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Hiring: Forest Play - Assistant Leader
Organization: Forest Play
Location: Canmore  / near Banff, Alberta

Since our start in 2011, Forest Play has become a leader in providing high-quality nature connection programs for children. We know that one of the things that sets us apart are the guides and mentors that work with us. We are 100% outdoors all the time and we focus on connection — connection to nature, self and others.

Those who work with us:

  • love working with children (ages 4-12)
  • have a strong personal connection to nature built through their own time outdoors
  • are are adept at facilitating meaningful nature connection experiences through stories, activities, wilderness skills and games
  • enjoy being outdoors in all types of weather and are constantly curious about the world around us
  • know that nature is our home and our most powerful mentor

If this sounds like you, we would love to hear from you!

Email your application to:

Please indicate you saw this posting at GoodWork.

Detailed Job Description


  • Must have a sincere desire to work with deep nature connection mentoring with youth ages 4-6 in an outdoor setting
  • Minimum two years formal training (or equivalent experience) in a related field (Example: Early childhood education, outdoor recreation and leadership, wilderness skills, education, outdoor leadership/guiding)
  • Minimum one year experience in a related field (Examples: Wilderness/Forest schools, nature/park interpretation, early childhood education/teaching)
  • Must have a valid Standard First Aid & CPR certificate (preference given to those with Wilderness First Aid)
  • Must be 20 years or older and have a valid driver’s license and transportation to Forest Play
  • Must provide a valid Vulnerable Sector check (1 year old or newer)

Personal Traits:

  • Passionate about working year round in outdoor settings in all weather
  • Versatile and able to adapt to changes
  • Basic proficiency as a storyteller, song leader and making nature crafts
  • Ability to safely use and maintain a variety of tools and gear (e.g. carving knives, saws, tarps, etc)
  • Physically fit and keen to run and play games with children in the forest
  • Commitment to peace, positive communication, inclusiveness, appreciation and integrity
  • Versatile and able to adapt to changes
  • Self motivated
  • Accountable
  • Commitment to joyful hard work
  • Ability to take directives when needed


  • Attend a training program in Coyote Mentoring (we will offer several programs during the year)
  • Mentor children and youth in deep nature connection and wilderness skills based on the 8 Shields and Forest School philosophies
  • Serve as a positive role model for children through a true passion for learning
  • Help set up and clean up program materials and spaces in a timely fashion
  • Assist with transportation of children when required
  • Assist with the design and facilitation of Forest Play programs for 4-6 yr olds and 6-10 year olds
  • Support participants’ basic physical needs throughout the day
  • Attend and positively contribute to high quality planning and debrief sessions
  • Report to Lead Instructors and Director of Forest Play
  • Identify and manage hazards and maintain a safe environment for children to learn and play
  • Set and communicate boundaries for children in a positive way
  • Provide equal positive attention to all children in the program and look for ways to help them grow and discover their unique gifts
  • When conflict or disagreements arise, commit to following the peacemaker principles and Full Value contract to resolve it in a timely manner
  • Keep a clean and orderly environment

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Experience with deep nature connection mentoring (8 Shields/Coyote Mentoring OR Forest School) working with children ages 4-10
  • Experience with, and knowledge of, wild edible & medicinal plants, tracking, local flora and fauna, aidless navigation, wilderness survival skills
  • Experience as a story teller and song leader
  • Wilderness First Aid
  • Completed naturalist or guide training programs (e.g. Kamana Naturalist Training program or the Interpretive Guides Association Apprentice Interpretive Hiking Guide certification)
  • Awareness of stages of childhood development and experience engaging children in developmentally appropriate activities


  • Opportunity to deepen your own connection with nature, manage stress and discover your own gifts
  • Opportunity to learn more about Forest Play programs through direct exposure and experience
  • Opportunity to learn wilderness skills including: aidless navigation, edible and medicinal plants, wildlife tracking, survival skills, naturalist skills and knowledge
  • Support and feedback for personal growth as a nature based mentor
  • Opportunity to work outdoors, immersed in nature and to receive mentoring in deep nature connection
  • Opportunity to work with creative and fun life-long learners who love being outdoors
  • Opportunity to build relationships within the outdoor guiding and nature connection movement

Position details:

  • This position is part time (summer programs run from 9am-3pm with an hour required for planning each program and additional 30-45 minutes per day for program set up and clean up. Afterschool programs run from either 9-3 or 12:00-4:00 with additional time required for set up, planning and clean up).
  • This is a part time employment position compensated by a hourly rate. Pay is $20-$24/hr depending on experience and other variables.
  • We may hire one leader for all programs (Mon, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) or split the days amongst multiple leaders depending on applicant schedules, experience and availability. 

To apply:

Send cover letter, resume and three professional references by email to:

Dave Verhulst, Director
Nature’s Tracks Forest Play

Please indicate you saw this posting at GoodWork.


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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Apr 12 2023    ID: 67841