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Outdoor Activity Jobs Working With the Disabled

by Megan Torrance

There's an incredible amount of opportunity when it comes to working with disabled individuals, even in outdoor environments. Camps, national centers and other organizations often hire program directors, event coaches, sport instructors and others for jobs that are essential in planning and executing daily activities. Individuals can choose to specialize in swimming, skiing, bicycling, horseback riding or other fields that offer work with a rewarding future.

Winter Sports Jobs

The National Sports Center for the Disabled in Colorado is one of many establishments that recruits individuals with winter sport experience to work with the disabled. Qualified applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent, although employers often prefer those who have experience engaging in or coaching the corresponding sport. Positions include ski or snowboard development instructors, competition coaches and snow sports training assistants.

Equestrian Options

The American Camp Association notes horseback riding directors and horseback riding assistants or specialists as common camp equestrian positions. At the National Ability Center in Utah, equestrian program instructors provide private or group lessons to participants with and without disabilities. These jobs require current first aid and CPR certifications, as well as extensive knowledge of horses and riding. The position may include daily care of horses and working nights, weekends and some holidays.

Waterfront Aquatics Positions

Jobs involving water sports are common in camps, though some establishments like Eagle Mount Bozeman in Montana offer full-time positions. Aside from the aquatics director, there are ways to work with the disabled as a lifeguard or a director of boating, sailing, water skiing or swimming. Qualified applicants must hold CPR, first aid and lifeguard certifications. Some employers may also require a postsecondary education, while others prefer experience or certification in water sport instruction.

Other Program Specialist Opportunities

Instructors and directors are necessary in areas other than seasonal sports. Applicants have a number of positions to choose from, specializing in adventure programs, environmental education, bicycling, gymnastics, archery and outdoor skills. Qualifications vary based on the position, though they all require CPR certification and experience in the field. Some jobs, such as teaching gymnastics, also require prior experience instructing the sport.

About the Author

Based in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, Megan Torrance left her position as the general manager for five Subway restaurants to focus on her passion for writing. Torrance specializes in creating content for career-oriented, motivated individuals and small business owners. Her work has been published on such sites as Chron, GlobalPost and eHow.

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