If you become a member of the RedCliff Ascent field staff, then you will live alongside students in the wilderness. You will be together for eight days at a time. During your time in the field, you will do everything that the students do, sharing the experiences of camping, hiking, primitive skills, and navigating group dynamics. Because RCA provides wilderness training, the appropriate attitude can often be the most important quality. RCA looks for people with a “we” mentality in their field staff, not an “us” vs. “them” mindset.
"We look for people who are humble. We look for people who are hungry," said Emily Novakovich, Human Resources Manager. "In addition, we look for people who are socially smart, and we look for people who are believers in the wilderness. We want people who are always going to be working on improving and learning."
RCA understands that families are trusting us with the safety of their children. It is a responsibility that we take very seriously. As a result, our hiring process is thorough.
If you are interested in working for RCA, then the first step is to complete an online inquiry form. The hiring managers at RCA will look at your previous experience. For example, they will evaluate whether or not you have worked in wilderness programs in the past. They will also look for wilderness first responder certification. However, RCA is willing to provide training to those who share their core values but may not have much previous wilderness experience.
Wilderness work is unique. If you have not experienced working in the wilderness before in another program, then it is difficult to imagine what the job requires. RCA will give you the opportunity to discover what wilderness work is like for yourself.
The next step is a one-week job preview. This preview last about the same time as one shift. During this preview, you will interact with our students and learn about our policies and procedures. If you like what you experience during the preview, then you may complete an application. RCA offers positions to the best applicants based on their performance during the preview, their resume, and professional references.
If RCA offers you a position, then you would begin a training period. This includes two days of training on Positive Control Systems (PCS). PCS includes learning how to build rapport with students and de-escalate conflict situations.
There is also one day of orientation. The orientation process will help you to understand the basics of what it means to work at RCA. If you do not have any previous wilderness experience, then you will have an additional training period. This training period is in accordance with state regulations. You will not become field staff right away. First, you will become an intern. You will work as an intern for three shifts, or 24 days total. During this time, you will be provided with training that will help you to pass an exam to demonstrate proficiency at the end of your internship period.
In order to complete your training, you will be expected to perform well in a variety of area including teaching and supervisory skills, water and food procurement, conservation and sanitation, and other procedures. The internship period is broken down into different sections so that you will cover all aspects of your required training. You will be asked to complete certain tasks that correspond to different aspects of your training examination. Therefore, by the time you are ready to take your state exam, then you will be able to demonstrate proficiency.
The training process can seem intense, but that is because we are being entrusted with an intense amount of responsibility. If you are interested in working for RCA because you want to help at-risk youth, please consider applying. RCA is always looking for compassionate people who believe in the ability of the wilderness to heal.