Start date:  January 22, 2018
Location: Algonquin Park (South River, Ontario) and near Shelburne, Ontario
Reports to: Outdoor Leadership Therapist

Pine River Institute is an innovative co-ed residential treatment program for teens struggling with addictive behaviours. We are a family-centered program comprised of 4 phases: Wilderness (Outdoor Leadership Experience), Residential, Transition, and Aftercare. Every student, upon entering the program, spends 8 or more weeks in Algonquin Park before moving to the residence. Day-to-day activities in wilderness include canoeing, hiking, snowshoeing, group initiatives, group and individual therapy, and journaling. Youths live and work in nature in groups of up to eight, with three staff.

Our campus is situated on 200 acres of spectacular Niagara Escarpment land near Shelburne, Ontario. The program here includes outdoor education, individual, group, and family therapy, expressive arts, athletics, and life skills, as well as the more traditional academic offerings.

This role is a combination of working at the school campus and working in the Field as support to the wilderness field instructors. This schedule will be a flexible schedule and will involve being on-call for wilderness work.

Wilderness based work: Responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Filling in for full-time field instructors when they are on vacation or sick/injured; 8 days in the wilderness or 4 days at school
  • When necessary this person may act as a third OLE staff in order to keep the group running smoothly (i.e. 1:1 with a struggling student, campsite restrictions, etc.)
  • Involved in instructor training – covering the group in the field, providing training to new staff, development and creation of new training topics
  • Monitoring general safety of entire group, and specific wellbeing of up to 4 students
  • Organize, lead, and participate in daily student activities
  • One-on-one mentoring of up to 4 students. Provide exceptional leadership, mentoring, and positive relationships with students.
  • Contribute, as part of a multi-disciplinary therapeutic team, to the evaluation of student progress and individual plan modifications as required
  • Help ensure the therapeutic goals of the program in general and the individual therapeutic plan for the students are realized

School based work: While at the school this person will be involved in all aspects of community-based programming. This person will help to supervise students if a full-time team leader is not available. If a field instructor takes a weekend shift off this person will work their weekend shift for them. Responsibilities include:

  • Organize, lead and participate in daily student academic, recreational and therapeutic activities
  • Provide exceptional leadership, mentoring, and positive relationships with students
  • Help ensure the therapeutic goals of the program in general and the individual therapeutic plan for the students are realized
  • Provide comprehensive written reports as required in a timely manner
  • This person will help to organize and run the Peak Experience trip, team camping trips, 1:1 wilderness solos, outdoor initiatives, low ropes development, and creative outdoor projects


We are looking for individuals with the qualifications and related experience in Wilderness field work, demonstrated sound judgment, integrity, patience, commitment, an ability to maintain clear boundaries, and a sense of humour. Required qualifications are:

  • WFR with experience managing backcountry medical issues
  • Minimum Bronze Cross Certification with NLS preferred
  • B.A., B.Sc., or college diploma in related field
  • Experience working with at-risk youth and young adults in a wilderness setting
  • Clear certification of Vulnerable Sector Criminal Check
  • Willingness to secure Canadian work permit, if required
  • Valid F Class Driver’s Licence (obtained within 6 months of hire date, at employee’s expense)

We offer competitive compensation, and the opportunity to be part of an exciting and innovative program.

Interested candidates should send resume and cover letter to Gayle Dennison, Human Resources Manager hr@pineriverinstitute.com or fax to 519-925-9220. 

We thank all candidates who apply. Please note that only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), Pine River Institute strives to ensure that all recruiting processes are non-discriminatory and barrier-free. If you require an accommodation, please advise in advance of attending an interview.