What are Field Instructors?
Wilderness field guides, otherwise known as field instructors, help to assist wilderness therapists by helping lead and safely teach groups of students in outdoor activities and adventures. As a field guide, you will participate in pre-planned activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, backpacking, skiing, and more. Field instructors are there to guide and supervise the students, it is important that they exercise sound judgment in order to ensure the safety of the group.
If you are looking for a place to begin your wilderness therapy studies, becoming a field instructor is certainly a great start. Field instructors have the opportunity to gain experience working with troubled youth, develop outdoor skills, and get to work closely with the therapist.
As a wilderness field instructor, you will work closely with the students. Some of the primary responsibilities you will have as a therapist include:
- Managing risks of activities while maintaining supervision over students
- Work as a part of the treatment team to fulfill the specific needs of each student
- Live and teach comfortably in the wilderness setting for extended periods of time
- Effective instruction in therapeutic content, including yoga and mediation
- Serve as a positive role-model
While field instructors do not require as many qualifications as therapists, there are still a few preferred skills and experiences needed in order to make an effective field guide. Common responsibilities of a field guide include:
- 21+ years of age
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Pass annual physical examinations and pre-employment drug screening
- Clear State & Federal background check
- Hold a current certification in CPR and wilderness first responder (WFR)
- Demonstrated leadership in outdoor or wilderness setting (preferred)
- Experience or educational background in therapeutic treatment, youth development, psychology, or a related field (preferred)
- Experience with yoga, meditation, or other mindfulness practices (preferred)