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

Fall Semester

Climbing Center Staff

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. The level of training and experience varies from little to none to at least a year, depending on the role. 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 4-12 per week.

CC Staff Roles

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

  • Desk Staff - The most entry-level role at the CC. These staff have mostly a customer service role, working with visitors at the beginning of their open hours visit.
  • Groups Staff - When used as a standalone designation, this is a very part-time role. This is often a qualification given to current staff allowing them to work private events at the CC. This requires the base training of a Desk Staff with the added knowledge needed for private events.
  • Floor Staff - These staff have the primary responsibility of supervising the floor during open hours and instructing technical lessons. A Climbing Wall Instructor (CWI) certification is required for this role.

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:

  •  The Climbing Wall Instructor (CWI) certification is very comprehensive and offered once per semester. While it is climbing specific, many of the topics are transferrable to instruction of any skill.
  • 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, at least a little. 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 in the mentorship program.

Page last modified September 14, 2022