Big City Mountaineers Overview:
The mission of Big City Mountaineers is to instill critical life skills in under-resourced youth through transformative wilderness mentoring experiences. We believe that a meaningful experience in the outdoors has the power to change a life. On our expeditions, we combine the inspirational power of the outdoors with the support of caring adult mentors and professional wilderness educators to provide a safe and supportive environment for youth to develop teamwork, an increased sense of self, understanding of their place in the world, a passion for lifelong learning, and a commitment to environmental stewardship.
We provide free, fully outfitted and professionally led, wilderness mentoring paddling expeditions, backpacking trips, and overnight camps for under-resourced youth. Trips are designed to support and develop our student’s socio-emotional learning. We tailor each experience, create curriculum, and set goals in concert with our partner agencies so each student’s experience may vary but we are always seeking to teach or reveal civic mindedness, self-esteem, self-efficacy, responsibility, goal setting, resilience, and care for others.
Since 1990, our unique outdoor programs have had a net positive impact on young lives. Over the past 28 years, we have engaged over 10,000 kids, conducted nearly 800 expeditions, organized over 5,000 volunteers, led over 100 overnight camps, and provided over 45,000 nights under the stars for kids that would not have had the opportunity without BCM. We engage youth in seven cities across the country including Boston, Denver, Miami, Minneapolis, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle. Our annual budget is just over $1 million.
National Program Director Introduction:
Big City Mountaineers is seeking a highly qualified National Program Director to lead all aspects of the organization’s program operations. The National Program Director will lead and manage regional program staff, work in concert with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors to establish a strong strategic vision for BCM operations on the ground, and cultivate strategic program partnerships in all the regions BCM operates.
The National Program Director provides overall program leadership and management for all BCM program operations and is responsible for building and managing BCM’s Regional Programs in partnership with the Executive Director and Regional Program Managers. The National Program Director will set the standard for excellence and expectations, inspire and mentor staff, and will exemplify our mission and core values. The Director will have the opportunity to influence the organization’s next 3-year strategic plan and align program operations to support said plan and organizational vision.
The National Program Director will leverage a strong history of program delivery and evaluation to build a robust suite of program offerings, nonprofit partnerships, and strategic alliances that lead to deeply impactful experiences for our students that are sincerely appreciated by our youth agency partners. To be sure, of paramount importance is the execution of safe programs for the students we engage. The National Program Director is responsible for building and managing BCM’s Regional Programs. The position currently manages two full-time regional program managers (Colorado and Pacific Northwest) in addition to seasonal program coordinator positions in Colorado, Minnesota and California. The National Program Director will work collaboratively with the Executive Director and the Board to set budgets (regionally and nationally), align on capacity building requirements, and pursue new programmatic initiatives across the all of BCM’s regions.
In 2018, BCM executed 44 week-long expeditions and 16 overnight camps. We engaged 25 unique youth development agency partners and worked in eight National Forests. Big City Mountaineers plans to hire the National Program Director for the early fall of 2018. The position is a full-time, exempt, benefited position based in Golden, Colorado. The position reports to the Executive Director.
• Personal and professional values consistent with BCM’s mission, values, and principles
• Committed educator with a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and 4-6 years’ experience in outdoor education, youth development, experiential learning, or
• Outdoor recreation program development experience
• Strong leader with tested people management, organization, and administrative skills
• Clear and effective communicator – both written and oral
• Able to work effectively in a dynamic environment - Problem solver, flexible and adaptable
• Independent worker and cooperative team member
• Willing to travel to work hands-on with partners
• Experience supervising others in satellite locations
• Volunteer management experience
• Windows and Microsoft product mastery; Salesforce database experience a plus
• Comfortable giving and receiving feedback
• Ability to prioritize his/her work and manage multiple projects simultaneously
• Ability to inspire passion for our program
• Ability to cultivate collaborative relationships
• Program evaluation experience a plus
• Community organizing experience a plus
• Create and role model professionalism at all times. Uphold and follow all polices and
hold staff accountable for the same.
• Clean driving record and reliable transportation
• Current WFR or WMET and CPR
• Collaborate with Executive Director and members of the program team to develop and
fulfill program strategy, vision, and goals.
• Drive BCM Program innovation, including development and continual improvement of
courses, curricula, and impact.
• Ensure human resource policies and procedures are up to date and BCM’s operating
procedures and administrative standards conform to applicable laws.
• Initiate efforts that lead to relevant program certifications or recognitions.
Program Logistics and Risk Management
• Maintain a culture of safety by communicating and upholding BCM’s policies and
guidelines and keeping current with industry standards and trends.
• Manage national program schedule, partner on-boarding and contracting, and program
• Manage emergency response, on-call scheduling, and incident response procedures.
• Regularly review all field-based incidents with staff.
• Collaborate with the ED and the Safety Committee to address gaps in safety elevate
priorities. Develop content and delivery methods to ensure program safety reaches
everyone connected to BCM.
• Manage program risks by evaluating activity waivers, background checks, authorized
drivers, emergency documentation, equipment inspections, etc.
• Ensure that staff are properly trained to inform participants and complete all necessary
documents before participating in the activity.
• Review and revise as necessary local operating policies and procedures on an annual
• Maintain all necessary permits for operations, including annual land agency permits.
• Implement and review program evaluation processes.
• Respond to field emergencies sometimes as the incident commander, and perform on-call
duties for courses in the field.
• Manage, recruit, and hire regional/seasonal program staff.
• Oversee the long-term direction and programmatic structure of BCM.
• Manage program to highest quality and standards, and ensure programs are consistent
with BCM’s national vision and mission.
• Assist in developing and managing the annual program budget. This includes preparation
of future budgets, monitoring and evaluating the current budget, meeting established
deadlines, and advising the Executive Director and the Board of budget related issues.
• Advise and provide input to the Executive Director regarding organizational issues such
as long-term planning, policies and procedures, and financial matters.
Administration and Training
• Manage and update yearly trainings for Regional Program Staff, Field Staff,
and Volunteers to meet program requirements.
• Oversee the recruitment, selection, training, supervision, and evaluation of all full and
part-time employees of the program.
• Assist in processing all hiring and payroll paperwork ensuring accuracy and meeting
• Update the Volunteer Handbook annually based on program feedback and work with the
program team to improve volunteer preparedness and retention.
• Initiate, manage, and strengthen strategic community relationships that enhance program
effectiveness and sustainability.
• Communicate with BCM’s community of supporters, volunteers, donors, and sponsors
the impact of BCM programs.
• Develop strategy for community engagement and partnership building for programs.
• Participate in, and sometimes lead, outreach efforts, promotional activities, and
• Wilderness skills and experience appropriate for all courses conducted in program area preferred.
• Ability to participate in vigorous to moderate physical activity including but not limited to running, backpacking, and camping.
• Ability to lift and move a minimum of 40 lbs. and able to carry a pack weight of up to 60 lbs.
• Sitting or standing at a desk or computer 75% of time or greater.
Compensation: $50-55,000/year DOE, benefits available
To apply: Please submit your Cover Letter and Resume via email to
email@example.com. Please include “National Program Director” in the subject line.
Position will remain open until filled.
No phone calls please.
Employment start date: Early October