Outdoor Inspiration Leader - Girls+ Outside Program

Organization

Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center

Job status

Job Category

Job Type

Job Duration

Job Compensation Type

Remote

No

Contact Name

Kathy Zarsky

Contact Email

kathy@westcave.org

Deadline to Apply

Location

Austin (hybrid schedule), TX
United States

Girls+ Outside (G+O) is a program of Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center providing ~400 K-12 girls from 12 Austin ISD schools with opportunities to learn and grow together through time in nature. Enhancing a sense of well-being and positively influencing pro-environmental behaviors are two primary goals. The program fosters nature connectedness and everyday wonder while putting great care into creating the conditions for social bonding/trust.

Summary

Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center

Founded in 1976 as Westcave Preserve, the mission of Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center is to inspire people to develop a lifelong practice of enjoying and protecting nature. We accomplish this through educational programs, collaborative alliances, and conservation of our beautiful 76-acre preserve.

Job Summary:

The individual in this role is responsible for guiding and supporting the evolution of programs for K-12 grade levels in Austin and the surrounding area. The primary role of this position is to work outdoors with school groups. This position is a hybrid of remote and on-site field-trip-based work with occasional travel to Westcave to coordinate with G+O’s Program Director. 

The Outdoor Inspiration Leader must work in cooperation with co-teachers, administrators, volunteers, and other personnel of Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center. This person will report to the Director of Girls+ Outside and work to support continued program evolution and growth. This individual is expected to embody Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center’s mission and core values, leading by example. 

Availability: Position is part-time, year-round, M-F. The Outdoor Inspiration Leader is expected to meet with the Director of Girls Outside on a regular basis and attend all field trips scheduled between October and May with limited evening and weekend program potential. Potential to grow into a full-time position. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Share our region’s rich heritage, stories, and landscape to inspire and engage future nature-leaders.
  • Guiding of outdoor programs includes site preparation, setting up materials/props, student instruction, leading hikes, distributing gear, collecting feedback, and organizing materials after and between field trips.
  • Attend meetings as requested.
  • Assist in the development of Girls+ Outside long-term educational and well-being goals.
  • Participate in program evaluations.
  • Perform other activities within the scope of Girls+ Outside program as needed. 

 Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Qualities:

  • Be a creative team-player with a curiosity and interest in the natural world with a willingness to work with the public and youth from all backgrounds. 
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the outdoors, equity, and inclusion. 
  • Knowledge and experience with local flora, fauna, and natural history for guiding experiences in an outdoor environment.
  • Knowledge/interest of local indigenous cultural history and traditional ecology knowledge. 
  • Knowledge of age-appropriate activities and innovative lesson planning pertaining to outdoor education.
  • Knowledge of safety requirements pertaining to teaching in the outdoors.
  • Ability to respond appropriately to an emergency or a crisis.
  • Professionalism, excellent leadership, willingness to mentor and be mentored, organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Good judgement, tact, and courtesy when dealing with students, teachers, parents, and program partners. 
  • Attention to detail, good problem-solving skills, and flexibility.
  • Ability to work without direct supervision.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills. Grant writing experience is a plus. 
  • Experience working with Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, Excel, and Canva is a plus. Strong email communication skills (group emails, prompt replies). 

Professional Requirements:

  • Bilingual (English/Spanish). 
  • Certification in environmental education preferred. An interest in nature-inspired disciplines is a bonus. 
  • Experience with nature-based programming and education in non-traditional settings (nature center, forest school, camps, parks, etc.). Two years preferred.
  • Demonstrated interest in STEAM, conservation, and environmental education. 
  • Must have or be willing to obtain pediatric and adult CPR/AED/first aid certification and Wilderness First Aid Training.
  • Must have current FBI background check, Texas child abuse clearances.

Physical Requirements:

Leading guided experiences outdoors requires a reasonable level of physical fitness. Outdoor Inspiration Leader must be able to:

  • Walk long distances and pull garden carts with supplies over a variety of surfaces and rough trails for the duration of field trips.
  • Stand for extended periods of time, sit, kneel, stoop, crawl, twist, reach above head, climb stairs or ramps, and carry up to 25 pounds.
  • Be outside most of the day during all weather conditions. 

Ideal Candidate:

Girls+ Outside is a program that gives back to the communities that we are all a part of. The ideal candidate is a bilingual educator that has a love and knowledge of nature and the outdoors and enjoys guiding students of all ages. The candidate has excellent teaching skills, nurturing students in a gentle, positive, and discovery-rich manner. The candidate is a seasoned professional with leadership experience in nature-based education, and functions very effectively as a member of a collaborative teaching team. Organization, reliability, flexibility, playfulness, and love of being in nature are key to the role. This nature leader shares our values and wants to join us in connecting girls to the outdoors while cultivating meaningful relationships to place and one another.

To Apply: 

Email the following to kathy@westcave.org

Cover letter

  • Include answers to the following:
    • Describe a favorite memory in nature and why it stays with you.
    • What are you most excited to share with others when outside in nature?
    • What is your superpower?
    • What brings you great joy?
    • Describe an experience that grabbed your attention and made you curious to learn more?
    • What does community mean to you?
    • Have you had a meaningful mentor or mentee experience? If so, why?

Resume

Three references

 

Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. 

Compensation Information

This is a part-time, hourly position at $21/hour- up to 24 hours/week. The individual hired for this position will also receive all gear required in this role along with professional development opportunities.