Outward Bound field staff have the best office view, ranging from city parks and open spaces to remote backcountry locations.
Our field staff bring unique lived experiences, skills, and talents and are united by a sincere commitment to changing lives through challenge and discovery. Our students – and our staff – come to Outward Bound with a learning mindset and along the way, discover a compassionate community, strengths they never knew they had, and tools to face new challenges with confidence. This is rewarding work.
Outward Bound field staff are trained to identify, assess, and approach risk as a learning tool to be managed, but not eliminated. Part of the magic of an Outward Bound course is exploring the edges of our comfort zones, where we learn problem-solving, conflict resolution, and accountability. Through these challenges, we learn there is more in us than we know.
We need educators who can convert the Outward Bound experience into a life lesson. Previous experience in facilitating group dynamics is desired, especially experience working with adolescents – although many Outward Bound schools offer internships, fellowships, and other positions that’ll help you build the skills you need to become an instructor. For all our staff, communication skills including active listening, giving and receiving feedback, and clearly conveying expectations are important.
These may vary by school so please see individual job postings for details.
Physical and Emotional Stamina – applicants must be sufficiently fit to participate in all the course activities for a given course and maintain energy, strength, and focus to assist students with physical and emotional obstacles.
Outward Bound delivers programming through a variety of unique technical skills and diverse course areas. Each School across the country has a specific set of technical skills required. (Visit the individual school sites to see the specific requirements.) Technical skills areas include: sea kayaking, whitewater canoeing and rafting, backpacking, rock climbing, dog sledding, mountaineering, canyoneering, and backcountry skiing and snowboarding. Competence in one or more of these areas is required for an instructor position. A general comfort in the outdoors and remote areas is also required for all backcountry instructor positions. Most importantly, we are looking to build on a basic foundation in outdoor judgment: the ability to make responsible decisions under challenging circumstances.
At Outward Bound, our classrooms are truly unique. Whether you’re working with students onsite at their school, at a local park or open space, or on a backcountry expedition, the environment plays an important role. And different Outward Bound schools use different classrooms.
From Maine’s Hurricane Island and the Boundary Waters of Minnesota to the canyonlands of Utah and California’s High Sierra, Outward Bound’s expeditions take students through some of the most iconic landscapes in the U.S. Click here for a full map. Field staff at these Schools blend technical skills and responsible backcountry travel with teamwork, communication, and a progression of skills that challenge students to take ownership of their experience, and to recognize their impact on their crew and their community. Field staff who work in these environments will be responsible for assessing environmental and behavioral risks, managing group dynamics, and supporting students’ growth through physically and emotionally challenging activities.
Through our Schools in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, San Francisco/Bay Area, Portland, and the Twin Cities, Outward Bound strengthens and empowers communities to affect positive change with customized local programming. Working with schools and community organizations, Outward Bound helps individuals in these communities realize their true potential, oftentimes despite many competing factors in the students' lives. Field staff who work in these schools must have a strong will and desire to deliver our mission to those who could benefit most from it.
We are seeking educators with experience at other outdoor organizations or in public service, or equivalent experience. Qualities we look for include integrity, empathy, commitment, and the ability to build connections. Individuals interested in employment are most likely to be successful if they demonstrate multi-cultural competence and sensitivity, the ability to recognize when issues of equity need to be addressed, and prove competent managing dynamic groups of students.
We are creating a culture in which all staff and students feel a sense of belonging and find the support they need to accomplish their goals. And we work to build compassion within crews so that they acknowledge the dignity and worth of each person, celebrate their strengths and contributions, and support them through growth and challenge.