Position Opening: School-Year Youth Programs – Assistant Instructor


Instructors commit to working one or more days of the weekfrom September to May, at either or both of these programs:

Click the links above for dates.

Our session is preceded by a Staff Training day in early September. (If you are unable to attend the training, please go ahead and apply and we can discuss it.) 

About the position:

We’re looking for Assistant Instructors to complement our teaching team. As an Assistant Instructor, your role is support the Lead Instructor in leading a group outdoors for a full program day. Each day includes 6 hours spent (4 hrs in the case of Foxwalk Forest School) with 10-12 youth and the Lead Instructor, and about 90 minutes with the full camp staff (to allow for meetings, set-up, & take-down). 

A love of children and an understanding of their needs is crucial to your success in our program, as is your skilled communication and playful spirit. 

Your main responsibility in this role is to support and collaborate with the Lead Instructor in developing program activities and ensuring the physical and emotional safety of the children. Instructors are paid for program instruction and time spent in staff meetings and trainings . More than a job, it’s an opportunity to grow and tend nature-connected community.


Desired Qualifications:  

  • Some experience with any of the following: nature connection mentoring, naturalist knowledge, outdoor living skills, and/or familiarity with past and present human relationship with the lands of this region. (If you don’t have much experience in these areas, we will support you in your development.) 
  • Ability to create a safe and nurturing program experience for all children and families, including those who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BiPOC), LGBTQ+, and/or disabled. (If you don’t have much experience in these areas, we will support you in your development.)
  • Group management and safety skills
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Current or recently expired First Aid/CPR certification (These are available locally in the months before camp begins and the cost is subsidized by VWS.)
  • Ability to perform essential job functions involving light-to-vigorous physical outdoor activity in all weather conditions
  • Ability to attend staff training sessions before your 1st day with youth; dates & times to be arranged with your Program Director.

What you embody:

  • Love of children
  • Love of nature
  • Attunement to the diverse experiences and identities participants bring
  • Playfulness and fun
  • Integrity & emotional intelligence
  • Humility & service-mindedness
  • Creativity & collaboration
  • Commitment to personal & professional growth
  • Commitment to equity and creating an inclusive space for all children


You will be paid hourly for your time in the field:

  • Blue Heron Community School: 27 weeks (1 program day/week). 9.75 hrs/week.  
  • Foxwalk Forest School: 27 weeks (1 program day/week). 9.75 hrs/week.

Approximately ¾ of these hours are spent with youth. The remaining ¼ are for daily staff prep and debrief meetings, email & phone communications, and required staff training.  The base pay for an Assistant Instructor is $15.75/hour. Individuals with current Wilderness First Aid/CPR certifications make an additional $0.25/hour. It may be possible to work multiple programs, depending on available openings.


You may apply to work more than one program.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage interested individuals to apply as soon as possible, and we anticipate that most Lead & Assistant Instructor openings will be filled by August 30. Some openings for substitutes may remain afterwards.

To apply, complete this form

More about who we are:

The Vermont Wilderness School envisions a world where every person and every community is able to cultivate a deep connection with the natural world. We believe this will only be possible alongside the replacement of systems of colonization, oppression, and extraction with new systems of equity, justice, and regeneration. Our vision and values are reflected in our employment-related decisions, including hiring practices. VWS actively seeks to employ a diverse staff.  We invite you to bring your own unique perspective, culture, and identities if you join us in this work.

As an EOE/AA employer, VWS will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, genetic information, veteran or disability status, or any other factor prohibited by law.