program director


Envision yourself navigating the rapids of the Lower Salmon River in Idaho. Your kayak rises and dips over the swift current as you survey the rocks and eddies ahead. Twenty young adventurers glide through the waters behind you, trusting your guidance and relying on their own abilities to overcome obstacles at each turn. Your skillful leadership, along with the natural power of the wilderness, provides far more than a thrilling outdoor experience; It catalyzes change in the lives of those who face adversity and trauma. Through a LEAP Therapeutic Wilderness program, adventurers summon confidence and strength to meet the challenges of the river and learn skills that will enable them to tackle life’s challenges thereafter.

The Program Director plans and guides the growth of LEAP programs. This team player is a vital link in LEAP’s strong relationships with partner organizations and works closely with associated staff to continuously improve program design and delivery. The Program Director actively explores and establishes new partnerships based on feasibility and acquires specialized equipment as needed. He or she serves as the primary point of contact for all participants and assumes responsibility for communicating information about programs in a clear and timely manner. This role provides comprehensive support for all river guides and draws upon leadership abilities to effectively implement on-river curriculum programs. Working with the on-river team, the Program Director manages pre and post trip data collection in order to gather information and report on program results.  



• Schedules all program dates with partner directors

• Coordinates pre-program meetings with partners to develop participant-focused curriculums and goals

• Identifies and explores feasibility of new partnerships and assesses the need for specialized equipment on adaptive programs

• Implements effective recruiting strategies for program participants

• Issues registration packets, waivers, and photo releases

• Designs, develops, and distributes pre- and post-program informational materials

• Solidifies participant roster, noting dietary restrictions, allergies, and medications

• Schedules and leads pre-program Q&A sessions with participants, families and program staff

• Onboards, trains, and informs river guides on program curriculums

• Orders and distributes LEAP program gear

• Administers pre-and post-program surveys

• Identifies, develops, and improves metrics to measure impact of programs.

• Utilizes connections with OHSU Center for Evidence-Based Policy to collaborate on survey methods and measurements.

• Maintains organized program records

• Collects testimonials and provides marketing collateral to Operations Director

• Represents the organization through respectful, professional, and informed correspondence in person and via phone and email with participants, families and program staff.

• Demonstrates ability to build and lead teams, establish accountability, responsibility, and standards of conduct

• Prioritizes safety and well-being of program staff and participants by anticipating needs and ensuring adherence to program guidelines

• Demonstrates a shared commitment to the values and policies of LEAP and its program partners




Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent professional experience in Recreation Therapy, Nonprofit Leadership, Outdoor Education, or related field; Master’s Degree preferred

Leadership & Organizational Skills:

Excellent program management and organization skills

Ability to develop and implement effective recruitment strategies

Ability to bring together and lead diverse teams of people

Wilderness Experience:

Ability to work for extended periods in wilderness settings with few amenities

Compassion, Patience and Listening:  

Strong experience working with recovering or underserved communities


Demonstrated understanding of research methods and program evaluation methodology

Ability to collect and interpret program data and create reports


Excellent oral and written communication skills

Experience & certifications

Minimum two years small group facilitation experience

Minimum two years experience guiding or leading outdoor programs

CPR and First Aid certification

Wilderness First Responder certification  

Inflatable Kayak Guide certification -must be obtained 30 days prior to program dates


If you think this is a fit for you and your career aspirations, send us an email at that includes your resume, current certifications (if any), and a cover letter. 



Are you interested in joining our organization? We want to hear from you!

Our organization consists of in-season and year round team members to help run our programs and oversee behind the scenes operations. 

If you have administrative, fundraising, marketing, financial, or whitewater boating skills that you would like to bring to our organization, please fill out the following form. 

In addition, please send the following documents to

  • A current resume, cover letter, and list of three personal references.
  • Photocopy of relevant certifications if applying for a guiding position,: WFR, SWR, WFA, etc.

Please note that only applications that have fully submitted all documents will be reviewed.

Name *
Have you attended a LEAP program?