Generation Wild Outdoor Educator (AmeriCorps)
*PLEASE NOTE: There are two AmeriCorps positions available with The Nature Connection. Although both positions will be completing similar tasks throughout their term of service, one member will focus primarily on the bike program and the other will focus primarily on the ski program. Please note which program you are interested in applying to in the subject line of your email. Program Overview:Led by the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE), the Environmental Education Corps (eeCorps) AmeriCorps Program places AmeriCorps members at organizations throughout Colorado to focus on increasing environmental literacy for PreK-12 students and implementing the goals outlined in the Colorado Environmental Education Plan. eeCorps works directly with teachers, schools, and EE providers to support them in expanding reach and increasing impact of EE programming, while providing access to equitable learning experiences for all PreK-12 students. eeCorps members provide direct service to improve outcomes in Environmental Stewardship and Education. AmeriCorps is a part of the Corporation for National & Community Service, often referred to as the “domestic Peace Corps.” AmeriCorps provides opportunities to improve lives and foster civic engagement all across the country. The Member will serve with The Nature Connection, whose mission is to eliminate the barriers to getting outside by providing fun, active, and educational outdoor experiences for youth and families in our community. The Nature Connection is a Delta County School District initiative, offering school-year and summer programs, youth pathways into outdoor careers and place developments to get kids outside in the community. Some of the specific programs offered include cross country skiing for students on the Grand Mesa National Forest and mountain bike instruction for youth across the Western Slope. Service Position Summary: There are two full-time eeCorps positions available. With the support of eeCorps members, The Nature Connection plans to launch a new program focusing on helping more kids and their families learn to ride bikes. One member will help develop and launch this inaugural program focusing on building confidence and cycling skills for kids at an early age. The second member will support the successful “Skis for Kids” program that introduces cross country skiing and winter ecology to over 1000 kids on the Western Slope each year. Both eeCorps members will also officially launch “Gear to Go” - a program aimed to empower local teachers with the opportunity to take their students outside by providing gear lending, outdoor skills training and logistical support for local teachers and community members. Essential Functions (Primary Responsibilities): eeCorps members engage with their Host Site organizations to develop, implement, and enhance programs, projects, and activities that will create progress towards eeCorps and The Nature Connection’s goals. These duties include: (Bike Program): Develop the curriculum for and implement a “learn to bike” program for K-3rd graders in partnership with school district teachers and TNC staff. (Ski Program): Deliver classroom programs and winter field-based activities including cross country skiing and winter ecology topics to 4th-6th graders on the Grand Mesa. Develop protocols and implement an outdoor gear lending program for local teachers and community groups. Support local teachers by leading teacher-trainings, in-class activities and field-based programs on camping/outdoor gear use, group dynamics in outdoor situations, trip planning and logistics support. Collaborate with TNC staff to develop outdoor and environmental education activities for school-break camps that meet the needs of participants from a diverse student population. Provide environmental education, outdoor skills instruction and overall supervision for a number of TNC field trips and school year programs including day-long field trips and school break outdoor day camps. Provide direct service to preK-12 students, teachers and families in Delta County and Olathe Track progress and collect evaluation data for the program’s performance measures Attend all eeCorps AmeriCorps trainings and orientations Complete all eeCorps required National Days of Service projects Complete and submit all necessary eeCorps paperwork and reports by predetermined deadlines Some local and out of town travel required Marginal Functions (Secondary Responsibilities): Additional tasks include: Maintain, repair and organize outdoor gear including XC skis, bikes, paddling equipment and camping gear used in teacher lending, school programs and community events Transport gear to programs using TNC provided vehicles and trailers Assist in service-learning projects with teachers and students including trail construction and outdoor classroom maintenance Attend TNC-supported field trips and special events Provide direct supervision and instruction for youth during outdoor programming Attend TNC-sponsored community lending events and provide gear check out, basic outdoor skills instruction and set-up/take down. Physical, Emotional, and Intellectual Demands: Extended time outdoors in various weather conditions in all four seasons Strenuous physical activity with up to 30 lbs of supplies transported short distances (Bike Program): Experience with safe bicycle use on/off trail. (Ski Program): Experience cross country skiing or other winter travel Basic bicycle and/or cross country ski maintenance Ability to swim and experience supervising participants in water activities. Experience backpacking and wilderness camping. Safely supervise participants in remote wilderness settings without reliable cell phone coverage. Willingness to self-reflect, and change and adapt strategies in order to best support diverse populations of school age children Desired Qualifications: Current CPR-first aid certification; WFA or WFR preferred (can assist with recertification costs) Ability to drive a vehicle off-road, in snow/inclement weather Experience driving a loaded utility trailer preferred 2 or more years experience working with youth in an educational setting Willingness to expand knowledge and expertise in outdoor recreation and program management Ethic of national and community service and a strong desire to create positive change Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing; computer literate High School Diploma or GED required, college graduate preferred Ability to pass the National Service Criminal History Check Reliable transportation, proof of auto insurance and pass motor-vehicle background check U.S. Citizenship or lawful permanent resident status required Residents of rural communities in Colorado are encouraged to apply Term of Service - Time Commitment: Each of the two available positions are full-time national and community service positions requiring, at a minimum, a total of 1,700 hours during the year (approximately 40 hours/week.) The position begins August 24, 2020 and ends August 4th, 2021. Flexible hours are required, including occasional evening and weekend commitments. Member must serve on Days of Service that take place on certain national holidays throughout the year. Training and Support Provided: eeCorps members receive significant training and experience in community engagement, project implementation, leadership, diverse populations, and more. Up to 20% of total hours served may be spent in applicable, approved training and professional development. Members will be supervised and supported by Ben Graves, at The Nature Connection as well as by Kat Riley, eeCorps Program Director. The 2020-21 cohort of eeCorps members serving throughout the region will act as additional resources and support for each other. Location and Service Conditions: This position is based at The Nature Connection headquarters at 397 Bulldog St. Hotchkiss, CO. 81419, and will involve service at other locations around Delta County and Olathe. Position is direct service, and will involve frequent days of service (outdoors and/or in a school.) Benefits:Full-Time eeCorps members receive: A living allowance of $14,900. Taxes are deducted and the living allowance is distributed twice per month by direct deposit to the member’s bank account. Health insurance for full-time members, if eligible Child care assistance for full-time members, if eligible An education award of $6,195 upon successful completion of term of service. It is possible to defer student loans while serving as an AmeriCorps member. Mileage reimbursement for travel to required trainings and days of service Option to obtain CAEE’s nationally-recognized Professional Environmental Educator Certification; ability to participate in regional EE leadership councils Non-tangible benefits including extensive training, valuable experience, networking, and the opportunity to serve the local community in a crucial area of need. A personal computer to use in completing service-related tasks during their term of service Diversity and Equal Opportunity: The Nature Connection believes that all people in our community, regardless of race, background, socio-economic status, and family circumstances should be provided with opportunities to experience our local outdoor opportunities and develop a connection to the natural world. DCSD Anti-Discrimination Statement:The Delta County School District does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation (which includes transgender), genetic information, conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, disability or need for special education services in admissions, access to, treatment, or employment in educational programs or activities which it operates.