Frequently Asked Questions

FOR residential outdoor science instructors (ROSI)

Q: Where do I live?

We have two staff houses off-site, exclusively for the ROSI staff. Houses are about a 5-minute drive from campus. Some staff do not have cars; the houses are an easy bike ride from campus.

Q: What will I be teaching (what groups will I be working with)?

50 percent of your time will be spent teaching our Overnight Outdoor Learning curriculum to fifth and sixth graders from the Reno and Sacramento area. Our engaging lessons were recently rebuilt using Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards. Topics include hands on exploration of resource conservation, local ecology and biology, energy transfer, and engineering principles. 

The other 50 percent of your time will be spend delivering curriculum to our community partners and summer campers. Community programming focuses on leadership development or special needs adaptive programming. Summer camp programming includes aquatics, ropes course, sports, campfires, and trips. 

The challenge course is a very popular program area for our campus and instructors spend 2-3 days / week facilitating the course. 

Q: What type of training will I receive?

Instructors receive two weeks of training in the spring. One week is dedicated to challenge course, the other is dedicated to the Overnight Outdoor Learning STEM curriculum, teaching tips, behavior management techniques and risk management. You will receive additional training related to summer camp programming and other topics throughout the year, which include:

  1. Lifeguarding
  2. Cross-training opportunities supporting Sierra Nevada Journeys' credentialed science teachers in Reno and Sacramento
  3. Special Needs adaptive programming training
  4. Diversity / Social Justice / Restorative Justice training
  5. Training to incorporate Teen Leadership into the Rope Course
  6. Training to lead summer program areas such archery, kayaking and fishing

Q: What do people do in their free time?

Grizzly Creek Ranch is perfectly situated for outdoor recreation. Near campus, we have Lakes Basin Recreation Area, Bucks Lake and Lake Davis. Lake Tahoe is about one hour away. All offer outdoor recreation opportunities like climbing, hiking, skiing, kayaking and fishing. Additionally, Reno is 50 miles away. Many staff routinely visit Reno to stock up on personal supplies, go out to dinner, catch a movie or concert.

Q: How many instructors are there?

There are 12 ROSI staff, and we will bring in about 20 additional staff for the summer season (summer instructors, counselors and medical staff).

Q: Who else works on campus?

The program director directs all programming on campus and evaluates and updates programming.  They are supported by two program coordinators who directly supervise the ROSI staff and manage day-to-day logistics for all groups. The challenge course manager rounds out the program leadership team. Additionally, there is an Executive Director, Registrar, and full maintenance, kitchen, and housekeeping crews that provide our awesome food and help keep the campus looking spectacular.

Click here for more detailed information about the Grizzly Creek Ranch Campus.

Q: What is the food like?

Instructors are welcome to eat meals on campus any time they are being served. Our food is both kid- and adult-friendly. We always provide a hot and cold option for each meal and regularly accommodate dietary restrictions and food allergies for both staff and participants. We value our very strong reputation with campus visitors for serving great tasting, healthy meals.

Q: Will I be staying in a cabin with the students / campers? 

During summer camp, you will spend three or four weeks staying in cabins with the campers and leading activities during the day. You may be asked to stay in a cabin during the spring and fall seasons, but it is rare.

Q: What will my work schedule look like?

Daily work schedule varies with each group. With Overnight Outdoor Learning groups, instructors work from breakfast through evening programs (7:45 a.m. to 9 p.m.). There are some breaks during the day time. Hours vary when working with other community groups. Our campus is operational seven days / week and therefore your days off will vary. Some weekend work is required, and instructors work an average of five days / week over the course of employment.

Q: What professional development opportunities are available?

  • Create and manage your challenge course portfolio
  • Lead training segments during summer and fall training periods
  • Develop and execute interest-based projects (such as developing aquatics curriculum or trail building)
  • Work with diverse groups and populations (low income, special needs, leadership development, students, campers, teachers, adults)
  • Waterfront lifeguard certification.
  • Deep resume experience teaching elementary and middle school STEM subjects with a well-known, high quality education provider
  • Sierra Nevada Journeys is committed to providing meaningful Professional Development opportunities for our Instructors. In prior years we have sent ROSI’s to Next Generation Science Standards trainings or the AEOE Conference. Each year’s opportunities vary with timing, location, and applicability.