Meramec Adventure Ranch


Hiring: Guide for Court-Ordered Youth


Guide small groups of youth in residential treatment and other youth in state custody through an exhilarating 10-week summer adventure camp program.  Living in tents in the woods, cooking over a fire, you’ll use activities like ropes courses, team challenges, climbing, kayaking, aquatic adventures, land navigation, and many other adventures in intentional ways to help our young people heal from the past and grow the confidence, relationships, and purpose, that builds hope for the future.

Who we are:

The Meramec Adventure Learning Ranch is the therapeutic wilderness and adventure arm of Great Circle.  Using the transformative power of the wilderness and adventure, the Ranch is dedicated to serving individuals and families whom much of the world has given up on, including youth struggling with traumatic pasts, youth in residential treatment, youth on the Autism Spectrum, and Wounded Warriors.  The ranch has quickly grown to be one of the most extensive adventure bases in the Midwest and recognized on a national level.  Located on 1,200 acres in Steelville, Missouri, the Ranch annually serves around 8,000 participants during year-round programming.

What you get to do:

The ranch is a unique program; the only one of its kind in Missouri and one of the few therapeutic adventure programs left in the country that serve youth in the state system. The MALR is looking for Summer Guides to facilitate the 10-week therapeutic summer adventure program with youth in residential treatment. Youth are between the ages of 6-18, have experienced histories of severe trauma and abuse, and are working through significant emotional and behavioral challenges. Each guide is assigned a group of 10 kids and 2 cottage staff and leads them through the week’s adventures. During these trips, adventure activities such as ropes courses, team challenges, climbing, lake and aquatic adventure activities, and the outdoors itself is used as a catalyst to build relationships and produce victories that grow awareness, efficacy, connection, purpose, and hope.

Adventure experiences are not an escape from the daily grind. They are reality where, in an “off-balance” environment, the true self always eventually surfaces and must be faced, concrete victories are earned, natural consequences are plentiful, roles and gifts are discovered, and positive relationships are built. Evidence bears out that these experiences become defining moments for young men and young women growing to become the people they were created to be.

You can be a part of this critical program and play a vital role in the life stories of the incredible individuals we are honored to stand beside!

What you would get to do in this position:

  • Camp on-site with the full-time camp staff during Adventure Camp.

  • Lead groups through daily activities of team courses, challenge courses, lake adventures, climbing, biking, and much more.

  • Facilitate group processing and individual growth throughout each activity and at all times as well and maintaining safety.

  • Facilitate your group in daily camp routine and living, evening activities, and special events.

  • Take every opportunity to tell others about the Ranch, our mission, and about the young men and women we serve.

  • Become an engaged an active part of the Ranch Family as well as the local community.


  • Kids who are extremely challenging to build relationships and trust with, and whom—many times—will act out in extreme ways to find out if you really are who you say you are.

  • Long times in the woods with mud, bugs, snakes, ridiculously long hours, and no showers!

  • Opportunities to leave a lasting impact on the program.  Our team has created what the Ranch is today and our team will create what it becomes tomorrow.

  • Quality performance that is not based on the greatness of your techniques or strength of your skills, but on the quality and character of person you are.


  • Never have two days that are the same


  • Free stickers for your Nalgene Bottle.

  • You can bring your hammock to work…though we won’t guarantee that you’ll spend much time in it.

  • Looking up a night sky from your sleeping bag and saying to yourself, “I’m getting paid for this.”

  • Get to be part of a unique small town.

  • All those “challenges” mentioned above!

  • Standing beside people who have seen incredible adversity, hurt, and pain, and be a part of their stories as they grow to change the world!

Experience Needed:

  • A Calling/Passion to be HERE!

  • A Calling/Passion to be HERE!

  • GRIT

  • Disciplined Work Ethic

  • Honesty

  • Willingness to have fun and act silly

  • Creativity and Ideas

  • Self-Awareness

  • Wisdom and Discernment

  • Willingness to learn

  • Humility

  • Unconditional Care, Unwavering Belief, and Consistent Accountability for yourself, the Ranch Family, and those we serve

  • It’s also nice if you have experience in Adventure activities and Residential Care or in a related field.

Salary/ Pay:

Salaries are based on position and experience, but range from $390-$425 per week.  Meals and shelter are provided at the camp, and housing is provided for time off if you desire to remain in the area. Practicums and internships are welcome and encouraged!

Camp Dates:

May 19-June 2—Camp Preparation/Training

June 4-June 29—Camp Sessions 1-4

July 1- July6—Break

July 7- Aug 3—Camp Sessions 5-8

How to Apply:

For more information, visit, email, or call 573-775-5513

If you are passionate about being part of what is happening at the Meramec Adventure Ranch, send your resume to

We would be honored to introduce you to some pretty amazing kiddos!