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Guided by the legacy of Sigurd F. Olson, programs offered through the Northland College Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute (SOEI)  intentionally immerse participants in the wildness and wonder of nature to both inspire and empower them to pursue further exploration of, and connection to, the natural world.

In collaboration with the Outdoor Education program, the SOEI manages the climbing wall to provide students, staff, faculty, and campus community members with access to a suite of holistic wellness-focused experiences that provide opportunities to explore and build skill in a life-long outdoor leisure pursuit.

The purpose of the climbing wall program is to empower members of the Northland community to embrace the wildness and wonder of active experiences in nature with skill, comfort, and confidence. Further, the program encourages a healthy lifestyle, facilitates social interaction, and enhances the total Northland experience though active participation, education and student development.

Responsibilities and Qualifications


  • Deliver excellence in service to Northland College by providing an exciting and supportive environment for members of the Northland community to learn and enjoy the sport of rock climbing;
  • Create a physically and emotionally safe recreation and learning environment for all participants, intervening as circumstances warrant;
  • Insure all paperwork and appropriate forms are signed, collected, and filed for each participant;
  • Maintain check-in and check-out of all participants;
  • Enforce all Northland College climbing wall rules, policies and procedures;
  • Perform set up and takedown of all climbing equipment;
  • Supervise all climbers and belayers engaged in climbing utilizing an appropriate supervision pattern;
  • Belay climbers when appropriate;
  • Instruct participants and groups on safe climbing, belaying, and bouldering techniques (i.e. teach climbing wall orientation, bouldering orientation, xlimbing orientation, and belay certification sessions);
  • Monitor check out and return of climbing wall equipment including harnesses, belay devices, carabiners, etc.;
  • Perform routine inspections and maintenance of wall elements and climbing equipment per written policies;
  • Assist in the storage and inventory of climbing wall equipment and supplies;
    • Create, set, and maintain new routes;
  • Work on special programs for the College community as well as outside groups;
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Enrolled Northland College student in good academic standing;
  • Eligible for work study through Northland College;
  • Dependable, trustworthy, and punctual;
  • Excellent people skills;
  • Ability to work with all ages;
  • Ability to work autonomously and in teams;
  • Current (or acquired within first three weeks of employment) first Aid/CPR/AED certification;
  • Positive references;
  • Ability to pass a background check to work with minors or vulnerable populations;
  • Preferred: At least one year of previous indoor or outdoor climbing experience;
  • Preferred: Previous climbing wall / gym work experience.


  • Regularly scheduled hours for staffing the wall (includes instruction, cleaning, maintaining equipment, planning, document management, use and incident reporting, etc.)
  • Belay certification classes, refreshers and training
  • Scheduled in-services and meetings
  • Scheduled classes and events on the wall during non-climbing wall hours by arrangement

Organization Details

Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Northland College

Number of Position Openings: 3