“It's not very often that we take a step back to better examine our inner workings. For so long I have been living reactively instead of steering the ship. Getting the space to learn more about myself and more about how I come across to the world will help me build better relationships and community around me. I learned the power of acceptance and the relief of forgiveness. I felt the release of sadness and an abundance of joy. I recognized how essential the wilderness is to my being and how incredible the desert is!
I hope to take the Outward Bound values with me and learn how to better approach conflict in my life. Most of all, I hope to inspire others. I hope to take what I have learned here and use it to do some good in the world and help others that need space to better understand themselves. Thank you for creating an unforgettable experience and facilitating so much learning. Thank you for the energy and resources you poured into this course and pushing me to expand my comfort zone. Oh and thanks for all the awesome pro tips!” – Jenny, Voyageur Outward Bound School Outdoor Educator Alum
Spend your days in the heart of Big Bend’s desert and canyon landscapes, following the Rio Grande and expanding your mastery of wilderness techniques across multiple environments. Designed specifically for individuals interested in pursuing instructional, guiding or teaching positions in the outdoors, this multi-layered course offers 50 days of in-depth learning in canoeing, backpacking, rock climbing, rappelling and first aid, while simultaneously exploring group dynamics, experiential education theory and methods, and wilderness activity management. You’ll be immersed in the history, tradition and teaching methods of Outward Bound, an organization that has long been a pioneer of wilderness and experiential education throughout the world. This course will provide you with opportunities to act as a student as well as an educator within a community of peers. Having gained valuable skills and knowledge to be better educators, course alumni are now working in all facets of the outdoor industry as guides, instructors and classroom teachers.
|VRQL-071||10.19.20 - 12.7.20||50||18 and up||$8,250||APPLY NOW|
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 and skilled wilderness wanderers? 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.
The Outdoor Educator course is the most comprehensive Outward Bound course available, allowing 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.
After first learning basic whitewater strokes in calm currents, students are ready to begin the expedition. Paddling together, the group travels down-river through sections of calm currents and swift-moving whitewater rapids. The waters of the Rio Grande offer beginning and more advanced paddlers progressive challenges and a perfect place to learn and hone skills. Instructors assist students in mastering skills of paddling, scouting and running rapids. Students learn all the skills they need to move safely and efficiently down-river, including an introduction to whitewater rescue techniques. As there are only two students in a whitewater canoe, everyone has the opportunity to "captain their watercraft." Students learn to adapt to the river and desert environments and reset their internal clock to rise with the sun and sleep with the moon.
At altitudes of 2,000-8,000 feet, backpack the vast Chisos Mountains and explore the Chihuahuan Desert, crossing mountainous terrain and traveling through water-polished canyons. The small student group will hike both on and off trail, crossing mountain passes, exploring immense water-polished canyons and traversing a rugged desert where atmospheric clarity and wide-open spaces make distances deceiving and navigation challenging. While hiking, students will learn desert travel skills such as strategies for water management, environmental preservation and the finer points of balance and foot placement on rough terrain. The final four days of this section include travelling independently from the Instructors (though within range for safety).
During climbing days, students learn about general rock climbing equipment, safety and etiquette. Students have many opportunities to climb, belay and rappel while learning and employing safety systems that are compliant with national standards. The rock climbing sites provide a number of different route options, including cracks, sheer faces and chimneys. Regardless of a student’s rock climbing background, they are sure to find a route that will expand their comfort zone.
Students will learn:
Weather and group dynamics permitting, there may be an opportunity to go canyoneering on this course. During this activity, the group will descend down steep canyons using rappel techniques learned during their rock climbing experience. These canyons often provide a group problem-solving aspect as students descend the canyon, cross pools of water, and navigate maze-like boulder constrictions. During canyoneering, teamwork is essential to getting everyone and their equipment safely and efficiently through the canyon.
Near the end of the course, students will have an opportunity to work with local students and partners for a few days to practice their educational and technical skills. Students will utilize lessons from the course to design a specialized experience for our partners and will have two days of intensive practice prior to teaching. Students will receive coaching and assessment from Outward Bound Instructors to prepare them for the practicum.
Four days of the course will be spent completing 40 hours of advanced backcountry first aid and evacuation techniques. Lectures and exams will be held in the morning and practical hands-on sessions and rescue simulations in the afternoons. Evenings are reserved for study and assignments. Successful completion of this section involves full participation in the field simulations and written exams. Students will receive their WFA and Adult CPR certification cards upon completion of the course. These are industry-standard medical certifications that are required for professionals in the outdoor industry.
Service to the environment and to others is one of the core values of Outward Bound. Students are encouraged to practice service to the environment; leaving campsites cleaner than they found them and practicing Leave No Trace ethics. Designated service projects are coordinated with land managers like the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service to collaborate on land restoration projects while other projects may be based in the local community. Students develop a value of service, seeing the impact of their actions firsthand, and transfer this desire to serve to their communities back home.
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 significant decisions about their future, journal and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings unencumbered by the constant stimulation of modern life. Students on an Outdoor Educator course typically experience a 24-48 hour Solo. With all the food, skills and supplies they need, students are given a secluded spot to reflect alone (monitored by Instructors throughout the experience to maintain safety). 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 their Outward Bound course.
While many of our students go on to pursue careers in the outdoor education field, there are an equivalent number who use their skills to pursue careers in social work, education, medical or other fields. The Outdoor Educator course provides a robust classroom for gaining technical skills, wilderness skills and risk management experience. Students will also learn about educational pedagogy, leadership, strategies for creating an inclusive learning environment, decision making processes, conflict resolution, mediation skills and group dynamics.
Big Bend Ranch State Park and Big Bend National Park, Texas
Along the U.S.-Mexico border in southwestern Texas, a powerful river and a mountainous desert unite in Texas’ Big Bend park system. The Texas course area is one of the most remote and geologically dynamic in the nation. The Rio Grande River carves a huge, sweeping bend where Big Bend National Park earns its name. This 750,000-square mile wilderness is the eighth largest national park in the lower 48 states and a desert backpacking and rock climbing paradise. In this region, delicate desert flowers exist alongside fossilized trees millions of years old. Mountain passes give way to steep-walled canyons and cliffs. The land itself is awe-inspiring, with canyons towering 300 to 1,200 feet over the river. It is one of the last true desert regions in North America. Much of this rugged land has remained unchanged for centuries. Hundreds of species of birds and a healthy diversity of other animal and plant communities thrive within the splendid isolation of ancient limestone canyons, juniper and mesquite-covered mesas and coal-black night skies.
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.