The Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) is a collaborative effort between the US Forest Service Northwest Avalanche Center and the nonprofit Northwest Avalanche Center. The mission of NWAC is to increase avalanche awareness, reduce avalanche impacts, and equip the community with mountain weather and avalanche forecasts, education, and data. NWAC Youth Ambassadors will cultivate leadership skills and connect to their communities by advocating for avalanche education and safety.  

This program is designed for students that are passionate about recreating in the snow and want to bring that enthusiasm to the broader community. Students will learn to deliver a 60-minute awareness program to their peers via clubs, classes, or teams. No formal education is required as NWAC will be providing all training necessary to deliver a successful Avalanche Awareness Course. 

Training

All students will participate in 12 hours of training through both Zoom and in-person sessions. This training will cover dangers associated with snow covered slopes, resources for continued learning, and how to effectively present an avalanche awareness course. The course will wrap up with a field day where participants will go out in the snow with an NWAC staff member and an optional wrap-up celebration in-person at the NWAC office in North Bend, WA.  

Awareness Courses

Awareness Courses have been a staple of the NWAC’s educational programming through 1-1.5 hour beginner level avalanche education for those just starting out in wintertime backcountry exploration. The objectives of the class are to identify resources for recognizing avalanche risk and the need for further education. These classes are free and open to all levels and user types. NWAC contracts a team of up to 50 instructors annually to deliver these programs. Students will be provided all the necessary tools to teach awareness classes but will be responsible for identifying a group, class, or team to whom they can present the material.  

Responsibility Summary

NWAC is looking for highly motivated and enthusiastic high school students to be a part of our NWAC Youth Ambassador Program (YA). Ambassadors will actively connect with their school or community to deliver a student centric avalanche awareness class. Students will be given resources and support to execute this project and will work closely with a member of the NWAC education staff. The time commitment for the program is an estimated 25 hours over a four-month engagement. Ambassadors who complete the program in full can receive service hours for their work. 

Expectations

  • Partake in all YA activities (calendar below)  
  • Create an opportunity in your school or community with peers to discuss avalanche awareness 
  • Regularly communicate with NWAC staff 

Qualifications

  • Must be at least 15 years old to participate 
  • Students should be engaged and connected to their community 
  • Comfortable collaborating with peers and adults 
  • Clear and articulate written and verbal communication 
  • Passionate about the outdoors 

Recommended Experience

  • Experience with volunteer work 
  • Experience speaking in front of groups 

2021/22 Application

Interested applicants can apply through the button below. Applications Due: Jan. 6th 2022

2022 Youth Ambassador Key Dates

Date Time Location Activity Time  
2/1/22 Evening Zoom Orientation  45 Min 
2/3/22 Evening Zoom Training 1 1.5 Hours  
2/8/22Evening Zoom Training 2 1.5 Hours 
2/10/22Evening Zoom Training 3 1.5 Hours 
2/12/22All day NWAC Office, North Bend Training 4 4 Hours  
2/13/22All Day Snoqualmie Pass, WA Field Day  6 Hours 
Feb/March  Student Selection Teach Awareness Course 2 Hours 
4/1/22 Evening North Bend, WA Wrap-Up Celebration, reflections due 2 Hours