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Program Guide

Full Time

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Pacific Quest is an outdoor therapeutic program for struggling teens and young adults, located on the Big Island of Hawaii. Pacific Quest offers a clinical, yet holistic approach to treatment, moving beyond traditional wilderness therapy and teaching sustainable life skills.

Pacific Quest’s proprietary therapeutic model is a groundbreaking approach that utilizes Horticulture Therapy to create concrete metaphors for its students as they cultivate their own health and happiness.

Pacific Quest cultivates Sustainable Growth in our students, in our families, in our communities, and in ourselves.


Program Guide positions are responsible for the direct supervision, safety, health and wellbeing of the students while implementing the program curriculum and facilitating therapeutic weekly treatment plans. The Guide role primary purpose is to learn the program and the necessary hard and soft skills while providing support to other members of the Program Guide team and following the direction of the Program Manager and Program Supervisors.


  • Uphold safety, supervision, and monitoring of students in accordance with Program Policy.
  • Learn and articulate the Pacific Quest mission, guiding principles, and curriculum.
  • Effectively communicate with students in a group setting and direct student group toward common goal.
  • Share responsibility for facilitation of the daily activities including meal preparation, exercise, group meals and activities.
  • Demonstrate flexibility with camp placement, program, location, and student supervision assignments.
  • Observe and identify the needs of individual students and the group to create a physically and emotionally safe and supportive environment.
  • Role model program expectations at all times, which includes upholding our diet and wellness standards while at work.
  • Ensure safety watches are followed by all members of the treatment team.
  • Demonstrate openness and humility in learning the role.
  • Ensure student searches are facilitated appropriately and within specific times as stated in program guide manual.
  • Proactively ask for advice and assistance to prevent crisis situations.
  • Oversee meal topics, either delegated or assigned (if a student is assigned this role, be sure to have a guide assigned to check-in prior to meal).
  • Collaborate and communicate desired outcomes with other Treatment Team members.
  • Ensure logistical tasks within your guide team are delegated and accomplished.
  • Facilitate and ensure a minimum of 2 lessons per shift from student curriculum are being taught in camp
  • Build and maintain rapport with students while holding boundaries that furthers therapeutic outcomes.
  • Communicate clearly and appropriately with students, guides, supervisors, and managers.
  • Complete delegated tasks in a timely, thorough, and effective manner.
  • Manage personal needs and energy in order to perform job at highest quality.
  • Maintain client confidentiality
  • Keep appropriate boundaries related to self-disclosure, avoid teaching or speaking about controversial beliefs while at work including but not limited to political, religious, medication, diet, or lifestyle choices.
  • Maintain professional appearance and attitude in accordance with Program Policy.
  • Work towards competence in utilizing the garden for experiential teaching and role model investment.
  • Provide timely, specific and objective feedback to your fellow program guides, at minimum during the end of week debriefs.
  • Follow direction from your Program Manager and Program Supervisors.
  • Complete nightly lock-up.
  • Ensure all work locations & common areas are clean and organized.
  • Ensure five pictures per student per day are taken, including group photos.
  • Supervise students sleeping in the field or bunkhouse as needed.
  • Participate in professional development through weekly in-service training on Wednesday, end of shift debriefs, mandatory and voluntary trainings, and scheduled performance reviews.


  • Participate in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention.
  • Work to complete Apprentice Growth Book within a maximum of 8 shifts.


  • Demonstrate competency and proficiency in Apprentice Guide duties
  • Manage the student group in the absence of the Lead or Program Supervisor.
  • Attend additional meetings and downloads as student supervision allows
  • Work directly with treatment team to strategize, implement, and record outcomes for students in their Best Notes Weekly Treatment Objectives.
  • Prepare and deliver student downloads for your assigned students when needed
  • Exhibit solid organization of the daily schedule; Able to plan and run a day effectively.
  • Demonstrate initiative and independence in your position.
  • Work to complete Assistant Lead Growth Book within a maximum of 20 shifts


  • Demonstrate competency and proficiency in all guide levels within camp
  • Organize and maintain daily schedule and communicate it to the students and the guides.
  • Initiate Staff ups, organization and guide communication at the beginning of the week by reviewing student information and program resources that include but are not limited to Oracles, weekly treatment objectives
  • Give direction and delegate tasks to Program Guides including, scheduling a guide rotation of daily activities, meal prep, cleanup, and exercise etc.
  • Present as united front with management team, while also making sure to communicate program feedback to Program Manager appropriately.
  • Provide learning and training opportunities for co-guides.
  • Role model appropriate behavior and leadership to students and other guide members.
  • Be flexible in approach to appropriate group and individual outcomes.
  • Utilize the students’ roles to contribute to a positive milieu.
  • Utilize the garden and rite of passage as synonymous with issues at home. Experientially educate students through the use of these metaphors.
  • Practice patience, balance, flexibility, creativity and integrity.
  • Have an advanced understanding of the student’s academic curriculum.
  • Work directly with therapists to strategize and implement outcomes for students. Check-in with therapist both by phone, before daily sessions, or post sessions, as needed. This information is to be passed on to the other guides on your team.
  • Ensure compliance with all program policy within your student and guide group.
  • Be able to assist in the student’s self administration of medication as part of the Lead Guide Growth Book after completion of the Wellness Test, in the absence of the Program Supervisor.
  • Work to complete Lead Guide Growth Book.


  • Ability to be a team player and form mutually respectful relationships with all employees.
  • Grow professionally in meeting the challenges of the position.
  • Ability to maintain physical alertness and activity over the course of designated work hours.
  • Must provide and maintain current CPR/First Aid certification. CPR certifications must be from a classroom training, and no substitutions for First Aid certs (i.e. Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder) can be accepted.
  • Maintain a current NVCI (Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training) certification provided by Pacific Quest
  • Ability to treat all residents, families and coworkers with dignity and respect
  • Ability to adhere to confidentiality policies
  • Able to pass a thorough background check and drug screen.
  • Ability to work in a constant state of alertness and in a safe manner.
  • Provide annual physical and TB clearance to meet the physical requirements of this position.
  • Valid driver’s license with clean record.
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required


  • Bachelor’s degree preferably in Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, Farming/Agroecology, or Outdoor Education/Leadership OR a minimum of three years relevant experience.
  • Experience in Rites of Passage, Education, Horticultural Therapy, Health and Wellness, 12 Step Recovery, Gardening, and/or experience in Therapeutic Settings such as Wilderness Therapy or Residential Treatment Centers.
  • Preferred age of 25 year or older, in order to meet Company auto insurance requirements


Workweek schedules and various shifts are available and will be determined based on operational needs. Typical Guide shifts are as follows:

  • Guide and Lead Guide: 7am-9:30pm and are an average of 10-12 hours per day on a 4-day shift
  • Work hours may be adjusted due to operational needs
  • Employees will clock in 10 minutes before their scheduled shift and be prepared to enter direct care at the start of their shift
  • Overtime may be required until relief staff is on-site, or if extra staffing is needed.


The role of a Program Guide is physically demanding, please communicate in writing any accommodations you may need related to the following parameters: With or without reasonable accommodation, the physical and mental requirements of this job may include the following: seeing, hearing, speaking, and writing clearly. Reaching with hands and arms, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, frequent sitting, standing and walking, climbing stairs, walking up inclines and on uneven terrain may be required for long periods of time. Additional physical requirements may include lifting and or moving up to 50 pounds.