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Bushcraft & Primitive Skills Educator

Bay Area, CA

Apply Below after you read the following description.
If you feel you need more experience, we also have seasonal camp positions.

Bushcraft Instructor

Help change the nature of outdoor education through Bushcraft and Primitive Skills. We seek a mature, experienced outdoors-person inspired to share their passion for the wilds and wild crafting with youth. This position is full-time, year-round, and goes beyond simply a job—it ties you to a village.

Details

Scope:
Full-time, Year-Round. Starts when we find the right individual.
Location:
Berkley, California with some programs in outlining areas.
What:
You act as a leader and mentor with our kids, village & family. Many of our programs have a youth focus.
Required:
Relevant experience with bushcraft and primitive skills. Thoughtful experience in education essential. Capability to produce curriculum and navigate complex social dynamics in a mature and intelligent fashion.
Who:
Experienced individuals interested in and qualified for a full-time position teaching wilderness skills. We welcome applicants from all areas and regions (everywhere).
When:
Apply now.
Compensation:
$32,000 - $38,000 yearly depending on experience. Medical benefits.

The Position

This is a position of intensive leadership and responsibility. At the same time you need to take direct feedback from core members of Trackers Earth’s leadership team, our Regional Director, staff with long-time experience in our curriculum, and all participants.

The Culture

You’re not coming to do everything exactly your way. You recognize Trackers Earth has been very successful well before your arrival. You are also ready and excited for the challenge of collaborating with our staff to develop new layers of curriculum—always adding to its quality and depth.

Help us evolve and grow.

As a traditional skills community Trackers Earth can be different. We have boundaries with an edge that frustrate some. We work hard and get a lot of work done everyday. We insist on leaving egos at the door. Our motto:

We’re doing it wrong, let’s do it better

Every village has a livelihood that supports it. Currently ours is Outdoor Education and we see that role as a great honor.

Mentoring

Our programs are not total free-play, lord of the flies, or hippie-nature day camp—they have structure designed to thoughtfully deliver on our promises to parents and adult participants. This structure is intelligently planned so that it eventually leads to a truly liberating experience.

While compelling story and curriculum impact our content, we don’t necessarily follow a model of education. Applicants do not blindly apply a “model” of education. We insist on teaching real skills in our camp and programs; not simply playing games or discussing theory.

Your Schedule

The following is a likely schedule for this position. Yet since Trackers Earth is a dynamic organization, always expect the unexpected.

Summer and school breaks:

This is where you put in the most time. A full-time team of developers planning year-round allows us to offer one of the best summer and school break programs out there.

  • You also collaborate as a team. Between all of us, Trackers Earth inspires and educates nearly 6,000 total in all of our separate programs. Of course, you don't work directly with every single one of those 6,000 students, you work in a team of mentors. You help tell the story of their experience, assuming one of the primary roles of leadership as you oversee your team. We take this responsibility very seriously.
  • In these camps we do not just play games, we focus on real skills and experience. At Trackers Camps summer days are intense and invigorating. Challenging and powerful. Profound and even sometimes painful-yet always safe.
  • Because day camp programs occur weekdays, in the summer and other school breaks, your summer days off typically fall on the weekends.

The rest of the year:

  • You teach in our youth courses, developing long-term training relationships to identify potential staff, and core community members. 
  • We expect you to never stop learning simply because you became an educator. We schedule research trips with you and other staff that adds to the knowledge and skill-sets of our entire organization.
  • You develop and collaborate on curriculum for all of our programs connected to your most relevant experience (likely in our Rangers Guild, see below). This involves iterative implementation, testing, writing, and other facets of production.
  • Trackers Earth is already developing a body of educational resources that currently act as internal and external training manuals. You contribute to this venture, collaborating and helping create content for media. Additionally, you help contribute to the content on our blogs and other social media steams through writing, photos, video, and more.
  • Weekends programs have the highest school-year attendance, so during non-camp seasons your days off will generally fall on weekdays.
  • You pitch in with other programs or community events as needed when your schedule allows.

The Skills

You must go beyond the role of “skills expert”. If you want to put these skills into the practice of actually feeding the village, or subsistence foraging, then this might be the job for you.

Finally, you have to be creative, profound, and flexible enough to get a group of six year olds, coming from many different backgrounds, up to a capacity where they do more than feel successful, they are set upon a course of lifelong learning.

Important Don’t let the following list of skills stand in the way of us finding the most awesome person. We want to empower great people to apply. We understand qualifications are fluid. The “right fit" can also involve learning and growth.

The List

The list of useful skills encompasses bushcraft, wilderness survival, primitive skills, stealth, archery, and tracking. Other skills could include but not be limited to the following:

  • Good sense of humor.
  • Natural history and ecology
  • Educational experience thoughtfully managing groups, especially children
  • Competent risk management skill-sets for diverse outdoor educational settings and beyond
  • Strong framework and experience in outdoor safety, assessing and teaching flexible hierarchy of survival in emergency and long-term wilderness living situations
  • Practical navigation with and without compass and maps
  • Bow drill and other friction fire starts, fire in all conditions, fire safety with respect for regulations for the area operating in
  • Wood carving skills with a basic bushcraft knife
  • Respectful and almost obsessive care for tools and equipment
  • Coal burning for woodworking
  • Natural shelter without fire (not just tarps), must encompass survival and long-term shelters (having slept in many yourself)
  • Natural fiber work: cordage and more
  • Stone tools
  • Hide tanning
  • Primitive leather craft
  • Wild edible plants for subsistence with a functional knowledge of local botany (or capacity to rapidly adapt if relocating from out of our region)
  • Primitive outdoor cooking: rock boiling, pit cooking, roasting, and more
  • Food preservation and storage
  • Knowledge of outdoor and wilderness hazards with experience in primitive and modern methods of how to mitigate them
  • Knowledge of bird calls (aka bird language) and what they mean to within landscape
  • Print and sign tracking over varied terrain
  • Stealth and natural camouflage
  • Awareness tactics and training
  • Counter tracking
  • Natural navigation
  • Archery, throwing sticks, and other projectile weapons
  • Comfort in all weather conditions. Gets how to scale all-weather training and how to develop more rugged capacity in beginning students.
  • You get the grander picture of what all of the above is painting
  • Good time management and administrative skills. Yes, you can work in both an office and the woods. You get email and are efficient in getting the job done.
  • Extreme attention to detail and ability to be an organizational ninja
  • Exceptional consistency, reliability, and punctuality: You will be the clock by which all others on our team are set
  • A craving to understand why people do what they do; to work hard to make everyone on your team perform at a higher level and to be unhesitating in your pursuit of making this a better place to work for everyone on the team
  • Communication skills that are stellar; not only for your own written and oral communication, but to raise the calibre of everyone on your team
  • Comfort using various technological communications to collaborate with local and cross-regional colleagues including methods such as phone, email, Google Apps, carrier pigeon, etc.
  • Freaking hilarious: but NOT in jock-like, make fun of others way. More in wry, deep appreciation of life and the ultimate heat-death of the universe.

Our Rangers Guild

Trackers has its own lore that makes its curriculum more interesting. Our programs feature Four Guilds. Nerdy yes, but it works.

For this role you mostly act as a mentor in our Rangers Guild, but we ask that you apply your skills across all aspects of our community and organization—this makes everything more interesting. Here’s the story of the guilds. Obviously we’re pragmatic about how we apply them. When the story is useful, we use it. When it’s not, we go with better ideas. One of our core values:

All models are wrong, some are useful.

So we present our own wrong but useful model:

The Rangers Guild survives as the hunters and protectors of the Village. Versed in the arts of Forest Craft, they train in wilderness survival, tracking, and awareness. They are the eyes and ears of the Village, living completely with the land and tending to it, invisible as the Wind.

The Wilders Guild lives as caretakers, restoring the land to what it once was...and beyond. Through Folk Craft and Wisdom they tend to the balance of the Village, guiding the needs of the people into harmony with the rhythms of life in all seasons, rooted in the Earth.

The Mariners Guild fish and tend to the creeks, rivers, and oceans. Mariners chart their course by the stars, currents, and tides. In trade and salty wisdom, they demand Respect for all the life found in the depths of the Waters.

The Artisans Guild opens our eyes to noble purpose and possibilities. They act as our story keepers; travelers bare-of-foot, walking and sleeping under the twilight sky. They ask one and all: Always keep the hearth fire burning, Remember our story.


Fantastic & Intelligent Conversation

Flexibility: We want people who are quick, thoughtful, generous, and understanding about solving challenges. We thrive with people who find opportunity in complexity and never let themselves be overwhelmed. We need people who don’t make a practice of blaming others for challenges they encounter. When they observe something that concerns them, they don't add it to a laundry list to be addressed later, but instead, you ask helpful questions of the right people, right away. Now you know about...

The Riddle: Like many aspects of Trackers, navigating its intensity is a series of fantastic riddles we will never solve that lead us to fantastic challenges and possibilities. And that takes us to...

Conflict: More than just an employer, Trackers Earth is a community. That makes us awesome, but it also adds a flip-side—if you don't genuinely like, respect, and care about people, if you don't prioritize relationships over your ego's need to win, you probably won't last long here.

We don't avoid or pretend conflict doesn't exist. We strive to utilize it intelligently for the health of the village. It plays out in our camps and how we approach life. We can always do it better. And that brings us to...

Our Rules and Our Code

At Trackers we have 3-rules that entail a Code of Common Sense. Read on if you don't find such a statement overly pretentious.

The Rules...

  1. No one dies
  2. No wounds that don't heal in 4 days
  3. Follow the Code of Common Sense

The first two rules are pretty easy to understand, but the third one might need some explaining.

The Code of Common Sense

Pay Attention: Push the edges of your awareness: eyes, ears, and all your senses. Keep an open mind and heart. Don't restrict yourself with a narrow view of things. The challenges and opportunities Nature provides often go unseen. Pay Attention to the spaces and places most people ignore.

Be Truly Helpful: Understand the difference between what you believe is helpful and what is Truly Helpful. Complaining about being cold and hungry is not helpful. Building a campfire or catching fish is helpful. When you put the needs of your community first you become Truly Helpful.

Respect: Many think surviving in nature means struggling against it. Yet, like a Mariner sailing the currents of the sea, we can Flow with nature. Take the time to experience the true way of things: creeks, plants, animals, birds, trees, wind, clouds, stars, sun, and moon. By giving your time, appreciation and Respect, you become part of their Flow.

We're doing it wrong, let's do it better: Perfect is boring. There's no perfect way to shoot a bow or weave a basket. There is only progress. Be excited that you're always doing it wrong and there are countless ways to improve. Like the plants, animals and even mountains, you never stop growing. You can always Do It Better! This one ethos is what makes Trackers Earth very difficult to work with for some people and incredibly relevant for others.

Final Words

This is by far not the perfect description of this job. In fact, your role will be far more nuanced and in-depth. You’re getting more than a job. You’re creating a livelihood with a good group of people. If you get what we mean by this, you may well be a good fit.

Still interested? Apply Below
If you feel you need more experience, we also have seasonal camp positions.

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