Part teacher, leader, creative thinker and intrepid adventurer with a dash of superhero thrown in, that’s our staff!
Meet Haley McNabb, Staff Recruiting Manager at Avid4 Adventure. Haley’s love of the wilderness began in the north woods of Minnesota, guiding 5-day canoe trips for teenagers at the same camp she attended. Haley loved instructing so much, she knew she wanted to make it her career. With a BA in Environmental Studies and Economics from Lewis and Clark College and an MA in Environment and Development from Kings College in London, you might think Haley isn’t your typical Avid4 Adventure staff member. You’d be wrong.
Haley started at Avid4 Adventure as an instructor, and when the opportunity came up, Haley transitioned into a Camp Director and management role. Now, Haley gets to facilitate the Avid4 Adventure experience not only with kids, but also with the entire staff.
What does it take to be an Avid4 Adventure counselor?
Most Avid4 Adventure instructors are working towards a career in the outdoors or in education – or both! Historically, the average age of Avid4 Adventure staff has been 26 years old. Teaching kids adventure sports requires sound judgment, credentials, and maturity. This puts Avid4 Adventure staff in a league above most summer camp staff.
Avid4 Adventure looks for both hard and soft skills when they’re hiring.
While some credentials and certifications are position-specific, there are some across the board requirements – and it’s important to note that most staff go beyond the following minimum requirements.
With an emphasis on safety and teaching kids to assess situations, use sound judgment and make good decisions, Avid4 Adventure isn’t just educating kiddos about technical skills. When McNabb is interviewing potential staff, she looks for 5 qualities in particular.
Avid4 Adventure’s hiring & training process
Summer camp recruiting begins mid-December and is a comprehensive process. Avid4 Adventure does extensive research into a candidate, such as performing a:
Yes, yes, Avid4 Adventure staff have impressive certifications and credentials, but the training doesn’t stop after hiring. For example:
In addition, those staff working within a specialty receive additional trainings. For example, special trainings are held for Discovery & Explorer staff since working with 3 – 6 year olds has its own nuances. There are more in-depth trainings for whitewater staff, Valmont bike park staff and lead climbers that outlines policies and procedures and gives trainers a chance to evaluate staff and ensure that they are up to Avid4 Adventure’s standards.
Both training programs are incredibly robust compared to the camp industry. Sessions include:
When asked what makes Avid4 Adventure staff unique, McNabb said, “Our staff get behind our mission and are drawn to the company because of our mission and core values. This is important because it allows us to positively impact so many families and kiddos that come through our programs.”
“Avid knows that its instructors are the heart of the company. It’s amazing to see a company so invested in their employee. This commitment to getting the best and being the best makes me feel proud to work for the greatest outdoor summer camp in the US!” – Matt K., Avid4 Adventure Educator
About the Author: Lynne Marsala Basche spent most of her career on the island of Manhattan at two New York publishing companies. A multi-year Avid4 Adventure mom and a contributor to the Avid4 Adventure website, Lynne’s writing adventures also take her to championing volunteerism and regional recreation stories as a staff writer for the Castle Pines Connection newspaper, as well as supporting separate large corporate communications programs. By trying to keep pace with her mountain biking, rock climbing, snowboarding, lacrosse playing, unicycling, tae kwon do-loving son, she, like most Avid4 parents, loves sharing the value of outdoor recreation and its positive influence on children’s health and confidence development. Lynne lives in Castle Pines, Colorado and regularly immerses herself in outdoor activities with her family where she also runs her freelance writing company, Blue Spruce Creative