Imagine you're an Outdoor Educator...
You’ve just finished a trip backpacking and mountaineering in the wilderness of Yosemite National Park, during which you helped students that started as strangers – who had never camped outside before – become a family. With your guidance, your students now know how to survive and thrive in the wilderness, work together through challenges as a team and achieve goals like summiting a mountain peak. Your sense of satisfaction is huge. You share in your students’ successes, the reward of a safe and empowering expedition. It’s hard work and fun—you’ve made a difference in the lives of others.
An Outdoor Educator course provides the training required to enter a career in the outdoor industry and is ideal for aspiring outdoor educators. You’ll experience firsthand the entire process of how an Outward Bound course is run whilst being trained to the level of a new instructor. This course requires no previous wilderness background; you will experience a mixture of theoretical and philosophical workshops, intense technical training and assessment, as well as opportunities to build your resume and connect with other professionals – both seasoned and aspiring.
Start out gaining a solid base in backpacking (camp craft, navigation, and wilderness travel) in the San Rafael Swell, developing the skills required for any wilderness expedition. Then, you’ll transition to rock climbing and learn the practical skills essential for a professional outdoor leader: belaying and rappelling, escapes, anchors, and how to teach those skills to students. Gain in-depth knowledge of the considerations of managing safety and risk at a climbing site, as well as facilitating the learning experience for student rock climbers.
Next, your course will transition to the famous Robbers Roost area, a maze-like network of canyons once utilized as a hideout by Butch Cassidy’s “Wild Bunch.” Here, you’ll deepen your knowledge of anchors, rappels, and rescues in technical slot canyons. Canyoneering offers a great capstone to the climbing and ropes systems knowledge you will have built during the climbing section of the course: planning and preparation, time management, navigation and route-finding, and transferrable technical skills.
As your course evolves, you will be challenged with more ownership, decision making and leadership of your team. You will be responsible for group management decisions and be placed more in the role of the instructor.
Finally, you may be challenged to apply everything you have learned so far during an independent/unaccompanied final expedition. This opportunity provides you with an additional level of leadership and management experience, drawing from a summation of the skills you’ve acquired to date.
After your canyon expedition, you will have the opportunity to test your newfound outdoor education skills through a teaching practicum where you can pass on your outdoor skills and knowledge to a group of local school students.
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This course may be full or preparing to leave in the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
Are you motivated by the never-ending discovery in the adventure of the outdoors? Are you passionate about sharing knowledge and helping future generations become comfortable and confident appreciators of the natural world? Working as an outdoor educator requires deep technical expertise in outdoor skills alongside hands-on training in the science behind experiential learning and how to create lasting impact for students. Outward Bound leads the outdoor education industry in both areas, providing a coveted foundation to jump-start an outdoor-involved career.
Outdoor Educator courses allow you to work in and through the widest variety of wilderness environments and develop high level skills in each. Beyond preparing you for career opportunities in the outdoor industry, you may also earn academic credit in the field of Recreation and Outdoor Education.
Backpackers carry everything they need – food, shelter, clothing, and gear – allowing them to go deep into the wilderness where few people go. Students feel a sense of freedom from deadlines and task lists as they grow accustomed to eating when hungry, setting up camp when tired and having complete control over what they accomplish each day. The simplicity of hiking gives students the opportunity to focus both internally on their own thoughts and self-reliance, as well as externally to connect deeply with others as they talk, sing, play games and spend time together without distraction.
This course will begin with lessons in basic travel and camping techniques. Along the way, students learn Leave No Trace techniques, map and compass navigation and camp craft as they get a feel for the human and natural history of the area. Students backpack along valleys and long ridges, camp in basins with views like the top of the world and stop along the way to explore microclimates and alpine ecosystems. Most importantly, students spend time in an incredible area, sleep under the stars, feel the sunshine on their face and maybe watch a few sunsets over this magical landscape.
Rock climbing is the ultimate opportunity to challenge oneself physically, mentally and emotionally. Contrary to common belief, upper body strength is not the determining factor in being able to climb well. Learning new body mechanics, balance, and energy maintenance techniques will help students climb efficiently and unlock the incredible feeling of flowing up a route. There are many ways to climb the same rock, allowing each climber to solve the puzzle in their own individual way. Students will learn basic climbing techniques, helmet and harness use, climbing commands and belaying, placing gear, setting up top ropes and may have the opportunity to attempt multi-pitch ascents.
Canyoneering is like running the most exciting adventure course imaginable. Each obstacle occurs naturally - made by the power of water coursing through the desert, making its way to the river. A combination of climbing, scrambling, rappelling, hiking and even swimming may be involved in getting through this unreal terrain. The adventure begins by hiking across the sunny desert mesa to drop into a canyon via rappel. As students travel further down, the canyon narrows, twists, turns and drops, creating eerie cave-like conditions. Sunlight bouncing off the walls from far above causes the sandstone walls to glow red and orange. Exiting the canyon back into the desert daylight feels like returning from another world. This rugged, rocky terrain requires teamwork and effective decision-making. To meet the demands of technical terrain, Instructors begin by teaching the foundational skills necessary for efficient travel, such as basic movement over rock. Over this section, students will experience technical canyoneering, slot canyons, day hikes and canyon backpacking.
This on-trail introduction to wilderness medicine is geared toward people of all ability levels and is a precursor to additional certifications as you progress in your career. In the Wilderness First Aid portion of the course, you’ll learn the Patient Assessment System, how to provide effective first aid treatments for injuries and illnesses common in the outdoors, and how to make appropriate evacuation decisions in varying conditions.
Service to others and the environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Participants follow Leave No Trace ethics as service to the environment and do acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Designated service projects are often coordinated with land managers like the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service to collaborate on land restoration projects. Some projects are more social services based, and participants may visit a nursing home or hospital to provide service there. Students develop a value of service, seeing the impact of their actions firsthand and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home. Past projects have included working on a goat farm, building trails, cleaning trash and debris from natural spaces, working with a local community garden, and removing invasive species. Service on the Outdoor Educator course involves the practicum, in which you’ll plan lessons and deliver them to local students.
In order for profound learning to take place, there must be time to reflect on the experience. Solo is that opportunity, and that time can range anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours or more, depending on the length of the course. Weather and time permitting, the Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition and gives students the opportunity to reflect on their Outward Bound experience. Many students use this reflection time to make decisions about their future, journal and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings unencumbered by the constant external stimulation of modern life. The duration of Solo depends on the course length and type, as well as the competency and preparedness of the student group. With all the food, skills and supplies they need, participants are given a secluded spot to reflect alone and are monitored by staff throughout the experience to maintain safety. Students find that Solo provokes powerful learning in a short period of time and often becomes one of the most memorable parts of their Outward Bound experience.
This 55-day course will train you to the level of a backpacking and climbing instructor. It will give you extensive experience in these activities and will prepare you for an entry-level position anywhere in the country. Over the duration of the 55 days, you will develop the requisite technical skills, group management skills, facilitation skills, and teaching skills. Throughout the course via focused discussions, activities, and workshops; you’ll be prepared to transfer these skills to your future outdoor leadership endeavors. You’ll be assessed on all skills and knowledge, receive a professional development plan, work on your resume, and identify professional goals and a pathway to reaching them with the support of our Instructors, Course Managers, and fellow students you have grown close to.
- Wilderness First Aid
- Backpacking Instructor (Desert and Canyon Backpacking)
- Rappel Instructor
- Top Rope Climbing Instructor
- Group management
- Emergency Management
- Search and Rescue
- Risk Assessment
- Facilitation and debriefing
- Teaching for educational outcomes
Canyon Country, Utah
The most spectacular aspects of the Utah landscape are the hidden treasures found within its vast canyon networks, formed by millennia of wind and water. The canyonlands of Southern Utah are still as stunning, mysterious and wild as they were for the Ancestral Puebloan and Fremont Native Americans who roamed these lands over 800 years ago, and whose ruins and rock art still abound in the canyons. The canyons are composed of a spell-binding labyrinth of alcoves, fins, pinnacles, buttes, towering walls, ledges and arches just waiting to be explored on canyon backpacking courses. Canyoneering courses also venture into narrower, deeper chasms two feet wide with walls several hundred feet on each side. These sandstone slot canyons are a geological playground for scrambling, teamwork, and rappelling.
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.