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The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) — an organization that’s on a mission to design and deliver handcrafted outdoor and adventure education experiences that promote personal growth, professional development, and stewardship in our communities and the nature environment — has an immediate opening for a full-time Associate Program Director.

Serving in a hands-on capacity, the Associate Program Director is responsible for supervising and evaluating staff members and instructors, as well as managing technical sites and overseeing logistical details in order to deliver handcrafted outdoor education courses and wilderness expeditions for our school partners and students in course areas.

Essential Job Functions

The Associate Program Director’s essential duties and responsibilities are focused on those related to human resources, logistical management / support, and program and operations administration. Specifically, the Associate Program Director is responsible for:

  • Overseeing assigned courses and custom programs throughout the planning, implementation, field operations, wrap-up, and evaluation phases
  • Supervising and evaluating assigned staff
  • Managing gear and food pack systems, including those related to inventory, cleaning, and repair
  • Training assigned staff on equipment, food, and transportation procedures
  • Coordinating pre- and post-trip pack in and out activities, including transportation
  • of gear, field staff, and/or participants to and from course areas
  • Responding to field emergencies, including providing emergency transportation, supply delivery, or field supervision when requested
  • Leading post-trip debriefs, including gear de-issuing
  • Coordinating routine vehicle maintenance, including weekly checks, oil changes, tire rotations, and safety inspections
  • Preparing and submitting a variety of paperwork, including vehicle logs, inventories, and other reports as requested
  • Assuming instructor role and responsibilities for assigned courses, programs, and/or trainings
  • Participating in mandatory staff trainings and meetings
  • Overnight travel is expected
  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned

Required Attributes

As it is with all positions within our values-based organization, a strong team-centered orientation is a must, as well as a high level of curiosity and passion for outdoor and experiential education and adventure-based programming. Other required attributes of the Associate Program Director position include someone who:

  • Possesses a strong understanding of NCOAE’s core curriculum and educational framework
  • Communicates in a clear, effective, and timely manner to program directors, interns, instructors, and other staff
  • Proactively problem solves and offers concrete solutions to real-time challenges
  • Respects the need to default to written procedures and knows how to ask for help
  • Consistently strives to appropriately share and receive feedback from co-workers
  • Maintains the physical and emotional safety of course and training participants
  • Serves as a role model by positively and proactively self-managing their behavior
  • Contributes to maintaining safe, fun, and engaging client experiences
  • Commits to their own professional development, including the acquisition and advancement of technical outdoor and interpersonal skills

Minimum Qualifications and Preferred Requirements

  • High School diploma or equivalent required — Bachelor’s degree (or progress towards a degree) in Outdoor Education, Outdoor Recreation, or related field preferred
  • Prior experience working in wilderness programming, outdoor education, residential summer camps, or related field required — two to four years prior experience working in a logistical/support staff position is required
  • Prior experience working in a supervisory role required
  • Demonstrated competency and skills in risk management required
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including oral and written communication skills, public presentation skills, and the ability to train/demonstrate skills to others is required
  • Valid driver’s license and acceptable driving record is required
  • Current WFR (wilderness first responder) and CPR certifications are required
  • (willingness to obtain immediately after hiring is acceptable)
  • Satisfactory completion of NCOAE’s Instructor Course is required, as is current knowledge and passion for NCOAE programs, curriculum, and operating philosophy
  • Language fluency: English required, Spanish preferred

Physical Requirements

The Associate Program Director will frequently be required to stand 7-10 hours per day and will regularly be required to lift and carry materials weighing up to 50 lbs. for distances of up to five (5) miles. Extensive use of a computer keyboard and the telephone is also required, as is walking and hiking several miles per day in rugged, remote terrain while wearing a backpack. The ability to perform job duties in indoors and outside in all types of weather conditions is also required.

Interested applicants may apply by submitting their cover letter, resume, and references to