a related field; OR a proven track record of successful work in one of these fields.

Desired skills and qualifications. The following will make your application stronger:

  • Experience teaching teens and/or young adults in formal or informal settings.
  • Experience working on grassroots activist campaigns.
  • Experience working with communities who are traditionally underrepresented in environmental education programs.
  • Experience backpacking and spending multiple nights in the backcountry.
  • A current drivers license and clean driving record.

To apply: Please email a cover letter, resume, and two references to

Application deadline: We will begin reviewing applications on March 1st, 2020. Applications submitted before that date will receive priority.