Field Instructor

Upcoming Training Seminars


Coming Soon

Stay tuned for 2024 training dates!


Connect. Transform. Inspire.

Every student at Deschutes Wilderness Therapy has a dedicated treatment team helping them to achieve their goals and heal their trauma. Field Instructors are a critical core member of the treatment team. As a field instructor, you are responsible for experiential learning and creating a safe, healing environment that supports each students’ treatment plan. Field instructors form deep bonds and trusting relationships with students through empathy and service. Field instructors help to create opportunities for life changing growth in a challenging and fun wilderness environment.

As a field instructor, you will work with a small team of instructors and therapists, teaching clients how to improve their lives, their relationships, and regain their future.

Deschutes Wilderness inspires people to learn and live in a way that honors our values of service, growth and results through trusting relationships built with empathy. At Deschutes Wilderness Therapy you are part of a community that will embolden you to realize the fullest version of yourself. This will be the hardest job you ever have, and the most beautiful and joy filled job you will ever have. You will change children’s and young adults’ lives every single day. You will impact their lives in ways they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Field Instructor Overview

Orientation - What is Involved

Field Instructor Training Seminars

After a candidate completes the interview process, they may receive an offer and the opportunity to attend the next training seminar. 

The seven-day training seminar is an opportunity for new hires to learn about Deschutes Wilderness Therapy, develop the necessary basic skills, demonstrate their strengths and individual personalities, and be introduced to a Deschutes culture and lifestyle of a Deschutes Wilderness Therapy Field Instructor!

Here is what the training will include:

  • Student day- Fully immersive experiential activity from the perspective of the student experience
  • Our treatment model, CASA (Commitment, Attunement, Security, Acceptance)
  • Backpacking
  • Therapeutic groups
  • Safety, structure, supervision
  • Scenarios to identify guiding style and de-escalation techniques
  • A certificate from the Crisis Prevention Institute- our de-escalation training model
  • Canine integration
  • Meetings with our leadership team including clinical , experiential and educational, young adult and program directors
Orientation Topics

Training Seminar Topics:

Principles of Deschutes Wilderness Therapy

  • Safety, supervision, structure
  • 4 Pillars (Mastery, Educational, Canine, Therapy)
  • Relational Model
  • Trauma-informed care
  • CASA (Commitment, Attunement, Security, Attachment)

Program structural and protocol

  • Quick-cos
  • Check-ins
  • Camp layout
  • Hands/structured statements
  • Daily Structure
  • Jobs
  • Growth Zones

Emotional Safety

  • Self-disclosure/appropriate conversations
  • Communication
  • Consequences
  • Interventions/Closeness
  • Vulnerability

Boundaries, Expectations, Limits

Safety and Crisis Management


  • Challenges/beads
  • Solo
  • Games/Initiatives
Typical Work Schedule + Sample Daily Schedule

Our field instructors typically work eight (8) days on and six (6) days off, Wednesday to Wednesday.


Deschutes Wilderness Therapy utilizes both base camp and nomadic models that embrace simple outdoor living environments. Deschutes Young Adults program is a basecamp model includes two walled tents (a backcountry kitchen and a relaxed group gathering space with heat sources). Our adolescent group is nomadic. Students and field instructors sleep in individual tents and utilize basic outdoor living primitive skills.

Typical Adolescent Day Schedule

8:00 AM - Wake up

9:00 AM - Breakfast

10:00 AM - Finish Breakfast + check ins

11:00 AM - Camp chores, hygiene OR break down camp for hike day

11:30 AM - Therapeutic group, group games (on non-hike days)

12:30 PM - Lunch + growth zones (letter writing, therapy assignments on hike days)

2:00 PM - Games, day hike, arts and crafts, mastery etc OR start hike

3:00 PM - Dinner prep, unstructured group time (on non-hike days)

4:30 PM - Educational growth zones, letter writing, therapy assignments OR set up campsite and camp chores, dinner prep on hike days

6:00 PM - Dinner

7:00 PM - Clean up camp, hygiene

9:00 PM - Community time (games, music, fun, processing the day)

10:00 PM - Bedtime (Summer only, in winter it is much earlier)

Typical Young Adult Day Schedule
(subject to change based on community integration and excursion days)

8:30 AM - Wake up

9:00 AM - Students make their own breakfast

9:15 AM - Morning ritual (students spend time alone spread out doing their morning self care-journaling, reading, meditating, etc.

10:00 AM - check in circle, job circle and announcements

10:30 AM - Clean up

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM - Flexible time (a therapeutic group, experiential, cleaning camp, games, therapy, field showers day hike or doing growth zones, chores).

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM - Lunch

1:30 PM - 4:00 PM - Flexible time

4:00 PM - Chef and sous chef dinner prep dinner; games, art, causal hangout time

5:00 PM - Dinner (either at the group table or around the fire)

6:00 PM - Check in circle

6:30 PM - 7:30 PM - Clean up dinner & camp area

7:30 PM - 8:30 PM - Therapeutic group or a group game

8:30 PM - 9:30 PM - Tent time (self-care, reading, journaling, or mediating to slow down for the evening)


At Deschutes Wilderness Therapy we offer:

  • $500 sign-on bonus (paid after the first shift in supervision)
  • 90-day pay increases for the first year
  • $1,000 referral bonus for each employee you refer
  • $500 annual training stipend
  • Extensive training and development opportunities
  • Entry-level hourly positions estimated to earn approximately $45,000 and upwards in the first year (inclusive of bonuses and 90-day increases)
  • Additional benefits include PTO, health insurance, 401K, unlimited yoga memberships
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offering free therapy and other resources
  • Pro deals with numerous outdoor gear and apparel companies

What parents and alumni are saying