Summer Camp Backpacking Trip Leader


Hidden Villa Farm and Wilderness Preserve is seeking an energetic, responsible team player for the position of Head Backpacking Trip Leader. Hidden Villa is a non-profit, public benefit corporation with a 60-year history, focusing on environmental education. We use our organic farm, wilderness, and community to teach and provide opportunities to learn about the environment and social justice. Hidden Villa stretches over 1600 acres of open space in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, about 40 miles south of San Francisco. 

Position Title: Backpacking Trip Leader

Reports to: Teen Unit Leader

Exempt/ Non-Exempt:  Exempt

Position Summary

The Backpacking Trip Leader is responsible for the successful preparation and completion of Hidden Villa’s backpacking program, Bay to Sea. With the support of the Co-Trip Leader, this position will guide High School age youth with varying levels of backpacking experience, on three trips over the summer while creating a fun and educational experience that supports Hidden Villa’s mission.

Specific Responsibilities

  1. Ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all participants. Act as a First Responder in emergency situations.
  2. Management of risk for social, emotional and physical factors that occur and shape experience for optimum learning and growth. 
  3. Plan lessons for first-time backpackers: including trail health and safety, equipment use, meal planning, etc.
  4. Collaborate with Co Trip Leader on the menu in cooperation with Food Service Manager, order and purchase food.
  5. Create a fun, safe and exciting camp experience for teens in your charge
  6. Incorporate the Hidden Villa Mission in daily activities in camp and on the trail. 
  7. Build a cohesive team and role model collaborative teamwork for campers. 
  8. Address and document when there are camper adjustment or discipline problems
  9. Demonstrate excellent ethic and respect for the Regional, State & National Park system and its workers.
  10. Ensure that all ACA regulations concerning program are adhered to, including supervision ratios. 
  11. Provide opportunities for the group so that each individual experiences success during camp
  12. These are not the only duties to be performed. Some duties may be reassigned and others assigned as required


Essential Functions

  1. Ability to communicate and work with teens and staff in your program and provide necessary instruction.
  2. Abilities to observe camper behavior, assess appropriateness, enforce appropriate safety regulations and emergency procedures, and apply appropriate behavior management techniques. 
  3. Visual and auditory ability to identify and respond to environmental and other hazards in camp and on course.
  4. Physical strength required to lead an 10-day backpacking trip carrying a minimum of 70 lbs and respond appropriately to emergency situations.


Desired Qualifications

  • Possess the stamina and energy to safely lead others through difficult terrain, challenging weather and long days
  • Ability to work independently, with little guidance, for planning and preparation of the trip
  • Current CA Food Handler, WFR and CPR certifications
  • Valid Driver’s License and clean driving record (no major infractions) strongly preferred. 
  • Experience leading backpacking trips on and off trail for ten days or longer
  • Experience meal planning for backpacking trips, ten days or longer
  • Ability and experience working with high school age youth 
  • Ability to evaluate camper performance, minimize risk and give and receive feedback to a diverse staff and teen campers
  • Mastery of backpacking equipment and camp craft, including MSR Whisperlite stoves and water purification technique.
  • Ability to navigate with map and compass on and off trail through a variety of terrain and environmental conditions.
  • Knowledge of natural history and low-impact philosophy
  • Enjoy and feel comfortable in remote settings and be in camp community with little privacy
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to exercise sound judgment in decision making.
  • Manage self-care and energy appropriately in the backcountry for extended periods.
  • At least 21 years of age


Physical Requirements

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This job operates in an outdoor setting. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. While performing duties of this job, the employee is required to regularly stand; walk up to 15 miles on uneven terrain. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 70 pounds.


Benefits: $610 per week + experience. 

Hidden Villa is an equal opportunity employer.  We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and campers.


How to Apply

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