Youth Job Board

Program Manager Posted Jul 02
Cottonwood Institute , Denver, CO
Cottonwood Institute (CI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit that provides environmental education and service learning programs for middle and high school students. Our mission is to connect underserved students to the natural world and empower them to take action to improve their schools, the community, and the environment for future generations. CI partners with local middle schools, high schools, and youth organizations to connect students to the outdoors through low impact camping and service-learning projects. We run programs in Boulder, Denver, and Aurora and trips throughout the Colorado Front Range.


Cottonwood Institute is looking for an inspiring and passionate field instructor to lead 1-2 day camping programs throughout the 2018 fall season. Includes two to three days of work in the field each week from Sept 7th-Oct 28th, 2018, see the required trip dates listed below.

Work days vary but weekend work is expected, Mondays and most Tuesdays are off.

Programs include: Leadership and Teambuilding Overnights and CAP overnight camping trips. Most programs are based in close proximity to roads throughout the Front Range, however, several programs venture into more backcountry areas throughout Colorado.


**Must be available for the trip dates listed below**
Must be 21 years or older.
Current certification in Wilderness First Aid and in CPR
College degree (preferably in pertinent field) or equivalent life experience.
Valid drivers license, good driving record, and competency driving 15 passenger vans.
Willingness to be flexible to changing conditions and program demands.
A minimum of two years experience leading, instructing, or teaching teens in the outdoors including: outdoor cooking, LNT, backpacking, and general wilderness living skills.
Cultural competency and experience working with students from a variety of backgrounds including under resourced urban neighborhoods.
Passion for connecting with teenage students and empowering change.
Outstanding people skills; ability to work well with adults and teens.
Excitement for blending service-learning, environmental education, and outdoor education to craft and implement powerful programs based on the CI model.

Preferred Qualifications:

Current certification as a Wilderness First Responder and in CPR
Spanish speaking.
Experience teaching primitive survival skills.
Extensive toolbox of teambuilding and leadership skills.
Working knowledge of local flora, fauna, and environmental issues.

Trip Dates:

Sat-Sun Sept 8- 9, 2018
(Centaurus High School CAP class overnight) Packing on Fri Sept 7th TBD.
Wed-Thurs Sept 12-13, 2018
(STRIVE Prep - Federal Backpack overnight) Packing on Tues Sept 11th TBD.
Possible add-on: Fri Sept 14, 2018
(AXL Academy CAP Field Day) Negotiable if you would like to work back to back trips.
Thurs-Fri Sept 20- 21, 2018
(Angevine Middle School CAP class overnight) Packing on Wed Sept 19th TBD.
Fri-Sat Sept 28-29, 2018
(STRIVE Prep - RISE overnight) Packing on Thurs Sept 27th TBD.
Thurs-Fri Oct 4-5, 2018
(AXL Academy CAP overnight) Packing on Wed Oct 3rd TBD.
Possible add-on: Sat Oct 6th, 2018
(STRIVE Prep- Sunnyside CAP field day) Negotiable if you would like to work back to back trips.
Fri-Sat Oct 12 - 13, 2018
(STRIVE Prep - RISE overnight) Packing on Thurs Oct 11th TBD.
Thurs-Fri Oct 18 - 19, 2018
(Angevine Middle School CAP class overnight #2) Packing on Wed Oct 17th TBD.
Sat- Sun Oct 27-28, 2018
(Centaurus High School CAP class overnight #2) Packing on Fri Oct 26th TBD.

Responsibilities and Expectations:

Attend annual Cottonwood Institute Instructor Training (March 2019, details TBA) as well as CAP instructor training and additional training as needed for job requirements.
Complete job activities, responsibilities, and pre/post course logistics outlined in the Instructor Training Manual.
Communicate clearly with CI Administration, Co-instructors, and Partner Organizations.
Follow CI Emergency Action Plan and Risk Management protocol identified in CI Risk Management Plan.
Conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times.
Oversee the overall risk management during programming activities and be responsible for the safety of all participants and volunteers.
Attend a pre-course meeting with instructors and Program Manager to discuss the program schedule and main activities.
Drive students to and from sites and occasionally lead volunteer drivers with maps and good directions.
Facilitate groups of teens (and/or adults) in the field and create a physically and emotionally safe space for participants to experience themselves and the natural world.
Model impeccable camping, leadership, communication, and expedition behavior skills to the group and other instructors.
Implement assigned service projects when applicable.
Manage food, cooking groups and outdoor kitchen.
Record experiences with pictures, video, and participant quotes.
Complete post program logistics: return gear and rental vehicles, complete program paperwork, write blog post for the CI website, attend a post-program reflection meeting with co-instructors and program administration.


This is a temporary, seasonal independent contractor role with 2-3 days of work each week from September 7th, 2018 -October 28th, 2018. Weekend work is expected. Please double check list of required dates for this contract, additional dates TBD. Compensation will be based on experience ranging from $75-$150/day with $15/hour pay for packing before each trip and a short debrief/reflection time TBD in days following trips.


Send cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to