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Backpacking Specialist

March 06, 2013 - March 24, 2013
Location:Portland, OR
Salary Range:$25-35 per day.
Employment Type:Special Project - Full-Time
Description:The Backpacking Specialist position is responsible for ensuring that the proper trail food and backcountry gear is prepared and packed for each of OMSI’s 6 Summer Science Camp Backpacking programs. The Backpacking Specialist will keep abreast of trail conditions, area maps, and update the program leaders as necessary. They will also have the opportunity to be the counselor for three of these trips, and be responsible for the health and safety of the students attending these programs, which may require staying overnight at one of OMSI’s camps occasionally. This position generally runs June through August.
“Performing the following will involve driving to various locations outside OMSI’s corporate headquarters:”

•Buy, organize, and pack food for backpacking trips.

•Check over and organize backpacking equipment.

•This position is an exempt, day rate position.

•This position is special project, scheduled for 40 hours/week.

Working Conditions:

•Room and board provided during days with programming.

•Flexibility in weekly schedules and daily programming.

•Extended hours and occasional weekends required. (American Camp Association time off standards will be met (2 hours off daily, and 24 hours or more off each two-week block)).

•Must be physically able to hike with students on strenuous trails of up to 10 miles in a day with a fully loaded pack.

•Work environment varies depending on the site of the program. Outdoor weather conditions vary from extreme heat to chilly, rainy nights.

•Must have visual, perceptual, cognitive and judgment ability to: recognize hazards in the backcountry, physical symptoms of injury or illness; respond verbally to health and safety concerns and to deal appropriately with any improper behavior.

•Vision requirements include close vision (clear vision at 20 inches or less), distance vision (clear vision at 20 feet or more), peripheral vision (ability to observe an area that can be seen up and down or to the left or right while eyes are fixed on a given point), depth and perception (three dimensional vision, ability to judge distance and spatial relationships), and ability to adjust focus (ability to adjust the eyes to bring an object into sharp focus).

•Noise level is very quiet (examples: forest trail, isolation booth for hearing test) to loud (examples: metal can manufacturing department, large earth-moving equipment),

•Physical Demands: 20% Sitting, 25% Standing, 40% Walking, 15% Lifting/Carrying/Pushing/Pulling Pounds 5 – 80 lbs


•Act as a positive role model for students and staff at all times.

•Provide first aid care to students and staff when necessary.

•Logistics and facility support includes food service, instruction, and other tasks deemed necessary for successful program operation by the manager, or trip leader.


•Strong organization and problem solving skills.

•Ability to communicate and direct small and large groups.

•Ability to follow basic instructions.

•Good customer service skills.

•Strong communication skills, both written and oral.

•Understanding of confidentiality and protocol.

•Ability to work with a team to share responsibilities throughout out the day.


•Working knowledge of small and large group games.

•Experience in speaking in front of a crowd.



•Backpacking experience.

•Experience reading maps and compasses while in the field.

•Working knowledge of budgeting and food purchasing


•Working knowledge of the concepts in natural history and ecology.

•Minimum 1 year of college experience.

•Minimum 2 season of working as a camp counselor for a residential camp program

•Experience working with volunteers.

•Bilingual - Spanish/English.



•Current CPR and first aid certification required (training can be provided).

•Valid Driver’s License for at least 3 years

•Pre-employment and/or pre-duty checks, such as criminal background check, fingerprinting, reference checks, American Camp Association (ACA) background checks (& on annual basis), requirements in the MVR Policy including passing Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) check and Alcohol & Drug Test for non-CDL Drivers Policy, including pre-duty drug test.


•Current Wilderness First Responder

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