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Wilderness Therapy Field Instructor

Trails Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

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Job Status: Posted 3 months ago

Year Round

Seasons For Hire


Payment Schedule


Employee Housing


Job Type

21 Years Old

Minimum Age

No Experience

Minimum Experience

Job Description

Trails Carolina is a therapeutic wilderness program located in Western NC offering a unique combination of backcountry expedition and base camp programming to help troubled teens reach their full potential. Our Wilderness Field Instructors (WFI) play an integral role in this process, leading youth as they engage in a wide variety of activities;

- Group backpacking expeditions in the beautiful wilderness of Western North Carolina

- Therapeutic work with horses to teach communication skills

- Yoga and mindfulness practice to foster a holistic sense of wellbeing

- Classrooms that reignite a love of learning through nature and hands-on engagement

- Primitive wilderness skills work to build confidence and mastery in the outdoors

-Adventure education activities like rock climbing and canoeing to challenge comfort zones and create peak experiences.

Wilderness Field Instructors are trained to support our students through building rapport, managing risk, and maintaining close supervision. WFI manage challenging behaviors, create opportunities for therapeutic insight, and work alongside therapists to help our students reach their goals. This role is challenging and requires a combination of passion, grit, and care. Many have called this ‘the hardest job you’ll ever love’!

You can learn more about our program at trailscarolina.com


Wilderness Field Instructors work a full time year round shift rotation of 8 days with students, followed by 6 days off. Food and sleeping arrangements provided on shift. (15on/13off schedule also offered)


-Wilderness Field Instructors must be 21 years old or above.

-Must have a clear background and be able to pass a drug screen.

-CPR/1st Aid Certified.

-Experience working with youth.

-Desire to face and overcome the challenges of working with troubled youth.

-Ability to fulfill physical demands of hiking and backcountry camping in a wilderness setting.

-Trails provides extensive training in backcountry skills and risk management, no previous backpacking experience required.


Based in the Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina.

Staff housing provided on-shift, staff can live several hours away on shift schedule.

Compensation, Benefits, and Perks:

Hourly compensation with the opportunity to increase in responsibility and rate based on performance.

Health, Vision, and Dental insurance available after 30 days.


WFR/Approved Training Support and reimbursement for Lead level and above.

PTO for Lead WFI and above

Pro Deals and wholesale discounts on gear

Up to four mental health visit reimbursed by TC

LQBTQ+ Supportive environment for students and staff

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $36,000.00 - $43,000.00 per year

International Applicants Accepted?