The High Sierra Instructor carries out the mission of Outward Bound with students in the field. Instructors work on a seasonal basis under the supervision of Lead Instructors or Course Directors. They supervise, teach, and facilitate meaningful experiences for students in a backcountry context. High Sierra courses include backpacking and/or rock climbing. Instructors in the High Sierra program deliver a variety of programs, ranging from 4-65 days. These programs and expeditions focus on leadership, service, and character development, and take students into new and challenging outdoor environments.
Who We Are
Outward Bound California (OBCA) is a non-profit that uses challenging experiences in outdoor settings to create social-emotional learning opportunities for our students. We offer a wide range of programs, from 1-day experiences on our San Francisco Challenge Course to multi-day rock climbing and backpacking courses in the High Sierra and Joshua Tree. We work with students aged 12+ (including adults). OBCA is committed to increasing access for those that have traditionally been excluded from outdoor spaces. We do this, in part, through our 40+ community partnerships and by offering partial or full scholarships to over 2/3 of our students.
Equity and Inclusion Statement:
We believe that all people should have safe access to the outdoors and culturally relevant and responsive educational programming. OBCA is also striving to create an equitable and inclusive internal culture where all staff members feel represented and honored for their identities and lived experiences. We examine how power, bias, race and other aspects of identity impact our organization. We work to build a culture where we are always learning and improving toward a vision for equity and belonging for all staff. We are looking for team members who can actively join us in this process. We are also committed to reflecting the diverse communities with whom we work and strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ identifying folks, and women to apply.
Who You Are
Outward Bound California does not expect every applicant to have every skill and qualification listed here, and we are committed to the professional development of our employees. A strong candidate who is interested in growing and learning in this role will possess at least 75% of the following qualifications. If this is you, then we strongly encourage you to submit an application for consideration. An Educator
Passionate about working with youth, especially teens and middle schoolers
Have a deep understanding and personal commitment to equity and inclusion in the outdoors
Lived experience or experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds including age, racial, ethnic, socioeconomic class and members of the LGBTQ+ community
Experience on extended backcountry trips minimum of 50-100 nights, which can be a combination of personal and professional
Comfortable navigating with map and compass on- and off-trail, while leading a group through a variety of alpine terrain and environmental conditions
Familiar with basic campcraft, including tarp set-up, environmental stewardship, and backcountry cooking
Practice proper self-care and energy management while in the backcountry for extended periods of time
A Rock Climber
Experience with rock climbing and instructing harness, helmets, and knot safety checks
Able to instruct and demonstrate belaying and rappelling techniques
Physical & Mental Requirements
Sufficiently fit to participate in all site and course activities while maintaining ample energy, strength, and focus to aid students and instructors
Able to carry pack weights of up to 60-70 pounds
In the case of an emergency, able to move over terrain at a speed of 3+ miles an hour
Able to maintain composure, exercise sound judgment, and assess and mitigate risk under periods of stress
Current Licenses & Certifications (Required by Start Date)
Wilderness First Responder & CPR/AED
CA Epinephrine Auto-Injector
California Food Handler
Additional Requirements (Upon Hire)
21 years of age or older
Able to pass a federal & Live Scan background check and provide current (within the last 4 years) negative TB screen or test results (cost of all paid for or reimbursed by OBCA)
Up-to-date COVID-19 vaccines as defined by the CDC
Bonus if you…
Preferred but not required rock climbing skills:
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor (SPI)
Familiarity with building anchors, placing gear, and lead climbing
Assist in course planning, including development of educational curricula, route planning, food and equipment organization and packing
Create lesson plans and curriculum to safely and effectively transfer responsibility to students Teach and coach students with outdoors skills and social-emotional learning skills Participate in all required trainings
Role model inclusive behavior and build a positive group culture with an equity lens
Give and receive quality feedback with co-workers and supervisor
Use appropriate language and behavior while acting as a role model for students
Maintain self-awareness with regards to their ability to keep themselves and students safe in technical terrain and in a variety of environmental hazards
Manage student group in emergencies and adhere to all local operating procedures, safety policies, and emergency procedures outlined in the staff manual
Uphold Outward Bound’s zero-tolerance policy for incidents of child abuse and neglect. Protecting our minor students against abuse and neglect is of the highest priority.
Benefits, Compensation and Location
Compensation & Schedule
This is a Seasonal, Exempt position
Starting Per Diem wage is $124/day
Room and board provided while on contract
Training begins early May. Work availability through mid to late August, with potential to extend into September
All required trainings are paid
Pro Deal, the opportunity to purchase outdoor gear at discounted rates
Professional development funds
Access to Employee Assistance Program (EAP), free of charge for staff and family members
Seasonal employees receive 56 hours (7 days) of paid sick time upon hire or at the beginning of each calendar year
This position is located at our High Sierra program base in Midpines, California, in the Sierra Nevada foothills 30 miles east of Yosemite National Park.
The basecamp has a main building with an office, program gear sheds, a commercial kitchen and weather port living quarters (durable fabric structures).
Outward Bound California is an equal opportunity employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, protected veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law. Outward Bound California also promotes respect for all people, and will not tolerate harassment based on any of these characteristics.
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