Gwynn Valley Camp is seeking Earth Skills/Nature Connection Instructors


Gwynn Valley Camp, a co-ed residential summer camp located in Brevard, North Carolina, is seeking Earth Skills/Nature Connection Instructors to help develop and teach nature-based programs for campers in our “Mountainside” summer camp program, which is comprised of 50 boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 14.

We’re seeking people who have:

  • Experience in topics related to Earth Skills and Nature Connection. For instance: creating fire by friction, foraging for wild edible and medicinal plants, using knives safely and effectively, tracking animals, interpreting bird language, building natural shelters, weaving baskets, practicing camouflage skills and silent movement, cooking over open fire, making things out of buckskin/leather, knapping arrowheads, shooting bows and arrows, throwing hunting sticks and tomahawks, making coal-burned vessels and primitive pottery.
  • Experience teaching, supervising, and mentoring young people in wilderness settings, especially children ages 12 – 14. Ideally, we’re looking for people who have worked as instructors at nature education centers, youth camps, youth therapeutic organizations, or similar.
  • A personal passion for exploring the woods! We’re looking for Earth Skills Instructors who love visiting wild places, getting muddy, playing games, sharing stories, and learning about the natural world right alongside their campers.

Preference will be given to applicants who have:

  • Current certification in Wilderness First Aid and CPR (we can provide this training if necessary).
  • Training/experience in the 8 Shields model of nature education and/or the Art of Mentoring/Coyote Mentoring.
  • Knowledge of western North Carolina flora/fauna/ecology/geology.
  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent job experience.

Employment info

We are seeking Earth Skills Instructors to join Gwynn Valley as full-time summer staff. Full-time summer staff are involved in all aspects of the Mountainside program all summer long, which includes being on duty six days a week and supervising campers throughout days and nights as a cabin counselor. Earth Skills/Nature Connection Instructor responsibilities are woven into the bigger picture of the individual’s responsibilities as Mountainside staff. Full-time summer staff are paid a weekly salary from June 8 through August 11. Compensation is based on level of skill/experience.

If you have questions, please contact Kevin MacDonald at or 828-885-2900.

More info about Gwynn Valley Camp (“GV”)

  • GV is a residential summer camp for boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 16.
  • The maximum number of campers per session is about 235, with roughly 120 staff.
  • The camp season (when campers are present) is nine weeks long, starting in early June and running through mid-August. There are different session lengths ranging from one week to three weeks.
  • GV conducts traditional summer camp programming that includes sports and games, arts and crafts, horseback riding, archery, farm and garden, waterfront, camping and wilderness skills, and lots more.
  • As campers move into the older programs (“Mountainside” for ages 12 – 14 and “Riverside” for ages 14 – 15), there is more of an emphasis on off-site outdoor adventure trips that involve backpacking, rock climbing, whitewater canoeing, mountain biking, and earth skills.
  • GV is located just outside Brevard, North Carolina (about one hour southwest of Asheville).
  • GV’s campus is about 300 acres, most of which is forested. There are over fifty structures on campus, including cabins, a dining hall, a health hut, a horse barn, and a rock climbing tower. Other property features include hiking and mountain biking trails, a pond, a swimming pool, a natural rock face for rock climbing, and a large creek.
  • GV was founded in 1935 and has been operating for 84 years.

More info about GV’s “Mountainside” program

  • “Mountainside” is Gwynn Valley’s program for middle school campers (finishing 6th – 8th grades; typically ages 12 – 14).
  • Each session there are 50 Mountainside campers: 30 girls and 20 boys.
  • There are four Mountainside sessions per summer. Sessions 1-A and 1-B are each 10 days long. Sessions 2 and 3 are each 3 weeks long.
  • During the first few days of each session, all campers participate in a half-day to full-day introduction to the five Mountainside “Adventure Activities” (backpacking, rock climbing, mountain biking, whitewater canoeing, and earth skills); we call these introductory classes “Mini-Adventures.”
  • After each camper has participated in all five Mini-Adventures, they choose one of the five Activities to focus on later in the session. During the 3-week session, each camper participates in two Training Days in their chosen Activity to learn more about the topic and build relevant skills (there isn’t time for these Training Days during the 10-day sessions). The culmination of each Mountainside session are “the Adventures,” when all 50 campers (divided into  5 groups of 10 campers each, with 2 to 4 staff per group) head off-site for 3 or 4 days to camp out and pursue their chosen Activity.

Questions? Contact Kevin MacDonald at or 828-885-2900.