Frequently Asked Questions

Interested in becoming a WA Trip Leader? Reference the FAQs below to learn a bit more about this awesome opportunity!
Two travelers at the top of a mountain together

At WA, we offer a wide variety of seasonal positions. Our Trip Leader position is for those individuals who want to work guiding WA trips. Trip Leaders must be at least 21 years old and have a love for working with youth in the outdoors. Our Trip Counselor position is for individuals who aspire to be a trip leader but are not yet 21 years of age. Our WALI Instructors are hired to guide and teach for our Wilderness Adventures Leadership Institute (WALI) programs.

WA staff members have a combination of outdoor/wilderness skills as well as experience working with youth. Many of our staff members have worked in a camp setting or have led wilderness trips at their college or university. Each WA trip is a bit different, so the specific hard skills you need will vary on each program.  Some trips require significant backcountry experience, knowledge and training, and others require less as they are more  introductory in nature.. For technical skills (i.e. rock climbing, whitewater rafting, canyoneering, etc.), subcontractors join the group to lead these activities so expertise in these areas is not necessary.

Students face challenges and growth throughout their WA experience, but they also have a lot of fun! Being a WA trip leader requires energy, enthusiasm, and excitement to motivate students at all times. Flexibility, strong communication, decision-making skills, and a joyful outlook are all key attributes to being a successful WA trip leader!

Minimum Requirements for Trip Leader:

  • Minimum of 21 years old by employment start date.
  • 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 employment start date. (You can apply and then complete the certification before June or through our sponsored 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 5-12.

Minimum Requirements for WALI Trip Instructor:

  • College graduate.
  • 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 employment start date. (You can apply and then complete the certification before June or through our sponsored course). Advanced certifications are welcomed. 
  • Quality experience teaching/leading in a variety of settings, ideally with students in high school and older.

Complete the online application (available Fall 2021) to apply for a Trip Leader position at WA. Qualified applicants will go through an interview process (typically 2 interviews, one on the phone and one over video conference). Successful candidates will also undergo background and reference checks.

Our seasonal staff  participate in a training in Jackson Hole before the summer. Transportation/car storage to/in Jackson Hole is not provided. A specific schedule will be shared with applicants during the interview process. Typically, Staff Training occurs in the 2 weeks leading up to the first trips starting (early June).

No. WA hires Trip Leaders throughout the winter and spring months. Once the entire trip leading staff has been hired, trip placement occurs. Trip Leaders will receive their trip placement (itinerary, pack list) as well as their co-leader information in the late-spring.

Placement on a Wilderness Adventures trip is based on age, experience, skills, and 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 complement 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.

The season begins with staff training. A portion of this training is spent in small groups in a backcountry setting, modeling a Wilderness Adventures trip. As a  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 their upcoming trips. Rest assured, staff training will leave you well prepared for a summer as a WA trip leader. After training, trip 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! 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.

Travelers with backpacks walking in a line

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