Course Instructors

One of Cascadia’s most positive attributes is our ability to search out and retain a distinctive group of talented course instructors as well as our core staff members.  We believe the experience and professionalism of our team is the greatest single factor in making our school so successful.  Everyone at Cascadia is deeply dedicated to creating positive and transformational experiences for our students as well as ensuring their safety and well being.  All of us here share a genuine passion for working with and mentoring young people.

Course Instructors clearly are the most influential bunch as they not only teach and lead the way, but also become friends and close traveling companions with their student group.  While on a course, instructors share their enthusiasm for exploration and adventure, as well as teaching, creating positive energy, and inspiring their students. Although individual backgrounds are diverse and notable they all have a special demeanor that characterizes a natural leader – one who is well grounded, charismatic, well-educated, but also easy going and fun-loving. 

To prepare for their responsibilities course instructors must first present their credentials and follow background check procedures. Lead instructors must prove their proficiencies in a multitude of outdoor skill sets and have undertaken an 80 hour medical training course (Wilderness First Responder) certified by the Wilderness Medical Institute. Next, all of our instructors and support staff attend our intensive ten day pre-course training which focuses on: Cascadia’s philosophy, school standards, group dynamics, leadership, communication, motivational techniques, safety procedures, and logistics. 

The average age of our lead instructors is 27 years old. Many hold advanced degrees and when not working with Cascadia they work as outdoor educators, school teachers, professional guides, or attend graduate school. Each course is run by a two person instructor team, most often a male and female who work together to create and execute the goals of the course. They are joined by staff assistants and interns, often past Cascadia students, to support the team. Together they work contributing to the full development of each student. Our student to staff ratio never exceeds 6:1 and typically is 4:1 ensuring plenty of individual attention and student success.

Summer Youth Programs, Outdoor Education Activities, Wilderness Adventure, Trips For Teens