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Wilderness Trip Leader and Counselor


Posted by Camping and Education Foundation on 01/05/2023

Job Basics

Industry Sector: Outdoor

Job Categories: Camp Staff & Counselors, Outdoor Education

Company Type: Recreation

State: MN

City: International Falls

Country: United States

Required Experience:

Business Phone: (513) 772-7479

Job Type: Seasonal Full Time


Required to Relocate: Yes

Required to Travel: Yes

Employee May Telecommute: No

Job Seeker Must Live Within:

Job Description & Requirements

Ogichi Daa Kwe & Kooch-i-ching — Wilderness Camps

Position: Wilderness Trip Leader and Counselor

Status: Full Time, Seasonal (mid-May to mid-August)

Location: International Falls, Minnesota

Salary: TBD, room and board included


Overview & Mission

Ogichi Daa Kwe for girls, and Camp Kooch-i-ching for boys, are non-profit wilderness camps that have been in operation for nearly 125 years serving young men and women from across the United States. Our programs combine challenging canoe and backpacking trips with a wide range of in-camp classes, games and activities.

Ogichi Daa Kwe’s mission is to empower the strong spirits of young women through wilderness trips and lifelong community. We value differences, promote empowerment and practice gratitude.

Kooch-i-ching’s mission is to inspire the growth of young men through fun and challenging wilderness adventures that promote self-discovery, teamwork and service to others. 

 Core Values

Be Helpful, Be Strong, Be Kind, Be Brave, Be Joyful 

Job Description & Opportunities

We are looking for strong-spirited staff women and men who share our values and have a genuine interest in working with young men and women in a wilderness setting.

Our trip leaders will guide wilderness trips to remote parts of Canada via canoe and the Western United States by foot.  They will live in cabins with campers, teach classes and supervise activities as part of our in-camp program.

Trip leaders will also guide campers through their daily routines, lead or supervise classes and activities, and promote a cabin culture that is fun, safe and appropriate. In the role of trip leader, staff members help plan, prepare for and ensure the success of wilderness trips ranging in length from three to 21 days.


  • Ensure the safety of campers at all times

  • Provide positive leadership during classes, activities, mealtimes and free time

  • Provide positive leadership on trips; help campers gain skills, develop self-confidence and work as a team

  • Lead or help teach classes; help campers work toward standards and goals

  • Lead or help supervise activities and games throughout the day

  • Adhere to all camp policies and safety protocols and ensure that campers do the same


  • At least 18 years old

  • Desire to work with children in a wilderness setting

  • Organization skills, self-motivated attitude, ability to handle multiple responsibilities

  • Ability to handle the pressures associated with working and living with children

  • Ability to work long and irregular hours, especially on trips

  • Ability to leave your phone and other devices in designated areas, to be used only in an emergency

  • Experience in at least one of our core activities: athletics, archery, arts and crafts, boatbuilding, climbing, low ropes course, riflery, sailing, watersports, wilderness tripping, yoga

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to lift at least 50 pounds

  • Ability to participate in strenuous activities such as hiking, paddling and portaging—often over challenging terrain and with heavy gear

  • Ability to work for extended periods of time while standing, kneeling, paddling, etc.

Preferred Experience & Credentials

  • Prior experience working with children

  • Prior experience canoeing or backpacking

  • Current Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification*

  • Whitewater training*

  • Lifeguard certification*

  • Other certifications: archery, climbing, low ropes course, riflery, sailing, boating

*Ogichi and Kooch-i-ching offers WFR, lifeguard certification, and whitewater courses prior to the start of the camp season.


If you are interested in this position, please contact Johanna Ernst at or JR Verkamp at 

Thank you!

Johanna and JR

About Camping and Education Foundation

The Camping & Education Foundation’s mission is to develop young men and women, in body and spirit, through wilderness experiences that celebrate a love of the outdoors. Headquartered in Cincinnati’s historic Hyde Park neighborhood, the Camping & Education Foundation operates two of the finest wilderness camps in America, Kooch-i-ching for boys and Ogichi Daa Kwe for girls. The Foundation also runs the Urban Wilderness Program in Cincinnati and the Wilderness Immersion Course in Ontario. It even sponsors Arctic canoe expeditions.