Where are you located?
New Vision Wilderness-Wisconsin serves preteens and adolescents (students ages 10-17). All programming is based out of the abundant Chequamegon National Forest in Northern Wisconsin which provides easy access from Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, and all throughout the Midwestern United States.
New Vision Wilderness calls Medford, WI home. Our work takes place in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest which covers more than 1.5 million acres of Wisconsin’s Northwoods. These lands are managed for multiple uses including forestry, wildlife habitats, outdoor recreation, fisheries, the gathering of special forest products, and wilderness therapy. Visitors find themselves coming alive among the visual rewards of nature. For many, our location is a vacation destination but NVW employees get to LIVE here!
Learn more about our field area by visiting the Ice Age Trail’s website.
From our Field Director
New Vision Wilderness (NVW) invests in hiring dedicated, passionate, and caring individuals who want to join our mission to Create Joy and Heal Generations! Come explore the beauty of the Northwoods. Our community is ready to welcome you!
Are you ready for the Adventure of a Lifetime?
I am Lauren Lingenfelter and as Field Director at New Vision Wilderness Therapy (NVW) I want to welcome you here.
This page is designed to help you understand more about our Relational and Trauma Responsive approach to Wilderness Therapy and the role of Field Instructors. I hope to introduce you to the essential work we do to Create Joy and Heal Generations. If you have questions or want to talk further about the Field Instructor role, please email me at lauren.lingenfelter@nvwild.
Come explore the beauty of the Northwoods. Our community is ready to welcome you!
What is our mission?
At NVW we serve preteens, adolescents, and their families. Field Instructors are a key component of that service as they are the primary caregivers to our students in the woods. As a field instructor, you would be responsible for the safety and well-being of our students, assisting with the best mitigating methods for the restoration of their health. Our program specializes in treating struggles related to developmental trauma, attachment, depression, anxiety, and addiction.
Who do we serve?
New Vision Wilderness is one of many programs committed to a larger mission to Create Joy and Heal Generations. We know that Joy is a fundamental human experience and one that promotes health. Each generation is impacted by the experiences of the generations before it. Without attention, experiences of adversity can be passed down through generations and manifest as symptoms. We know that to maintain wellness we must create opportunities for joy and attend to the unique needs of individuals and families. Doing so ensures better health for the generations to follow!
NVW recognizes that at present the rates of adolescent and young adult anxiety, depression, and suicide are at all-time highs. Our goal is to reduce those rates to all-time lows by the year 2028. To do that we have joined the BEHAG movement. To learn more about our Big Empathetic Hairy Audacious Goal.
What makes NVW unique?
As specialists in attachment and trauma, we follow a proprietary framework called CASA. By practicing Commitment, Acceptance, Security, and Attunement we support students and families in making the changes necessary to heal. We also incorporate Canine Therapy into our groups so that students have ongoing opportunities to practice engaging in safe and rewarding relationships.
Requirements and Benefits
The New Vision Wilderness Therapy program and its team members embrace the core values of empathy, trusting relationships, service, growth, and results. As an employee, you would be supported in knowing how to put these values into practice.
NVW offers opportunities for professional growth through ongoing training in advanced, leading-edge strategies.
Field Instructors are required to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field (e.g. psychology, education, outdoor leadership) or have at least 1 year of work experience with youth in an outdoor or mental health care setting
Must have a current First Aid and CPR Certification; Wilderness First Responder Certification preferred.
Must be able to commit to an 8-day on/6-day off schedule
- Options for signing bonuses and pay increases are available
- Staff housing provided
- $500 training stipends provided per year, plus the possibility for additional training and certifications provided by NVW
- Comprehensive Benefits Program that includes medical, dental, and vision insurance; voluntary life and AD&D insurance; long term disability insurance, 401K with company match; paid parental leave
- Company Paid Time Off
- Increased pay for obtaining Wilderness First Responder Certification
- Outdoor Professional qualification for Pro Deals with many outdoor supply brands
- Access to endless outdoor activities including kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, fishing, climbing, and more
- Opportunity to foster connection with and make meaningful differences in the lives of adolescent students and their families
New Vision Wilderness Therapy offers an amazing atmosphere of acceptance and support in a wonderful environment! Cultivating a sense of belonging is important to us and our team takes pride in caring not only for our students but for one another as well.
Does this sound like it could be the right opportunity for YOU? Check out the additional FAQ’s below:
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Most of our Field Instructors live in or near Medford, WI. There is an NVW staff house available for residence during your off time. The scheduling structure does allow for longer commuting by staff who prefer to maintain residence further away.
A typical day might consist of routine activities on a campsite, adventure activities located in our larger field area, or hiking. Student groups stay at one campsite for 1-3 nights then hike to set up camp in another location. This keeps our students moving, engaged, interested in their surroundings, and gives them opportunities to explore various landscapes throughout the field area. Activities on a campsite include group meals, maintenance of the site, and support to students as they work through therapeutic and academic assignments. Instructors often lead games and discussions designed to foster connection, trust, and growth among the students. Adventure activities vary with each season and include fishing, canoeing, swimming, maple tapping, equine therapy, snowshoeing, dog sledding, and so much more!
New Vision Wilderness is constantly striving for growth and as a result, there are frequent opportunities for advancement both in the field and out. As a Field Instructor, you will work through the “Growth Book” structure for advancement as you gain experience and participate in pre-shift training. Advancement through the Growth Books comes along with changes in pay as well as additional opportunities such as leading Adventure Education or Stewardship opportunities with the students.
NVW will provide all the gear necessary for groups to run. We are also able to loan out gear as needed if you don’t have the right gear on hand. If you are struggling to take care of yourself, you’ll struggle to take care of the students! What we have found is that every staff member has their own preferences when it comes to the gear they want to use. For their comfort, we do not want to dictate what gear all staff will have the same way we manage student gear. To support this, after your first 3 shifts as an instructor you will receive a $500 bonus that most instructors use to supplement their gear now that you have a better idea of what your preferences are. There are additional bonuses spread of various amounts that add up to an additional $5000 over your first year as an instructor.
Field Instructors begin and end their shifts on Tuesdays. A full shift is 8 days long (Tuesday thru Tuesday). An off shift is 6 days long (Wednesday thru Monday). These 8 days are spent with one of our groups of students in the field. Generally, this is from 6-8 students in each group with 2-3 Field Instructors leading. A staff exchange procedure takes place each Tuesday that involves a debrief by the outgoing staff and an orientation for the incoming staff. Training for all Field Instructors takes place during staff exchange as well.