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Outdoor Skills Instructor

Saint Paul, MN
Position: 2023 Outdoor Skills Instructor (AmeriCorps, ages 18 - 35)
Location: Saint Paul, MN
    This is not a residential program; participants must secure housing near the crew location
Service Term: 450-hour AmeriCorps position
  • Living Allowance: $2,076/month
  • Education Award: $1,718.25, if eligible and upon successful completion of program
  • Student loan forbearance (on qualifying student loans)
  • Health insurance
  • Childcare assistance
  • Training, certifications, networking
Position Summary: The Outdoor Skills Instructor will provide basic camping instruction, paddling instruction and environmental education for the I Can Paddle! and I Can Camp! programs. I Can Paddle! and I Can Camp! are part of several I Can! programs, sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  I Can! programs introduce Minnesota families to a variety of outdoor activities including camping, fishing, paddling and biking.
Outdoor Skills Instructors will co-lead single day and overnight workshops for canoe/kayak paddling and front-country camping. Each pair of instructors teaches basic skills instruction for 2-4 hour long drop-in workshops and 2-3 day overnight workshops.
During the summer, instructors will travel and camp at state parks and state water trails throughout Minnesota. Instructors are responsible for monitoring weather and completing pre-trip calls with DNR staff to ensure workshops are safe to hold. Instructors will provide environmental education, offering information about local ecology and natural resources during each trip. Instructors will also handle day-of workshop operations including communicating any necessary workshop cancellations, properly cleaning and storing all equipment and maintaining regular communication with DNR and Conservation Corps staff.

AmeriCorps Crew Members must be able to serve effectively on a team comprised of their peers, helping fellow members achieve personal and program success through the principles of team-work and service-learning. Members must be responsive to instructions and feedback delivered by the Crew Leader, Regional Staff, and DNR staff.

Duties & Responsibilities
  • Coordinate and provide instruction for camping, paddling and hiking workshops
  • Coordinate workshop logistics for multiple paddling and camping workshops each week
  • Communicate logistical details and equipment needs
  • Abide by Corps program safety regulations as well as applicable federal/state/municipal law and OSHA requirements; communicate any safety concerns and incidents
  • Review safety protocols daily, begin each workshop with a safety briefing, ensure workshop participants follow safety protocols and abide by the rules of the Park, ensure adequate safety equipment, first-aid kit and functioning communication devices are available on all workshops
  • Contribute actively to the team of instructors, demonstrating a commitment to the Corps values of safety, service, respect, equity and community, as well as justice, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Positive attitude, desire to learn new skills, interest in community service; represent Conservation Corps in positive manner in public
  • Serve a minimum of 450 hours and complete the entire service term per the start and end dates listed on the Member Service Agreement
  • Complete and approve timecards and other required reports and paperwork in timely manner

Hours & Schedule
Schedules can vary, depending on crew location. Crew members should expect to be scheduled for at least 40 hours of service per week. A typical schedule is Wednesday - Sunday, with hours varying depending on workshop schedules.  Service days include a mandatory 30 minute lunch break which does not count towards service hours. Overnight travel (3 – 4 consecutive days) is often required for workshops.

Training & Development
The Corps provides orientation and skills training at the start of the program year, and additional region or project specific training throughout the service term that may include:
  • Training provided for all equipment used:
    • Boats: canoes, kayaks and paddles
    • Camping: stoves, tents
    • Safety equipment: personal flotation devices, communication devices (phones, radios, GPS trackers), bailers, pumps, etc
  • AmeriCorps benefits
  • Team building and conflict resolution
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Safety and risk management
  • First Aid and CPR
  • MN Safety Council defensive driving
  • Trailer operation and safety
  • Leave No Trace principles.

Training consisting of no more than 20% of service hours will be provided as necessary.

  • Ability and desire to work well with others in a team setting, outdoors and in all weather conditions
  • Desire to education and inspire community members by fostering a safe and supportive environment for camping and paddling
  • Commitment to upholding Corps values of safety, service, respect, equity and community
  • Dedication to complete the full term of AmeriCorps service
  • Ability to perform the Essential Service Functions, which include:
    • Long (10 hour) days of hiking, paddling and camping
    • Heavy lifting, bending, and carrying up to 50 pounds
    • Walking and working on steep or uneven terrain
    • Working in extremes of heat or cold 
  • Preferred: Knowledge of basic paddling strokes and techniques; knowledge of basic camping skills
  • Flexible schedule to accommodate weekend out-of-town and overnight assignments
  • Must be a US Citizen, US National, or Lawful Permanent Resident Alien of the US
  • Must pass a criminal history check consisting of a National Sex Offender Public Website check, a state criminal history check, and a fingerprint-based FBI check. Passing the criminal history check is defined as no positive hits on the NSOPW and no history of violent offenses on the state or FBI checks.
  • High school degree, GED, or willingness to work towards obtaining a GED
CCMI requires all employees and AmeriCorps members to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 OR submit a medical or religious exemption request.

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