Trips and Leadership Program Instructor

As a leadership program instructor, your role is as a mentor and coach as teens learn different leadership styles through wilderness adventures over multiple-week sessions. These programs are designed for teenagers and involve wilderness trip leading and in-camp leadership instruction. Someone who has experience and enjoys working with teenagers is ideal to lead these programs. Participants learn leadership styles, communication skills, and group building, as well as more detailed environmental education and ethics. To be effective, instructors must have a genuine interest in building their capacity as a positive role model through teaching applicable hard skills needed to find success in the back-country while applying best leadership practices.

campers rest and take in the view from the top of a mountain

All programs at Tanglewood require participants and staff to “disconnect” from digital devices to be truly present to programming and community needs. An important facet to leadership success is the development of true “social networks” among young people in real-time, to have peers with shared experiences that they are able to connect with and find support through outside of camp.

Trip aspects of the leadership programs feature: canoeing/backpacking through the Ducktrap Watershed, canoeing/backpacking the St. George watershed from Montville to Port Clyde (about 70 miles), hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail through the 100 mile wilderness climaxing with a summit of Mt. Katahdin in Baxter State Park, and ocean kayaking/sailing/canoeing to islands in Tenants Harbor.

L3 campers at Baxter State Park


  1. Co-lead one to three-week, outdoor leadership programs for teenagers (co-ed, max. 10/session). Each program session includes a 5-13 day backpacking and/or canoeing trip. NOTE: includes weekend work.
  2. Plan lessons/schedules and implement leadership curriculum; teach a variety of skills: listening, communication, team-building, low-impact camping, conflict resolution, canoe safety and canoeing skills, backpacking, map and compass, general ecology, basic first aid, and knot tying; prepare food for trips; coordinate logistical support; food/equipment deliveries, emergency support, etc.
  3. Role model healthy living, positive energy, diversity, and clear communication; engage actively with campers during lessons, recreation and meal times.
  4. Supervise and ensure the safety of campers at all times; facilitate group conflicts and strive to encourage problem-solving and decision-making; live-in and supervise cabin of up to 6 program participants of same gender.
  5. Drive 12 passenger vans (sometimes with canoe trailer) to program sites with participants and other staff.
  6. Evaluate program regularly with Director.
  7. Role model good stewardship for the environment.

L2 canoe group photoQualifications:

  • Demonstrated responsible and safe decision-making skills in all aspects of outdoor camp programming.
  • Related experience working with teenagers and teaching in the outdoors.
  • Substantial camping/backpacking/canoeing experience.
  • Wilderness First Aid & CPR and lifeguard certification (or ability to obtain).
  • Ability to lead groups outdoors over various terrain with 35+lbs. packs for extended days and ability to assist in carrying canoes (85 lb.) with others.
  • Preferred: Valid Driver’s license and clean driving record.
  • Preferred: Wilderness First Responder, Small Craft Water Safety Certification.

3 teens paddle canoe across the bay in front of lighthouse

Dates and Compensation:

  • $300/week (pre-tax) 
  • Benefits include: housing, food, laundry, internet access, and backcountry equipment usage.
  • June 9-August 17, 2019

Apply online at For more information please contact for Tanglewood or for Blueberry Cove.

The University of Maine is an EEO/AA employer, and does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Sarah E. Harebo, Director of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME  04469-5754, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).