Canoe Trip Leader Position Overview

I’ve worked the last six seasons in a wide range of outdoor education roles, but my best experience by a large margin was with Project Canoe. The level of support and competency from management and co-staff is unparalleled. It’s a fun work environment and an excellent learning experience. There’s so much room to try new things and implement new ideas. The staff group grow together and really make the summer their own.
— Stewart, Staff Alum 2017

Canoe Trip Leaders are responsible for planning, packing and leading wilderness canoe trips for Project Canoe’s youth in Algonquin Park. Each canoe trip is composed of 2-3 Canoe Trip Leaders and 4-6 youth participants. Canoe Trip Leaders co-lead the trip and are responsible for reviewing relevant information regarding the youth prior to trip, engaging and supporting the youth and making appropriate safety and leadership decisions.  At all points of the trip, the Canoe Trip Leaders must maintain a youth-focused approach and keep emotional and physical safety of the youth as their primary concern.


Staff begin training in late May, which takes place over a four week period in Downtown Toronto. Training includes a certification in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, a 7-day staff training trip and specialized topics such as youth mental health, behaviour management, bullying, risk management and low impact camping practices. Room and board is provided throughout training and the remainder of the entire contract.

Canoe trips begin in late June and carry on throughout the summer months. Each trip is followed by 2 days off, 2 days preparation, then another trip. Each staff will spend 1-2 trip rounds in the city, during which they will contribute to urban programs, basecamp tasks, and have an extended break from canoe tripping.


  • Pay: ~$560/week

  • Contract Length: ~May 27th-Aug 31st

  • Provided: Room & Board in Downtown Toronto through contract duration. 4-weeks training period including certification in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention.

  • Application Deadline: January 14th

Preferred Experience

  • Experience working with young people, particularly youth facing barriers

  • Experience organizing and leading canoe trips

  • G-Class Driver's License an asset

  • Knowledge and experience working with marginalized, underrepresented and diverse communities (e.g. LGBTTQQI2SA+ clients, newcomers, individuals/families facing economic barriers).

  • Required: Bronze Cross or NLS

  • Required: Wilderness Advanced First Aid or Wilderness First Responder

  • Required: Must be aged 18 or over


  • Co-lead 5-8 day wilderness canoe trips

  • Help run urban programs for youth

  • Manage canoe trip emergencies and evacuations

  • Complete appropriate documentation, including youth letters

  • Engage youth in meaningful and individualized ways

  • Contribute expertise to staff training

  • Contribute to a work committee (e.g.: food, equipment, first aid, etc). This involves setting up and maintaining the systems that help programs run smoothly by preparing food, repairing and organizing equipment, packing first aid kits, etc.

  • Must be comfortable in a collaborative staff working and living structure

More specific details on these responsibilities can be found below


Applications are closed for the 2019 season. Check back in late 2019 for our 2020 applications!


Project Canoe is an equal opportunity employer, and we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive team. People from marginalized, underrepresented and diverse communities, including women, Indigenous peoples, people of colour, people with disabilities, people identifying as LGBTTIQQ2S+, and people facing economic barriers, are especially encouraged to apply. Please indicate in your application if you would like to be considered for employment equity.



Responsibilities: The specifics


Youth and Program

  • Model positive and prosocial interpersonal behavior for youth

  • Accompany and supervise youth on the bus to and from Algonquin Park before and after their trips

  • Review relevant information regarding youth to assure safe and appropriate programming

  • Plan and implement route and programming for 5- or 8-day long canoe trips

  • Complete documentation such as, but not limited to youth and guardian follow-up letters, incident/evacuation reports and youth evaluation

  • Follow Project Canoe’s philosophy for working with youth, Emergency Procedures and Risk Management Plan


Training and Committee Work

  • Actively engage in a comprehensive, 4-week training including both psychosocial and canoe-tripping sessions

  • Facilitate training sessions for peers, supported by Summer Program Director

  • Participate in and contribute to staff canoe trip

  • Be in charge of maintaining/organizing Food, Equipment, or First Aid Kits/Maps (responsibilities may include repairs, packing out, preparation, assembly maintenance, and inventory).

  • Follow budgets and keep accurate records of purchases.



  • Communicate professionally and offer feedback to colleagues, as well as reflecting on own performance

  • Engage in self-care in order to stay balanced, healthy and effective with youth

  • Contribute to daily living tasks such as cooking, cleaning, maintenance, etc.

  • Participate as part of a decision-making team and use peaceful conflict resolution practices


Still have questions? Email us at and we will get back to you as soon as we can.