Outward Bound California pulls its staff from a pool of highly qualified and experienced outdoor educators and each summer we rely on senior staff and industry experts to continue the tradition of professional and personal development through a series of trainings designed to take our programs to the next level. Our diverse staff pool allows for various levels of field experience, but whether you have been working for one year or ten, the push for excellence is the same. Over the past 21 days, 32 of our instructors have been in the field, refreshing their skills, sharing expertise, and building on best practices as educators in preparation for the busy summer season in the High Sierras. We value our staff and the strength of our programs relies on their dedication to their craft and our dedication to their growth as instructors.
Julia Child once said, “You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love”. This is very evident in our instructor base and their passion for our programs, the students, and their own learning. Instructors must be technically sound mountaineers, backpackers, and rock climbers and also have the cultural competency and human skills to create a learning environment where students gain compassion, grit, self-awareness and trust through their outdoor experience. Our training schedule reflects our unique course offerings and the possibilities for adventure from our High Sierra base. Here are some of the trainings our instructors went through over the past three weeks:
Rock Skills I –
Instructors review skills needed to facilitate a full day of rock climbing on course. No rock gyms here! This includes belay monitoring, knots, and itinerary planning.
Rock Skills II –
More seasoned instructors have the opportunity to learn how to set up a rock climbing belay system as well as how to manage the ropes for a crew of students.
Alpine Skills –
A small group of our leaders are up in Tuolumne Meadows learning alpine camp management, mountaineering, and route planning.
New Staff Training –
Instructors new to Outward Bound California are taught mission delivery, driver training, and safety.
Student Management –
All of our staff will come together at the end of this week to hear from expert guest speakers, swap best practices, and learn behavioral management and conflict resolution strategies.