Employment with Outdoor Adventures

Recreation & Wellness is a part of the Division of Student Affairs. We employ over 160 student staff each semester, and are continually looking for diverse, enthusiastic, dedicated and hardworking students who enjoy interacting in a positive environment.

Student employees play an invaluable role by providing customer service, safety, and fun to our guests. Recreation & Wellness promotes student development, critical thinking, communication, teamwork, time management, professionalism, and leadership skills. Employment with us will provide you with valuable work skills, life-long learning opportunities, and lasting friendships.

Current Openings

Now Hiring Climbing Center Staff for Fall 2024 employment (Training to begin in mid-March)

Visit the RecWell Employment page for details


Anticipated Hiring Timeline


Application Period



Estimated Start


April - End of June


Late August

End of August


August - Mid-October

Mid/ Late October

November/ December

Early January


December - Mid-Feburary

Mid/ Late February

March/ April

Early May

Climbing Center Staff

Climbing Center (CC) staff are the face of the Climbing Center. All CC staff are part customer service representative, part risk manager, and part climbing instructor. All CC student employees have the title Climbing Center Staff but each holds various qualifications for roles depending on their level of experience and training received.  All roles are part-time and only the open hours staff have regular, weekly hours. All others work as-needed throughout the semester. Depending on the role, hours usually range from 6-12 per week.

CC Staff Roles

The list below is arranged in the logical training progression but students can and do start at any level.

  • Climbing Center Staff - The most entry-level role at the CC. These staff have mostly a customer service role, working with visitors during open climb hours. Occasionally, CC Staff are employed specifically to assist with private group events. Initial training focuses on general risk management, wall supervision, fundamental skill development, and internal processes. All CC staff are expected to obtain some level of certification as a Climbing Wall Instructor. Training for this is built-in to the first semester's employment.

Additional endorsements staff can seek after initial training include:

  1. Instructor - Qualifies the individual to instruct technical skills within their demonstrated proficiency.
  2. Team Building - Qualifies the individual to facilitate private group events involving specific team building components.

To view specific qualifications and requirements, please visit the RecWell Employment page.

 Ideal applicants are eager to share the joys of climbing with others, dependable, detail oriented, friendly and safety-minded. 

Climbing Center Staff belaying for blindfolded climber

Outdoor Adventures Leader - Spring/ Summer


The Outdoor Adventures Summer Staff position is a fun and challenging part-time position that allows you to share your love of outdoor and adventure-based activities with the greater GVSU community. This spring/ summer position has an emphasis on staffing open hours and private group events at the Climbing Center and and added responsibility for taking a leadership role in facilitating an adventure camp for incoming freshman at the end of summer (Outdoor Orientation Programs or OOPs).  
This position will include a combination of regularly scheduled weekly shifts and as-needed shifts for private events. Some nights and weekends should be expected. 

General Responsibilities

  • Attend all staff training, meetings, and/or in-services 

  • Oversee Climbing Center open hours operations 

  • Lead adventure-based activities for OOPs participants 

  • Other duties as assigned 

Ideal applicants have previous experience climbing, biking, &/or hiking/ camping and a passion for student leadership and development. 

For additional qualifications/ requirements, please visit the RecWell Student Employment page.


Outdoor adventures leaders tabling

Hiring FAQs

Any formal training you can take ahead of applying is helpful. Our technical skill workshops meet, if not exceed industry standards for content and quality. By participating, you are showing an interest in best practices, advancing the respect of climbing as a sport (or any activity), a dedication to personal development, and familiarizing with programs and services we offer. If we had to list some specifically they would be the following:

  • Wilderness Medicine - Either Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or Wilderness First Responder (WFR). Any curriculum is acceptable. We don't often offer WFA but WFR is offered every May.
  • Leave No Trace - at least the Awareness level course (free online, on-demand).

Strong, no. Experienced, a little is helpful. Climbing is a service profession. It's all about your ability to provide an amazing experience for participants and no part of that involves showboating on the wall. While there are some benefits to climbing well; having knowledge of the equipment, systems, & how to move on the wall efficiently will be more helpful in assisting participants and recognizing risky behaviors and correcting them effectively. 

Due to the funding structure of the Climbing Center, route setting is not a paid position. However, students who have at least 1 year of regular climbing experience that wish to volunteer their time as route setters should email Joe Bitely, [email protected] to inquire about getting involved.

Page last modified January 8, 2024