Self Directed, Nature Based Learning

Self-Directed Education is a whole-life, agency and consent-based process. When young people are free to learn on their own terms, they learn everywhere and all the time — not only in places and at times set aside for “educational purposes.” Self-Directed Education facilitators reject the notion that young people need to learn a standard set of skills and subjects by a certain time. Successful facilitation requires, among other skills, a deep appreciation for informal, spontaneous, and emergent learning processes. A commitment to self directed learning is essential for those interested in becoming part of the White Ash Learning mentoring team. There are a number of ways to become involved, please read through this information and fill out the application below.

Current Job Openings:

Lead Mentor (link)

Full time – Applications accepted on a rolling basis – starts August 2023

Event Assistant (link)

Full or part time – Application due June 23rd – Starts ASAP

Interested in volunteering or becoming a Substitute or Mentor in Training? Please read below. We accept applications for these positions on a rolling basis.

Guest Volunteers

We invite guest volunteers to offer a unique skill, activity, or experience. If you are interested in visiting as a guest, please propose specific offerings that you would like to facilitate. Your proposal will be shared with mentors and participants.

Substitute Mentors

When a mentor has a scheduled or unexpected absence we call on substitute mentors to fill in for one or more weeks depending on the circumstance. It is preferable that substitute mentors have a minimum of CPR/First Aid and ideally a current WFA or WFR. It is required to visit as a guest to become oriented to the program before being hired as a substitute mentor.

Mentors in Training

The Mentor in Training program at White Ash Learning is currently on hold. If you are interested in being notified if this opportunity becomes available again please fill out the form below. The MIT program has offered the opportunity to gain experience, receive on the job training, and become familiar with Self Directed Education. It is designed to provide employment, as well as support in developing the skills and experience to either become an Assistant Mentor with White Ash Learning or work elsewhere in the field. The position is best suited for those who are motivated to engage in this learning process and utilize the support and resources offered. The MIT role may be a good fit for those wishing to expand their skills and explore whether working in this field is of interest in the long-term.

The mentor in training role was a great entry level opportunity into the outdoor education field. I appreciated the ease into holding responsibility that it gave me, allowing me opportunities to take on greater responsibility only once I felt ready. It allowed me to get to know environment of White Ash before fully coming into a mentorship role with the programs, which I feel provided me with a stronger base of information and understanding when ultimately stepped into a full mentor role.

Lead and Assistant Mentors

We are looking for enthusiastic, experienced facilitators. You must be able to support self directed learning, following the curiosity of the group and supporting their interests. Programming is entirely outdoors, so a high level of comfort working outside in varied conditions is necessary. A deep love of empowering young people and prioritizing their autonomy is crucial to success as a mentor for this program, as is skilled communication and playfulness.

Mentors work an average of eight to nine hours on program days, which includes staff meetings. Full time mentors are paid an hourly rate based on experience, training, and certifications. There may also be opportunities for additional site work, please let us know your related skills if interested.


What we’re looking for

    • Passion for supporting self directed learning.

    • Experience with nature connection mentoring (8 Shields or alternative models).

    • Naturalist knowledge and wilderness skills.

    • Ability to independently lead crafts and diverse types of projects.

    • Working knowledge of English and familiarity with Spanish, French, ASL, or another language.

    • Current First Aid/CPR, WFA or WFR preferred.

    • Excellent communication skills.

    • Experience in conflict resolution with youth.

    • Strong desire for personal and professional growth.

    • Commitment to equity, regenerative culture and decolonization.

    • Active engagement in relationship with the more than human world.

We accept applications for these positions on a rolling basis.


Your Information

Check all that apply.
Check all that apply.


I understand that if considered for a position, this information will be used to obtain a criminal record if one exists.

As an EOE/AA employer, White Ash Learning Collective will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, genetic information, veteran or disability status, or any other factor prohibited by law.