Job Opening: Expedition Trip Leader

Job TitleExpedition Trip Leader
Reports ToExpeditionary Programs Manager
ScheduleJune 15–August 22, 2023
SalaryBased on experience: $130–$160/day during expeditions; $16–$17/hour while at base camp
Meals and camping fees included during expeditions

Job Description

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is in search of qualified on-water trip leaders for their summer teen expedition programs.

The summer is broken into three separate expeditions. The first called Champlain Discovery is a five-week program where teens ages 13-16 build 17’ sea kayaks and embark on a two-week expedition on Lake Champlain in the kayaks they built. The boatbuilding portion of Champlain Discovery is a day program that runs five days a week followed by the expedition. Trip leaders are responsible for student management during the building portion and will work with experienced boatbuilders. Not all participants of the boat building program choose to attend the expedition. Followed by Champlain Discovery are two one-week long expeditions. Expedition Champlain is a one-week rowing expedition and Sail Champlain is a one-week sailing expedition. Training in the rowing boats will be provided prior to embarking on the rowing expedition. Trip leaders for the sailing expedition will be selected based on sailing experience. Check out the Museum’s website for more information about the teen expeditions:

Job Schedule Overview

  • Kayak Building day program: June 19-July 7 (off July 4)
  • Champlain Discovery kayak expedition: July 9-23
  • Expedition Champlain rowing expedition: July 30-August 6
  • Sail Champlain whaleboat expedition: August 13-20
  • Based on trip leader availability, there will be several days of training prior to the expedition season. More information will be available in the spring
  • Trip leaders will have evenings and weekends off during the kayak building portion of Champlain Discovery, as well as several days off in between expeditions. The dates listed above are program dates only and do not include preparation and post days.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Ensure the emotional and physical safety of all participants while on trail.
  • Work with your co leader to make route and activity choices that will best serve the needs of your group and the current conditions.
  • Regularly communicate your route and any deviations from it to the Expeditionary Programs Manager
  • Work with your co leader to guide the healthy development of your group so that all participants are challenged and given the opportunity to grow.
  • Create an open and welcoming environment for all participants.
  • Establish a healthy and communicative relationship with your co-leader.


  • Current WFA or WFR certificate (WFR preferred)
  • Experience with kayak or other on-water trip leading and managing group dynamics
    • Sailing experience is preferred but not necessary to apply
  • Enthusiasm, flexibility, positive energy, and a desire to work with teenagers is essential
  • An understanding of how to create a physically and emotionally safe group environment
  • It is not necessary to be a boat-builder or woodworker, just a willingness learn and engage participants

Working Conditions

This position includes onsite, offsite, and on-water work. Work outside will occur in all weather conditions and includes evening and weekend hours.

Physical Requirements

  • Must be able to stand and walk on uneven ground and dock surfaces for extended periods of time and
  • Must be able to lift/haul +50 pounds. 
  • Strong swimming skills required


Expedition days are paid per diem (daily) between $130 and $160. This also includes all meals and camping fees while on the expedition. During preparation days, trip leaders will be paid hourly between $16 and $18 per hour. Pay rates will be decided based on experience. The Museum offers camping and running water to trip leaders on off days between expeditions. Camping is also available to staff during the kayak building portion of Champlain Discovery.

How to Apply

To apply, please email a resume, cover letter, and three references to Rebecca Burns, Expeditionary Programs Manager at

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions have been filled. Three trip leaders will be hired for the summer 2023 season. Offer letters will be sent as early as late January 2023. 

Equal Opportunity Employment

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.