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Outdoor Adventure Jobs

Rock Climbing Instructor

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Rock On!

Reach new heights as a camp counselor and rock climbing instructor at Falling Creek this summer.

Rock climbing staff at Falling Creek will be able to instruct and climb on stunning natural rock faces in the southeast, as well as on Gilbert’s Rock, camp’s private rock face located nearby in Flat Rock NC. Some of the other locations where we climb include Cedar Rock, Crowders Mountain, Linville Gorge, Looking Glass Rock, Red River Gorge, Rumbling Bald, Stone Mountain, and The Obed.

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Rock Climbing Instructor Description

Throughout the summer you’ll guide and teach skills associated with single-pitch and multi-pitch climbing, including knot tying, movement skills, bouldering, risk management, and problem solving, to a wide range of ages and skill levels. You’ll be leading a variety of trips, ranging from short half-day adventures to epic five-day expeditions.

While you are welcome to bring any of your own gear, we provide all the supplies and gear you’ll need for rock climbing. Learn more about the adventure program or the climbing program at Falling Creek in these blog posts.

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What’s a Typical Day Like For This Position?

Rock climbing is a special signup activity at Falling Creek, like all of our Adventure Programs. You’ll make announcements about upcoming trips or prep lessons each day at Morning Assembly - campers can choose to leave their daily activity schedules behind and sign up to join you for half day lessons to 5-day long trips. Campers progress in the adventure activities based on their skill development, and trips are designed for different skill levels.

Through Falling Creek’s climbing program, you’ll be giving boys the opportunity to learn how to climb on real rock faces, improve motor skills, strength, and confidence, and enjoy the beautiful views from the summit. On a typical day, rock climbing instructors might start out by teaching the basics at camp, using the 40 foot rock climbing wall we have on property, or head to nearby Gilbert’s Rock to guide a beginner climb. As campers progress, you’ll be leading them on more challenging rock faces, and more advanced trips. Each summer builds on the progression made previously, and as climbing staff, you’ll be equipped to continue teaching and offering new challenges, no matter the level of the boy. You’ll be able to help many boys discover a lifelong passion for the outdoors by participating in the adventure program!

Sound Like Fun?
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When not on a trip off-property, male camp counselors live in a cabin with one other counselor and eight campers. In addition to their activity/trip instruction, male counselors will have an assortment of responsibilities related to the management of their cabin. Female camp counselors also serve as activity/trip staff, but don’t live in cabins with the campers, and are responsible instead for organizational tasks during the times that male staff are busy with their cabins. Trip Leaders are responsible for the planning and logistics of rock climbing trips, and do not live in a cabin with campers.

Need internship credit?

Many of our counselors who need internship credit to graduate don’t realize that they can earn that credit while working at camp! We can coordinate with your department to tailor a unique learning experience, and have set up internship credit across a wide variety of disciplines. Read more about the value of an internship at camp or how to translate your camp experience to your resume.

Working at camp isn’t just fun and rewarding, it’s also a great way to jumpstart your professional development. The skills critical for success in today’s world are developed and practiced at camp, including communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and contribution. You’ll make connections with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds, across the country and around the world. Being a Falling Creek alumni also connects you to a network of former staff and parents who are business owners, entrepreneurs, outdoor industry professionals, and employers. We are frequently asked to refer our most talented staff members.

Career Development & Resources
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Why Should You Be a Rock Climbing Counselor?

Each day at camp brings adventure, physical recreation, and endless opportunities for personal and professional growth. As an outdoor adventure staff member, you’ll also earn your Wilderness First Responder certification during staff training.

As a rock climbing instructor, you’ll be a role model for the boys both on and off the rock. If you’re majoring in recreation management, sports management, or outdoor education, being a summer camp rock climbing instructor will be a rewarding experience that will give you helpful skills for your future career path. Even if your college major is unrelated to the outdoors or athletics, you’ll still be gaining leadership skills and networking connections that will give you a competitive edge in the job market, no matter where you’re headed next.

Each camper and staff is an integral part of the trip. You are not just signing up for a guide service, but each person pitches in to help with every aspect to make the trip a real team effort. The goal is to teach and prepare campers with the skills where they can learn to climb on their own, even after camp is over. The trips are progression based, meaning that boys can sample each of the five adventure sports camp offers or pick one and specialize to reach more challenging goals and skill levels each week. Falling Creek is committed to offer entry level and advanced trips with experienced staff to facilitate learning, growth, and fun.

Dusty Davis, staff ’82-’86, ’06-’21

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What’s My Time-Off Like?

Each week you’ll receive a scheduled time-off period of 34 consecutive hours. In 2023 the time-off period began in the morning around breakfast on the first day, allowed you to be off throughout the reminder of that day and night, and required you to return the following day in late afternoon, around dinner. Staff are also able to take an hour of “self-care time” each day at camp, where you are free to read, workout, nap, or do anything you need to “recharge your batteries” daily. Everyone gets the same amount of time off; the schedule is based on your position and role at camp. Being well-rested and refreshed is a must! (During session changeover weeks, this schedule is altered slightly.)

What Benefits Do I Get?

We offer a competitive and progressive pay schedule that is determined based on your experience, age, education, certifications, and other factors. See the 2024 Estimated Pay Sheet here. Staff working the full summer (Orientation plus 4 sessions) will have a base pay of $4300, not including additional pay, experience, and bonuses.

In addition to housing, food, and pay, each day at camp brings adventure, physical recreation, and endless opportunities for personal and professional growth. You are welcome to use the camp facilities and participate in activities during your free time, so long as it does not take away from a class or camper.

Visit our “What You Get” page to read more about the value of an internship at camp, how to translate your camp experience to your resume, resources, networking, and certifications offered.

When Do I Need To Be Available?

While individual dates may differ based on your personal contract, our summer season is from mid May to mid August, and our preference is to hire for the full season. For the 2024 season, All-Staff Orientation begins on May 30th. Closing day is August 16th after the final session. Depending on your role at camp, you may need to arrive earlier in May for additional training (Lifeguard Training, the WFR Certification Course, Compass Horse Training, Adventure Staff Training, etc.) The WFR training for adventure staff will begin on May 18. You also have the option to extend your contract by joining us for Father/Son Weekends and/or Family Camp.

What Essential Skills Are Needed?

Completed At Least One Year of College and/or At Least 19 Years Old.

Our mission is existing to shepherd the journey of personal growth through love and adventure. Staff must be dedicated to live by the Falling Creek Code.

Patient. Flexible. Team Player. Genuinely Enthusiastic. Friendly. Eager to Grow. Open to Offer and Receive Feedback. Able to Think on Your Feet. Good Decision Maker. Hard Working. Get-It-Done Attitude.

See more on our staff FAQs page.