National Leadership Conference Jobs

Adventure Team Specialist

NLC Adventure Team Specialists are interested, interesting adults from diverse backgrounds and experiences who specialize in team challenge and high ropes facilitation.

Our days are simpler. We challenge often but have more fun. The outdoors is our home. We work together to create a community where individuals are respected, and where our values guide our actions. We gain confidence, share, and have fun.

Set on 360 wooded acres and a mile of private Lake Michigan shoreline, Miniwanca is a breathtaking and inspiring setting for growth. Towering sand dunes and pines line our beach. This creates a perfect environment for discovering and developing your personal best.

The National Leadership Conference aims to challenge participants and take them outside of their comfort zone. Many of the activities that offer the most challenge are brought to us by the Adventure Team. Focusing on Team Challenge and High Ropes facilitation, these individuals are the rock star facilitators that keep participants safe while encouraging them to take risks.

Adventure Team Specialists typically:

  • Love working with young people and are team-oriented.

  • Provide opportunities for young people to grow and learn.

  • Have experience facilitating team challenge initiatives and/or high ropes course.

  • Understand the importance and connection between risk-taking and growth.

  • Have the skills to manage risk safely.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the dates of employment?

    The 2020 NLC staff commitment is from June 8th until June 20th. Staff are also asked to be part of  a two-hour call that will be scheduled for mid-April.

    What do we do in staff training?

    During staff training, NLC staff will learn all about the mission, philosophy and values of the American Youth Foundation. They will learn how to work with participants, how to facilitate activities, and will work to build our positive community. By the end of staff training, leaders will be prepared to lead curriculum, teach Interest Group activities, and more.

    Are food and housing provided?

    Yes, food and housing are provided for the entirety of your time at Miniwanca.

    What do the living arrangements look like?

    There are a few options for housing during NLC, but it’s important to recognize that those spaces are really only used for sleeping. Most leaders will live in our rustic cabins with a few other staff members. Some of our cabins have open windows with no screens on them and have flaps that roll down to cover the windows in inclement weather. We suggest leaders bring mosquito netting to cover their twin size bed. We also have housing available in our Seay and Compton dorm buildings.

    What is the salary?

    NLC positions are volunteer positions. We do offer a $200 travel stipend for everyone hired onto the NLC Staff Team.

    I don’t have a car. How do I get to camp?

    Miniwanca will provide transportation on the 8th from the Grand Rapids airport and bus station. It is also pretty common for staff members to carpool from different cities. A travel form will be made available once you are hired so you can let us know what your travel arrangements are.

    I have never been to camp before. Is that okay?

    That is totally okay! We are always looking to build a staff that is representative of our participant community, and many participants will be new as well. So long as you are open to new experiences and people, we are open to having you join our team.

    What does a typical day as an Adventure Team Specialist look like?

    Adventure Team Specialists will work with a team to bring the Team Challenge and High Ropes course curriculum to life. The A-Team will help facilitate 2nd year Quest, 1st year icebreakers, 3rd and 4th year climbing experiences, and more! The most important responsibility of any NLC staff member is fostering a positive community. We all pitch in where we can to keep things running smoothly, and attend/participate in all activities to ensure objectives are met.

    What if I have dietary needs?

    Miniwanca is able to support a variety of dietary needs and allergies. At each meal, Miniwanca will provide a dairy free, gluten free, and/or vegetarian option. Miniwanca is peanut and tree nut aware and will not serve anything with those products in it. Some snacks and desserts may be created in a facility that uses peanuts or tree nuts, and safe alternatives will be offered when those are the general option.

    “Being on the Adventure Team is such a great gig. I’m always learning new things and being inspired by the risks young people are willing to take.”

    What a summer at NLC looks like: