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.. 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 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.
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 starts within the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to assess the possibility of applying for this course!
Most College Savings Plans, including the 529 College Savings Plan, may be used to attend an Outward Bound expedition, thanks to a partnership with Western Colorado University. Anyone can register – you do not have to be a current Western Colorado University student. Registration is easy! Click here to learn more.
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.
Outward Bound is accredited with the American Gap Association and is the longest running program in this elite group dedicated to providing safe, meaningful and high-caliber educational experiences to students.
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, as well as externally to connect deeply with others as they talk, sing, play games and spend time together without distraction.
The course begins with lessons in basic travel and camping techniques. Along the way, students learn Leave No Trace techniques, map and compass navigation, camp craft, and get a feel for the human and natural history of the area. Students spend time in an incredible area of the Southwest, sleep under the stars, feel the sunshine on their face, and maybe watch a few sunsets over this simple but magical landscape.
Rock climbing is a great 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 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. In the Wilderness First Aid portion of the course, students 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, in which students may visit a community rebuilding or youth garden organization. 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 can range anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours or more, depending on course length and type, as well as the competency and preparedness of the student group. 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. With all the food, skills and supplies they need, students are given a secluded spot to reflect alone and are monitored by staff throughout the. Students find that Solo provokes profound and powerful learning in a short period of time and often becomes one of the most memorable parts of an Outward Bound experience.
This 55-day course trains students to the level of a backpacking and climbing instructor. It will provide extensive experience in these activities and will prepares students for an entry-level position anywhere in the country. Over the duration of the course, students develop the requisite technical skills, group management skills, facilitation skills, and teaching skills. Throughout the course via focused discussions, activities, and workshops; students leave prepared to transfer these skills to future outdoor leadership endeavors. Students are assessed on all skills and knowledge, receive a professional development plan, work on resumes, and identify professional goals and a pathway to reaching them with the support of Instructors, Course Managers, and fellow students.
- 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 stunning, mysterious and wild. Archeological sites and rock art from the Ancestral Puebloan and Fremont Native Americans who roamed these lands over 800 years ago 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. Robbers Roost, San Rafael Swell, Canyonlands National Park, and Bears Ears National Monument (Indian Creek) are part of the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute), Southern Paiute, and Pueblo nations.
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.