The Wilderness School (WS) is a program of the State of Connecticut, Department of Children and Families (DCF). Founded in 1974, the Wilderness School is a positive youth development program for young people ages 13-21. It serves as an enrichment program for young people looking to make positive changes. For many, the Wilderness School may serve as a prevention or intervention service. The Wilderness School programs are an enhancement to the work of social service agencies in Connecticut and are available to the community at large.
Wilderness School offers an array of courses and programs to meet various participant needs that consider duration of programming (from 1 to 20 days), proximity to roads and amenities vs. wilderness, intensity of activities, and facilitator to participant ratios. Activities may involve rock climbing, hiking, canoeing, ropes/challenge course, service projects, wilderness camping, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter-camping. Additionally, the program may facilitate mindfulness and reflective activities, therapeutic art activities, and teambuilding activities and challenges.
The Wilderness School base camp is located in East Hartland, Connecticut in the north-central part of the state. For more information about the program and location please visit us at the DCF Wilderness School.
What we can offer you:
- The opportunity to work for a Forbes top company: 'Forbes' State of Connecticut Ranked One of the Best Employers of 2023 - State of CT Receives National Recognition for Offering Job Growth, Competitive Benefits, and Flexible Schedule.
- NEW: A Platinum Healthcare Plan, the nation’s best for state employees and dependents, according to a report by Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reform and article by Ellen Andrews, Ph.D., along with comprehensive benefit offerings
- Extensive pension plan and supplemental retirement offerings.
- Generous paid time off, including 13 paid holidays per calendar year.
- Professional growth and development opportunities.
- A healthy work/life balance to all employees.
The ideal candidate will possess:
A belief that all students have the ability to succeed, a "team first" attitude, group leadership skills, high levels of professional organization and office competencies, professional levels of facilitation (and teaching/training) of back-packing, canoeing, rock-climbing, challenge course experience, winter outdoor programming, and experiential education team-building games and initiatives.
- Full-time, 40 hours per week.
- First Shift
- 8:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Located at 240 North Hollow Road, East Hartland, CT 06027
- The minimum experience and training requirements must be met by the close date on the job opening, unless otherwise specified.
- Although applicants will receive correspondence via email, as a backup they are also encouraged to sign on to their Personal Status Board on a daily basis to monitor their status, view all emailed notices and complete tasks required in the recruitment process.
- In order to comply with Public Act 21-69, the State of Connecticut is no longer asking for resumes during the initial application process.
- This posting may require completion of additional referral questions (RQs). You can access these RQs via an email that will be sent to you after the posting's closing date or by visiting your JobAps Personal Status Board (Certification Questionnaires section). Your responses to these RQs must be submitted by the question's expiration date. Please regularly check your email and JobAps Personal Status Board for notifications. Please check your SPAM and/or Junk folders on a daily basis in the event an email provider places auto-notification emails in a user's spam.
- Note: At any point during the recruitment process, applicants may be required to submit additional documentation which support their qualification(s) for this position. These documents may include: a cover letter, resume, transcripts, diplomas, performance reviews, attendance records, supervisory references, licensure, etc., at the discretion of the hiring agency. Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications as indicated to apply for this position.
- Please visit our Applicant Tips on How to Apply page.
- Should you have questions pertaining to this recruitment, please contact Liz Pinette at firstname.lastname@example.org
- This position will be filled in accordance with contractual language, reemployment, SEBAC, transfer, promotion and merit employment rules.
- The immediate vacancy is listed above, however, applications to this recruitment may be used for future vacancies in this job class.
- All application materials must be received by the recruiting agency by the time specified on the job opening for the position for which you are applying. Late applications may not be submitted and will not be considered. Exceptions are rare and limited to documented events that incapacitate a candidate during the entire duration of the job posting time period. It is the candidate’s obligation and responsibility to request an exception and provide a legally recognized justification to accommodate such exception. Requests should be made to DAS.SHRM@ct.gov.
PURPOSE OF JOB CLASS (NATURE OF WORK)
In the Department of Children and Families Wilderness School, this class is accountable for the daily supervision of assigned wilderness programs and school operations.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES
Supervises assigned staff and assists Director in daily operations and general management of the Wilderness School in the areas of program operations (i.e. logistical support, requisitioning of equipment, supplies and food, authorization of state leased vehicles, etc.), outreach and enrollment; develops or assists in development of related policy; assists in formulating program goals and objectives; assists in preparation of School's budget; interprets and administers pertinent laws; assists in hiring of seasonal staff; schedules, assigns and oversees and reviews/evaluates work of field staff; organizes and directs field programs; provides technical instruction and assistance to field staff; designs new wilderness expedition, adventure education and outdoor leadership programs; develops new program sites; assumes responsibility for safety and control of all field activities; assists in scheduling and conducting agency orientations, student enrollment and follow up courses offered by program; advises Director on matters of field safety and procedures for conducting high risk activities; provides behavior management and group and individual therapeutic interventions as necessary; administers emergency medical treatment as necessary; conducts staff meetings and training sessions; maintains contacts with individuals both within and outside of the School who might impact on program activities; prepares reports and correspondence; performs related duties as required.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILL AND ABILITY
Considerable knowledge of current principles and practices related to positive youth development, preventive practices and therapeutic interventions for at risk youth, youth in and out of home care and delinquent youth; knowledge of relevant agency policies and procedures; knowledge of and ability to create and manage wilderness expedition, leadership and adventure education programs; knowledge of adaptive Outward Bound or similar therapeutic wilderness expedition education philosophy and methodology; knowledge of and competence in the following: wilderness leadership, expedition safety, group management and environmental practices; rock climbing, ropes course, white water canoeing and caving management, safety and rescue procedures; winter adventure activities including cross country skiing, snowshoeing and camping; group process and individual counseling; considerable interpersonal skills; considerable oral and written communication skills; ability to administer organizational operations; supervisory ability.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS - GENERAL EXPERIENCE
A Bachelor’s degree in counseling, education, psychology or social work or a closely related area and two (2) years of experience in adventure education, adaptive Outward Bound or an equivalent wilderness expedition program setting with emphasis in outdoor leadership, group management and safety, positive youth development and prevention and intervention practices for at risk youth.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS - SUBSTITUTIONS ALLOWED
A Master's degree in counseling, education, psychology or social work or a closely related area may be substituted for one (1) additional year of the General Experience.
- Experience in development of preventive practice and therapeutic interventions for risk youth.
- Experience in organizing, directing, and managing experiential adventure programming.
- Knowledge of Child Protective Social Work practices.
1. Incumbents must possess current Wilderness First Responder or equivalent and current American Heart Association (AHA) Healthcare Provider or American Red Cross (ARC) Professional Rescuer CPR (CPR).
2. Incumbents in this class may be required to travel.
3. Incumbents in this class may be required to possess and retain a valid Motor Vehicle Operator’s license.
AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
The State of Connecticut is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and strongly encourages the applications of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.