Become A Leader


Become A Leader

Job Description
Wilderness Adventures boasts 44 years of unparalleled success in providing life-changing summer adventures for teenagers. Nothing is more essential to this success than the enthusiasm, skills and dedication of our leaders. Leading for Wilderness Adventures offers the opportunity to experience a wide range of exciting locations, cultures, and remote wilderness areas, all the while providing a group of students with an unmatched opportunity for growth that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Wilderness Adventures is looking for trip leaders who are enthusiastic about working with student ages 11-20 in group settings.  Leaders will guide groups of 10-15 students, with a co-leader through exciting yet challenging adventure activities, as well as teach the curriculum designed for each of our trip types: Discovery Adventures, Explorer Adventures, High Trails Adventures, and Global Trekker Adventures.    The trips are both mentally and physically challenging for leaders and participants, with adventures ranging from one to six weeks in duration.

Wilderness Adventures seeks leaders who will be a positive influence on the participants, an inspirational role model, devoted to supporting student growth and education throughout the trip and creating a safe, fun, and non-competitive environment in which the students can thrive.  Our leaders and students participate in a wide variety of activities such as: mountain climbs, backpacking in over 30 National Parks and wilderness areas, rock climbing, sea kayaking, whitewater rafting and kayaking, ice climbing, canyoneering, sailing, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, trekking through Europe’s hut system, international and domestic service projects, and language programs.  Experience in these activities is helpful, but not required.  Other leader responsibilities include: supervision of meal planning, travel logistics, keeping a daily expedition journal, management of trip budget, facilitation of activities and enriching evening circles, overseeing subcontracted activities, communicating with our office staff, being an ambassador of WA at all times by upholding an extremely professional and courteous manner, fostering a positive group dynamic, and creating the most amazing, educational, and unforgettable summer adventures of the student’s life.

Learn more about Wilderness Adventures, our hiring process, and what you can expect from a summer leading for us by clicking below.


Minimum of 21 years old by June 2017
Applicants must have and maintain an excellent driving record with no major infractions of unsafe conduct.  You will be required to drive a 15-passenger van towing an 8-foot utility trailer if leading one of our domestic trips.
A minimum certification in Wilderness First Responder by June 2017.  Advanced and additional certifications are highly welcomed. (Yes, you can apply and then complete the certification before June or through our offered course).
College graduate or in the process of completing a degree.
Quality experience teaching/leading in a variety of settings, ideally with students in grades 6-12.
Available to work the entire duration of the trip contract, beginning on June 11, 2017 and ending on August 11, 2017.

Salary and Benefits
Leaders are contracted to lead one to three trips ranging from one to four weeks each.
All program expenses will be paid for while working for Wilderness Adventures (transportation and flights to the trip start and end locations, all accommodations, all meals, all activities)
Wilderness Adventures offers many pro-deals and industry discounts from many well known manufacturers to our leaders (Camelbak, Cloudveil, Deuter, Gregory, Icebreaker, Jetboil, Kelty, LaSportiva, Mountain Hardwear, Osprey, Outdoor Research, Scarpa, Sierra Designs, Smartwool, The North Face, Thermarest, Cannondale, GT, Schwinn and Sage).

Dates of Employment
Leader training for all staff begins on June 11th, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
All leaders will finish in Salt Lake City on August 11, 2017.

How to Apply 
If you are interested in becoming a leader for summer 2017, click here for our application.  If you have any questions about the application process, please e-mail:

What do I need to do to apply?
1. Complete the online application
2. Upload a cover letter and resume as PDF or Word Documents
3. Upload a copy of your current driver’s license
4. Upload copies of all current certifications (CPR, First Aid, Lifeguarding, PADI, WFA, WAFA, WFR and/or WEMT)
5. If you do not upload a profile photo along with your online application, please e-mail a digital headshot of yourself to

Application Deadline

  • Friday, December 16, 2016
  • Friday, January 21, 2017
  • Friday, February 24, 2017

We have three application deadlines and recommend that applicants apply by the earliest deadline possible.  The Wilderness Adventures hiring period runs from late November until early April.  The majority of our applications arrive by the January 21 deadline.  If you will be abroad in the spring, you should aim to apply by the December 16 deadline.  There is no official application closing date, though there is no knowing what opportunities will remain into the Spring!


Am I qualified to work for WA?
We hire highly qualified individuals who have a strong desire to work with Wilderness Adventures students. You must have a desire and the experience to provide a safe, fun, educational, and non-competitive environment for a group of teenagers. Our programs range from two to four weeks in length, and require emotional, mental, and physical maturity to effectively guide them. Due to the nature of our trips you need to be flexible and creative, while remaining professional, fun, motivated, and enthusiastic. All of our leaders are responsible for supervising all aspects of meal planning, teaching your group about the areas you travel through, facilitating evening enrichment programs, effectively communicating with administration, park personnel, subcontractors, and parents, and making the group experience one that your students will remember for the rest of their lives. Our domestic leaders are responsible for driving 15-passenger vans with an 8-foot trailer and teaching participants basic wilderness skills. Our international leaders are fluent in the language of the country they will be traveling through and have had experience living and traveling abroad.

What is the hiring process like?
Once we have had time to review your application we will contact you regarding the next step. If we feel you are a qualified candidate, we will set up an interview via phone or Skype. Following your initial interview, we will be in touch within two weeks. Qualified candidates will go through a second round of interviews. We will be in touch following this second interview within a week. Keep in mind, we hire for the program as a whole and do not place leaders on trips until the Spring. We make our offers on a rolling basis, and occasionally we will ask qualified candidates to remain “on hold” as we determine our exact needs.

What certifications are required, and do you offer the training for these certifications?
Our leaders are required to have Wilderness First Responder and CPR certifications by the beginning of staff training.  If you do not have a current Wilderness First Responder we offer a sponsored WFR course prior to staff training. This course includes CPR. You can submit your application prior to being certified, but you must have a set date for your certification, either through our course or on your own. We welcome additional certifications as well: Lifeguard, Swiftwater Rescue, PADI, W-EMT, etc.  If a W-EMT is currently held, you do NOT need to obtain a WFR.

Trip Placement
Placement on a Wilderness Adventures trip is based on age, experience, skills, and our staffing needs. Considering an applicant’s application, references, resume, interview, and past experience, we place new staff on trips applicable to their skill sets and with co-leaders that will compliment both their skills and personality. Most first-year staff members will co-lead with a returning staff member. This allows first year staff members to have the chance to lead any of the trips we offer in any location, worldwide.

What’s a Wilderness Adventures summer like?
The summer begins with a two-week staff training. A portion of this training is spent in small groups in a backcountry setting, modeling a Wilderness Adventures trip. Then, as a large group, we will come together to discuss Wilderness Adventures various policies and procedures. During this time, staff members will meet with their regional directors in order to plan for their upcoming trips. Rest assured, staff training will leave you well-prepared for a summer as a WA leader. After training, leaders head off to their respective corners of the world to start their trips. Depending on your contract, you may have one, two, three, or more trips! Most leaders lead two or three trips, however. In between each trip, you will generally have some downtime in order to prepare for your next trip. But, keep in mind, a summer as a leader is extremely dynamic and full of hard work. Do not expect any traditional “days off.” That being said, it will be as rewarding and incredible as it is challenging and tiring! After your trips end, we will all reconnect at the end of the summer to share stories and debrief with administrative staff.