Outdoor Education Instructor

Outdoor Education Instructor

Outdoor Education Instructor

Shawnigan Lake School is a leading independent co-educational boarding school for ages 12-18 (grades 8-12) on Canada’s beautiful west coast. Our world-class facilities situated on a stunning 270-acre campus include ten boarding houses, a theatre, film lab, an observatory, salmon hatchery, rowing crew house on the lake, dance studio, state of the art Learning Commons and Library, recording studio, and robotics lab. Our diverse, inter-disciplinary and innovative programming helps shape the next generation of global leaders.

For more information, explore our Shawnigan at a Glance.


Shawnigan provides academic ambition to develop a culture of collaboration, independence and resilience in our students through educators and peers who inspire our students to embrace a love of learning by challenging them to solve problems critically and creatively.

Staff endorse our School’s values (Curiosity, Compassion, Community and Courage) and are deeply committed to our mission: Spark Minds, Kindle Hearts, Forge Futures.

We offer a competitive compensation package and a nurturing, family-friendly workplace. This is a full-time permanent opportunity.

Qualified teachers with a current BC Teaching Certification, provided they teach two (2) blocks or more, will receive a salary commensurate with the Shawnigan Teachers Grid.

Non BC Teaching Certified applicants will receive an annual salary of $55,000 per annum (September 1 to June 30).

Shawnigan Lake School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff (and volunteers) to share this commitment. Candidates will be required to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post, including checks with previous employers and a vulnerable sector criminal record check.


Outdoor Education Instructor

The Outdoor Education Instructor leads a custom experience for all grade 8 and 9 students through Shawnigan Lake School’s Outer EDGE Program and Beyond the Gates Program.


The focus is to provide a challenging and unique Vancouver Island outdoor experience for each student. In addition to outdoor skill development, the integration of First Nations knowledge and culture will be an essential aspect of connecting students to their local environment.

The Outdoor Education Instructor also leads a series of optional trips for grade 10-12 students. These trips offer challenges that are not available in other Shawnigan activities. They will develop skills and connect students with our local environment and First Nations culture through Experience, Development, Gratitude, and Engagement (EDGE). In addition to providing instruction in Search and Rescue (SAR), outdoors, and whitewater kayaking. The Outdoor Education Instructor leads instruction or coordinates instruction of recreational and industry level certification of students in qualifications that are pathways into BC’s Adventure Tourism industry.


Reporting to the Assistant Head, Co-curricular, the responsibilities of the Outdoor Education Instructor include but are not limited to:

Qualified teachers will be expected to teach a minimum of two (2) blocks.

Outer EDGE Program Implementation

  • Provide multi-day excursions in small groups of 10-12 students
  • Lead weekend and weekday trips for the grade 8 and 9 Outer EDGE program
  • Lead weekend and weekday outdoor trips open to all students. Trips focus on introducing students to the natural wonders of Vancouver Island, outdoor skills and the various skillsets of SAR
  • Direct a focus on learning about Vancouver Island and its outdoor and First Nations cultures
  • Link outdoor activities to curriculum objectives in academic subjects
  • Coordinate food ordering and preparation with House Directors/students/teachers

Beyond the Gates Instruction

  • Support the Beyond the Gates education team in delivering the objectives of the Beyond the Gates program
    SAR/Outdoor Education Instruction (weekday afternoons)
  • Prepare students and lead trips
  • Deliver curriculum and / or facilitate certification opportunities for students

SAR/Outdoor Education Initiatives

  • Create and support wilderness experiences for students during the School’s annual Ski Week at Manning Park
  • Support PE and other classes/instructors to deliver instruction and to prepare students for outdoor experiences

Risk Management

  • Maintain a purchasing, logging, and safety inspection system for equipment
  • Perform regular maintenance of outdoors program equipment
  • Work with the Assistant Head, Co-Curricular to perform budgeting and financial planning tasks
  • Complete post-trip administration and reporting


  • Wilderness or advanced First Aid qualification
  • Relevant post secondary education
  • BC Teaching Certification (an asset)
  • Recognized qualifications (an asset) (e.g. Paddle Canada, Sea Kayak Guide Alliance of BC, NOLS, or equivalent)
  • Overnight sea kayaking and hiking guiding experience (preferred)
  • Demonstrable experience as a first responder and outdoor search and rescue responder
  • Proven track record of successfully managing risk in variable and sometimes unpredictable instructional environments
  • Skilled at working with teenagers, preferably in outdoor environments
  • Strong communication skills
  • Proven record of professionalism, punctuality, flexibility, dependability and reliability
  • Excellent understanding of First Nations culture
  • Significant experience instructing high school students in sea kayaking, rafting, hiking, rock climbing, or white water kayaking
  • Additional instructional experience in one or more of the following areas:
    Swift water rescue, whitewater kayaking, rafting, canoeing, sailing, backcountry skiing, mountain biking, surfing, camping (summer and winter), camp crafts etc.


To apply, please send a resume and cover letter specifically expressing your interest in working at Shawnigan, to the attention of Nigel Mayes, Assistant Head, Co-curricular, via email at [email protected].


We ask you to please provide references at the shortlist stage of the recruitment process.

Shawnigan Lake School is an equal opportunity employer committed to establishing an inclusive, equitable, and accessible environment for all. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or any other basis protected by applicable law.

We express our appreciation to all applicants for their interest in this position, however only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Position closes May 30, 2024, or when filled.

To apply for this job email your details to recruitment@shawnigan.ca.

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