BOLD & GOLD Backcountry Instructor

YMCA Camp Ohiyesa, 7300 Hickory Ridge Road, Holly, Michigan, United States of America Req #959
Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the foundation of community through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Imagine going to work knowing that what you do each day positively affects the lives of the people in your community. Working at the Y, you’ll discover more than just a job—you’ll enjoy a career with the chance to make a lasting difference in the lives of those around you.


Under the guidance of the BOLD & GOLD Program Director, the BOLD & GOLD Trip Leader will be responsible for the physical, mental and emotional safety of up to 10 participants on multi-day outdoor based expeditions. The YMCA BOLD & GOLD program is dedicated to inspiring courage and confidence in diverse groups of youth through outdoor adventures. We lead single gender and all gender backcountry and hiking trips ranging in length from 4 to 8 days in places like Pictured Rocks, North Manitou Island, and Isle Royale. Activities include backpacking 2-9 miles daily, canoeing, and backcountry cooking. Our goal is to increase confidence, courage, emotional intelligence, wonder, and community awareness in participants while emphasizing authentic engagement among participants and staff. We believe these traits are the foundations of leadership and work to inspire participants to develop their own leadership style. We prepare young people, from middle school to high school, to be the next generation of thoughtful leaders through multicultural experiential education in the natural world.


Our summer BOLD & GOLD program operates from June-August with mandatory training beginning mid-May. 


  • Create value-forming experiences for youth
  • Ensure that BOLD & GOLD program environment, equipment and supplies are adequate, appropriate and safe                                                                       
  • Facilitate the learning of outdoor skills during our 5-10 day wilderness-based courses
  • Ensure a physically, mentally and emotionally safe environment
  • Ensure that youth feel heard, understood, valued, and supported through active and authentic engagement 
  • Create an inclusive environment for youth in the outdoors
  • Assist with developing, refining and implementing lesson plans
  • Assist with trip preparation and gear storage between outings
  • Gather program testimonials, stories and media as requested
  • Comply with all risk management policies
  • Perform other tasks deemed necessary by the Program Director



  • Mission Advancement: Models and teaches the Y’s values. Ensures a high level of service with a commitment to changing lives. Provides volunteers with orientation, training, development, and recognition. Cultivates relationships to support fund-raising.
  • Collaboration: Champions inclusion activities, strategies, and initiatives. Builds relationships to create small communities. Empathetically listens and communicates for understanding when negotiating and dealing with conflict. Effectively tailors communications to the appropriate audience. Provides staff with feedback, coaching, guidance and support.
  • Operational Effectiveness: Provides others with frameworks for making decisions. Conducts prototypes to support the launching of programs and activities. Develops plans and manages best practices through engagement of the team. Effectively creates and manages budgets. Holds staff accountable for high-quality results using a formal process to measure progress.
  • Personal Growth: Shares new insights. Facilitates change; models adaptability and an awareness of the impact of change. Utilizes non-threatening methods to address sensitive issues and inappropriate behavior or performance. Has the functional and technical knowledge and skills required to perform well; uses best practices and demonstrates up-to-date knowledge and skills in technology.                   


  • Must be at least 18 years old, 21+ preferred
  • Professional instructional experience in an outdoor setting preferred
  • Experience cooking and camping in the outdoors
  • Trip leaders must be available for training starting mid-May
  • Must be available evenings and weekends
  • Commitment to working with people across multiple dimensions of diversity
  • Experience facilitating activities addressing issues facing adolescents
  • Experience making the transference of a wilderness experience relevant to the everyday lives of underserved youth
  • Strong group facilitation, communication, and conflict management skills
  • Current Driver’s License and ability to obtain commercial license, preferred
  • Must be able to carry loads up to 40 pounds on multi-day wilderness trek and navigate varied natural terrain in inclement weather
  • Excellent judgment, decision-making, and risk management skills
  • Proficient swimmer and backpacker
  • Current Lifeguard, First Aid, CPR certification (or ability to obtain within 90 days)
  • Current Wilderness First Responder certification (or ability to obtain within 90 days)
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an
employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable
accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential
  • Ability to plan, lead, and participate in program activities in a variety of indoor and/or outdoor settings.
  • Trip leader rate is $85/day
  • Access to pro deals and discounts
  • WFR certification provided

The YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit (“YMCA”) is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to be an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. The YMCA does not discriminate in recruitment, hiring or other terms or conditions of employment on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, sex, age, religion, national origin, genetic information, ethnicity, height, weight, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, military status or application or any other basis protected by state, federal or other applicable law.


The YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of children in our programs. We hold all staff, regardless of position, to the highest possible standards. We require all staff to be screened regularly and sign a code of conduct. All staff will be monitored when interacting with
program participants. We take any inappropriate interactions between program
participants and with staff very seriously and will fully cooperate with
authorities in any case of abuse. 

Location on Google Maps
  • YMCA Camp Ohiyesa, 7300 Hickory Ridge Road, Holly, Michigan, United States of America