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25 May 2018

Full-Time Wilderness Program Manager

Pine River Institute Huntsville, Ontario, Canada

Job Description

Wilderness Program Manager

Start date: May 1, 2018

Reports to: Clinical Director

Location: Huntsville, Algonquin

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 Huntsville 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. We are currently seeking an experienced Wilderness Program Manager to help us deliver this unique program, primarily in Algonquin Park and Huntsville.

Key Responsibilities:

Supervises and effectively manages the Outdoor Leadership Experience portion of Pine River Institute treatment program in conjunction with the Wilderness Therapist. Reports directly to the Clinical Director. Serves as a member of the PRI Clinical Team.

Deliverables include:

  • Responsible for operational and logistical program implementation of Pine River Institute’s Outdoor Leadership Experience (OLE)
  • Manages all risk in relation to the OLE program in conjunction with Wilderness Therapist. Responsible for the safety and security of students, staff, and camp, and develops policies as needed to ensure safety.
  • Directs behavior crisis management with the Wilderness Therapist. Offers support and guidance to the OLE field staff, debriefing incidents, and ensuring best practices are followed.
  • Supervises Wilderness Program Coordinator who is responsible for group field gear (clothing, tents, canoes), food, laundry, route planning, drives, etc.
  • Able to create a supportive team culture, develops a system in which all staff are trained and developing in their roles.
  • Works closely with the Clinical Director and Wilderness Therapist to ensure that the PRI therapeutic model is integrated throughout. Actively involved with and supports the therapeutic needs of the students.
  • Provides ongoing evaluations of the program through observations and through participation in the field. Participates/observes areas of the program where students are having challenges, trouble shoots with staff, and offers feedback and guidance when needed.
  • Ensures development of structured, intentional and creative therapeutic programming.
  • Must be prepared to be part of a team to be on-call to address emergencies in the field
  • Works closely with the Admission Director to ensure smooth transitions to and from the school.
  • Develops collaborative working relationships with local organizations, e.g. police, park rangers medical and health resources.
  •  Ensuring that a full staff team is “ in the woods” each shift. Schedules field staff, arranges coverage for sick days and time off, and manages staff changes proactively.
  • Coordinate and oversee training for OLE staff including PMAB, CPR & New employee orientation
  • Responsibilities/duties may be assigned or amended.

HR & Payroll

  • Coordinating with HR for recruiting, hiring. Responsible for orientation, training/development, and staffing of the OLE program
  • Reviews resumes, conducts interviews, checks references and recommends hiring of Outdoor Leadership Experience staff.
  • Coordinating with HR the hiring of all OLE staff- including preliminary HR paperwork, interviews, checking references and supporting the orientation of new staff.
  • Building the staff schedule and ensuring adequate coverage for the woods at all times
  • Coordinate and oversee training for OLE staff including PMAB, CPR& New employee Orientation.
  • Approving timecards for all OLE Staff, OLE Relief Staff, OLE Support Staff every two weeks.
  • Managing the leave requests for all OLE field staff.

Qualifications, Skills & Experience

  • Demonstrated ability to implement a wilderness therapeutic program.      
  • Is capable of providing vision, sound judgment, leadership, integrity, patience, commitment and a sense of humour.
  • Masters level in relevant discipline is preferred. Experience in all aspects of a Wilderness Program required.
  • Experience with, and training, in child and youth care practices in a mental health or youth addiction program preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to be creative, flexible, self-motivated and professional with a commitment to personal growth and development.
  • WEMT certified preferred. WFR required.
  • Valid certification in current requirements in meeting industry standards for seasonal outdoor activities such as Bronze Cross or NLS for water based activities
  • Maintains current certification in Prevention & Management of Aggressive Behaviour (PMAB) and acquires the credentials to become a trainer.
  • Maintain Valid F Class Driver’s License or must obtain F Class, at employee’s cost if not qualified, within 6 months post hire date.

We offer competitive compensation, and the opportunity to be part of an exciting and innovative program. To learn more about Pine River please follow this link to our website –

Interested candidates should send resume and cover letter to: Gayle Dennison, Human Resources Manager or fax to 519-925-9220 by April 7, 2018

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 the interview.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send resume and cover letter to: Gayle Dennison, Human Resources Manager or fax to 519-925-9220 by April 7, 2018

Job Categories: Camp. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: addiction, residential, and youth counselling.

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