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Rustic Pathways logo
Company Name:
Approximate Salary:
15600.00 Per Year
Multiple Locations Worldwide, Ohio
United States
Position type:
Experience level:
2 - 5 years
Education level:
Bachelor's Degree

Program Leader (Summer 2017)

Rustic Pathways is a student travel organization which offers the world's finest experiential education, community service, foreign language, and adventure programs. Our destinations stretch from the white-sand beaches of Fiji to the rainforest canopies of Costa Rica, the high Himalayan mountains to the Great Barrier Reef, and many places in between. We provide superior quality travel and service in some of the most welcoming countries for students around the world. Rustic Pathways demands professionalism and integrity across all of our operations, insists on quality in all aspects of our programs, and places strong emphasis on the safety and well-being of our students and staff. We empower students through innovative and responsible travel experiences to positively impact lives and communities around the world.

Program Leader at Rustic Pathways

The Position

As a Program Leader, you’ll work directly with students, community partners, activity operators, and Rustic Pathways staff to lead our summer programs for high school students. Employment is from June through August in one of our 18 destination countries.

Expect to work long days in some of the most welcoming communities on the planet. Logistics lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, community service professionals, and globally conscious travelers are encouraged to apply.

Must be high energy and safety oriented, with a passion for experiential education.


  • Embody Rustic Pathways’ mission, vision, and values
  • Act as a role model and mentor to students
  • Follow Rustic Pathways’ safety protocols during interactions with students and program activities
  • Facilitate discussions drawing from your own personal experience and RP Discussion Guides
  • Deliver specialized curriculum related to the area of focus (select programs)
  • Manage day-to-day program logistics, financial responsibilities, and administrative tasks
  • Create positive and inclusive group dynamics
  • Monitor and manage student well-being and respond calmly to issues as they arise
  • Act as a liaison between Rustic Pathways and our community partners
  • Demonstrate responsible leadership and judgment

Job Qualifications

  • Education:
    • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university OR equivalent work experience with some college
  • Experience:
    • At least 2 years of relevant professional experience in service learning, tourism, outdoor leadership, youth mentorship, or experiential education.
    • At least 2 years of experience working with young adults and/or adolescents.
    • At least 6 months of international living experience, such as study abroad, volunteering, or a work exchange OR 6 months of professional experience in a cross-cultural environment.
  • Requirements:
    • Must be 22 years of age or older by May 30, 2017.
    • Demonstrated maturity and leadership skills.
    • Professional working proficiency in English.
    • Basic CPR and First Aid certification from a licensed provider. NOTE: Certifications must be obtained through classroom or in-person training only. Online certifications are no longer acceptable. Certificates must be submitted to Rustic Pathways at least three weeks prior to start of program leader training.
    • Fluency in Spanish required for employment in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Peru.
    • Professional working proficiency in Arabic, Burmese, French, Hindi, Khmer, Lao, Malayalam, Mandarin Chinese, Mongolian, Swahili, Thai, Tibetan, or Vietnamese a plus.
    • Professional working knowledge in the following areas and/or roles:
      • Outdoor Education
      • Leadership Instruction
      • Sociology or Anthropology
      • Marine Biology
      • Environmental Studies or Conservation
      • Mountaineering or Technical Climbing
      • TEFL or TESL
      • Middle School or High School Educator
      • Community Service Coordinator
      • Adventure Guide
      • Surf Instructor
      • Soccer Coach
      • Camp Counselor
  • Preferred Certifications (Including but not limited to):
    • Wilderness First Responder
    • Wilderness EMT
    • Ocean Lifeguard
    • Teaching Certifications (ex. TEFL/TESL)
  • Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
    • Appreciation for diversity in cultures and experiences
    • Excellent communication skills
    • Patient, enthusiastic, analytical, flexible, and solution-oriented
    • Passion for discussion-based learning and helping students make meaning of their experiences
    • Understands the value of experiential education and travel for high school students
    • Eager to learn from colleagues and enjoys open collaboration and teamwork
    • Able to maintain excellence under pressure and ever-changing conditions


  • Ability to work in one of our 18 country destinations from June through August for at least 6-10 consecutive weeks at a time (some schedule requirements may apply for program leader training in country).

***New for 2017: Critical Issues Programs***

New for 2017, our Critical Issues programs take a closer look at global issues as they are lived on-the-ground. These are programs are designed for students seeking to become change makers in their local communities or affect change on a global scale. On these programs, students explore specific issues with program leaders who have experience delivering content related to the program's area of focus, local experts, and like-minded peers, giving them the skills to become global citizens and impactful leaders. Critical Issues topics we are tackling in 2017 include global climate change, wildlife conservation, refugee and migration challenges, access to quality education, access to health and social services, international development, peace-building, to name a few.

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