Students are immersed in the history, tradition, and teaching methods of an organization that has long been a pioneer of wilderness and experiential education throughout the world.
Designed specifically for individuals interested in pursuing instructional, guiding, or teaching positions, this semester course offers fifty days of in-depth learning in mountaineering, snow camping, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and first aid, while simultaneously exploring group dynamics, experiential education theory and methods, and wilderness activity management. This course will provide students with opportunities to act as a student as well as an educator within a community of peers.
Students from previous Instructor courses working in all facets of the outdoor industry acknowledge that this course instilled valuable and relevant skills. These guides, instructors, classroom teachers, and managers credit this course with offering them a foundation of knowledge that makes them better educators.
This course is closed for the season. 2017 courses coming soon.
Outward Bound Instructor Development courses open doors in the outdoor education industry. One of the nation’s best outdoor education training programs, Instructor courses teach deep technical skills and provide in-depth knowledge of the Outward Bound learning approach. Guided by specialists in the field, get the hands-on training you’ll need to jumpstart a career in the outdoors.
Students will travel on the river in four to six person paddle rafts, and learn to “captain” (maneuver) their paddle raft team through Class II, III, and IV rapids. After lessons in basic river travel and safety, students will progress into learning to read currents, anticipate obstacles, scout rapids, and negotiate technical portions of the river. Students will also learn river hydrology, swimming in currents, paddle techniques, and expeditionary travel. While on the rafting expedition, there may also be an opportunity for short day hikes.
Students will receive individual instruction and test their skills against vertical cracks, steep faces, and boulders. Camping will be in a front country site at Smith Rock State Park among the multicolored cliffs and spires. Students will learn about basic climbing equipment, rope management, wearing harnesses, tying knots, belaying and rappelling techniques, and movement on rock.
Mountaineering courses move through high mountain terrain and focus on preparation for a peak attempt that may require the use of ropes, technical equipment, and possibly rock climbing. During this section of the course, students will start by learning backpacking skills including on and off trail travel, map and compass navigation, and campsite selection. In progression, students will learn basic mountaineering skills like route finding, snow travel, ice axe use, and potentially rope team travel. Please note that peak attempts are dependent upon variables such as weather, group dynamic, and course length.
Nine days of this course will be spent fulfilling the 72 hours of classroom and hands on learning required to obtain a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification. During this portion of the trip, students will learn advanced backcountry first aid and evacuation techniques. Each day, time will be devoted to lectures and exams as well as practical hands-on sessions and rescue simulations. Evenings are reserved for study and assignments. Full participation is required. Upon successfully completing and passing the course, students will receive WFR, Anaphylaxis, and Basic Life Support-CPR certification cards from Wilderness Medical Training Center. These are the industry-standard medical certifications that are required for professionals working in the outdoors.
Solo is an important part of the Outward Bound experience and allows students time to rest, recharge and reflect on their own development towards the end of the course. Solos may vary from a few hours up to three days depending on the length of the course, age and maturity of the students and itinerary of the expedition. During Solo, students set up their own independent campsite near their instructors and spend their time resting, writing in their journal, enjoying the quiet of the wilderness and reflecting on their experience. Instructors will check on the students throughout their Solo. For many students, Solo is both a challenge and a respite and is often a highlight of their course.
Deschutes River, Oregon –The Deschutes River is part of the national Wild & Scenic Rivers System. The river flows north from the Oregon Cascades to the Columbia River and then on to the Pacific Ocean. The Lower Deschutes is a popular river for both whitewater rafting and fly fishing. The river is spring-fed, which results in an unusually constant water flow and cold water. Excellent geologic evidence is present all around this area. Courses generally travel anywhere from 50 to 100 miles along the Lower Deschutes. The rapids on the Deschutes are rated to Class IV, mostly Class II-III, and are excellent for learning paddle skills and teamwork. The group camps each night along the banks of the river. The Deschutes region has a colorful human history, and a railroad borders much of the length of the Lower Deschutes.
Smith Rock State Park, Oregon –Smith Rock is a world-renowned climbing destination that attracts climbers of every ability level. It is widely considered to be one of the top sport climbing areas in the country. Smith Rock is a uniquely beautiful area that commonly graces postcards and calendars. The Crooked River lazily winds its way through the canyon, cutting a path through the cliffs and spires. To the west, the snow-capped volcanoes of the Cascade Range rise on the horizon, above the flat checkerboard of irrigated plains. One of the most striking features is a prominent spire, Monkey Face. Given the dry and temperate climate, rock climbing is feasible most of the year.
Central Cascades, Oregon –Volcanoes dot the spine of the Cascade Mountains, rising over 10,000 feet above the forests, lakes, and rivers of the surrounding region. These glaciated peaks run north and south and create perfect mountaineering objectives this course. The Central Cascade range is home to the Three Sisters, Broken Top, Mt. Washington, three Fingered Jack, and Mt. Jefferson. Four 10,000 foot glaciated volcanoes are present in this course area, with a total of nine major volcanoes. One can find a unique blend of dry east side and moist west side weather conditions which allow diverse types of vegetation to flourish. The area has a complex geologic history that continues today. Active glaciers methodically carve away the mountains and the dramatic traces of avalanches that altered the landscape can be found throughout. Depending upon the peak, summit attempts may necessitate glacier and roped-team travel. Snow could potentially factor into a substantial portion of this section of the course.
Odin Falls Basecamp, Redmond, Oregon –This facility is our office and support site for all wilderness courses conducted in Oregon. The 48-acre property is located on the Deschutes River in the high desert, north of Bend. From the basecamp, Smith Rock State Park is visible to the east and the Central Cascades rise in the distance to the west. Students may spend time at this location in order to utilize the lodge classroom setting for the Wilderness First Responder (WFR) portion of the course. Students will either stay in our campground or a rustic bunkhouse on the property.
If you are ready to enroll on a course click the enroll button next to the course you wish to select or you can enroll over the phone by speaking with one of our Admissions Advisors (toll-free) at 866-467-7651.