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Program Assistant - Outdoor Recreation

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Program Assistant - Outdoor Recreation
City of Durham Parks & Recreation

Position Description 

Important update on our COVID-19 process for new hires and employees: 
Employees who have not confirmed that they are fully vaccinated on their first day of employment will be required to submit for routine and ongoing COVID testing. Refusal to comply with the weekly testing will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.   Employees that are not fully vaccinated for the COVID virus and reported their status to Human Resources, will pay a $70 surcharge each month for their benefits in the next benefits election cycle as well as any cost associated with failure to meet wellness requirements.    

Work. Serve. Thrive. With the City of Durham
Advance in your career while making a real difference in the community you serve.

A nationally accredited team of passionate professionals devoted to building better lives and a better community through the power of parks and recreation. Our talented team at Durham Parks and Recreation is devoted to community service and provides a diverse range of programs, services, opportunities, and experiences while being united through our core pillars of creating equitable economic impacts; advancing conservation; rejuvenating health and wellness; enhancing quality of life and sustaining social equity.   

Hourly Rate:  $16.89
Work Hours/Days:  Work shifts vary and may be a combination of daytime, evening, and weekend hours 

Position is responsible for leading and instructing a variety of outdoor experiences and experiential learning opportunities for local youth, city staff, corporate entities and other clientele. Incumbent facilitates paddling, camping, hiking, environmental education, low challenge course and high ropes course programs. Programs take place weekdays, weekends, and evenings, and are based in the outdoors.  


Performs and supervises set-up and take-down tasks, accounts for equipment needs and prepares equipment for each program.
Interacts with participants, provides information and learning points during programs. 
Facilitates paddling programs, following basic instructional guidelines and ensuring the safety of participants while on the water.
Facilitates environmental education, leading groups through educational and exploration activities at various city and state parks.
Assists with occasional overnight camping experiences and other programs as requested by clients.
Facilitates the group use of the low ropes and high ropes facilities.
Maintains order and discipline, issues and collects equipment, and maintains equipment in a responsible and careful manner.
Assists in facilitating high ropes course programs by leading ground-school and warm-up activities, supervising movement through high course elements, and leading debriefing exercises with groups.
Follows all established safety procedures and standard operating procedures to ensure the safety of participants and spectators.
Prepares reports and maintains activity and attendance records.
Attends and participates in staff meetings, in-service training programs, orientations, and evaluation sessions.
Renders first aid in case of minor injury.

Group recreational supervision.
Expertise in a relevant specialty area.
Safety principles for outdoor activities.
Proper use of relevant equipment such as compression straps, boat trailers, ropes, climbing harnesses, lobster claws, and carabiners.
Outdoor recreation such as boating (canoe, kayak), hiking, and environmental education.
Management of participant safety practices during programs.
Communicating instructions effectively to individuals and groups.
Interacting effectively with groups of all ages and skill levels.
Organizing and instructing programs in the prescribed specialty areas.
Teaching basic skills to participants such as canoe stroke and putting on a Personal Floatation Device.
Problem solving, assessing participant engagement and managing risk.
Comfortably working at height, in an outdoor setting, and on water.
Report writing and record keeping.

Minimum Qualifications & Experience 

High School diploma or equivalent (GED, HiSet, TASC).
Three (3) months of experience practicing outdoor recreation skills.
Extensive knowledge of outdoor recreation skills in at least one relevant specialty area as evidenced by having completed college coursework or attended Outward Bound, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), or a Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts training program.
Must be at least 18 years of age.
A valid North Carolina Class C Driver’s License with a satisfactory driving record.
A valid Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED – with Anaphylaxis and Epinephrine Auto Injector Certification within the first six months of employment.
Incumbents assigned to high and low ropes courses must successfully complete departmental training and check off on skills, or obtain Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) Level 1 Ropes Course Practitioner certification.

Additional Preferred Skills 

Comfortable swimming in lakes/rivers.
Experience working with nature or environmental education programs.
Comfortable working in outdoor settings that include being on or over water and in high places.
Comfortable working with anxious or agitated clients/customers. 
Job Type
Part Time
Durham, North Carolina United States
Posted on
Expires on
Desired Start Date
Not provided
How to Apply
Thank you for your interest! Please apply at using the link below: