The Challenge Course Instructor position is an entry-level instructional position, providing familiarity with Outward Bound policies, procedures, and educational framework. Insight Programs are full-day leadership experiences designed for students in grades 6-12 and adults. The Insight Programs at Outward Bound California include ropes course, ground games, and initiatives to groups of participants (i.e., schools, community organizations, companies, etc.) The Challenge Course Instructor reports to the Bay Area Insight Program Manager. This individual is responsible for maintaining consistency among Insight programs and upholding our high quality of programs. The ideal candidate will be skilled in facilitation and working with a variety of group types and ages.
Who We Are
Outward Bound California (OBCA) is part of a national network of experiential and outdoor education programs, with a 50 year history in the US, serving over 40,000 students annually. OBCA uses unique experiences in natural settings to create social-emotional learning opportunities for our students to tap into their inherent potential as compassionate leaders and active participants in their communities.
We work with students on a range of programs, from 1-day experiences on our San Francisco Challenge Course to multi-day rock climbing, backpacking and mountaineering courses ranging from 7 to 65 days long. We work with students aged 12+, including adults, educators and veterans. OBCA is deeply committed to opening up access for students and schools that have traditionally been excluded from outdoor spaces and programs and we do this through over 40 effective community partnerships. As a non-profit, more than 2/3 of our students receive partial or full scholarships to go on a course with us in the High Sierra, Southern California and in the Bay Area.
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
OBCA does not expect every applicant to have each 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.
Passionate about working with youth, especially teens and middle schoolers
Understanding of institutional and systemic barriers in outdoor recreation and committed to expanding access & inclusion for under-representedcommunities
Experience working effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds including age, racial, ethnic, socioeconomic class and members of the LGBTQ community while providing trauma informed care
Comfortable giving and receiving feedback, self-aware and growth-oriented
Skilled in Experiential Facilitation
Uses good judgement while making decisions regarding safe and effective use of the challenge course
Able to frame, facilitate, and debrief course activities in alignment with the Outward Bound curriculum
Adaptable to the different learning style needs of students and being able to adjust activities as needed
21 years of age or older
Comfortable working outdoors, regardless of weather or season
Able to work weekends and nontraditional hours (earlier than 9am and later than 5pm)
Able to pass a federal background check, Live Scan background check, and provide current negative TB test results upon hire (cost of all screening paid for or reimbursed by OBCA)
Hold, or are willing to obtain before start date, current Wilderness First Aid or higher and CPR certifications
OBCA requires all field and program staff who have direct contact with our students to be fully vaccinated as defined by the CDC.
Sufficiently fit to participate in all site and course activities while maintaining ample energy, strength, and focus to aid students and instructors
Able to lift and transport 20-50 pounds of gear several times a day
Can be on feet most days - sometimes for up to 10 hours a day, possibly more in the case of an emergency
Comfortable working outdoors, regardless of weather or season
Comfortable climbing to height and efficiently moving own body to perform rescue and repair
Bonus if you…
Have prior experience in experiential, outdoor, or environmental education programs (Outward Bound experience preferred)
Familiar with belaying and spotting low and high ropes course activities
Speak Spanish, Mandarin, or Cantonese
Hold an ACCT level 1, 2 or equivalent experience
Ropes Course Operation
Facilitate students through a 1-day challenge course program, including fitting personal safety equipment, belaying participants, spotting low elements and facilitating a safe and fun experience
Facilitate effective belay school for student belayers, and coach for a safe and effective experience
Effectively supervise and monitor student and group belay, taking reasonable steps to determine if the student or group is able to perform the role safely
Program Design & Delivery
Plan and facilitate programs for student groups, utilizing Outward Bound values in conjunction with partner’s desired outcomes
Assess students to ensure all activities are appropriate for experience level and social/cultural needs.
Role model inclusive behavior and build a positive group culture, while building rapport with students and colleagues
Demonstrate cultural responsiveness and an ongoing desire to work with students from diverse backgrounds in the outdoors
Create an emotionally safe environment for students and staff
Consistently strive to give and receive feedback with co-workers and supervisor to cultivate a reflective learning community
Provide opportunities for student discovery and reflection
Safety & Risk Management
Adhere to all operating procedures, safety policies and emergency procedures outlined in the staff handbook
Clearly establish limits and boundaries for student behavior and independence
Respond to or manage a student group in emergencies as needed and as appropriate
Able to safely and efficiently perform high angle rescue in training and as needed
Utilize organizational communication systems in the event of an emergency
Practice proper self-care and energy management while working outdoors
Benefits, Compensation and Location
Compensation & Schedule (Part-Time)
Starting hourly wage is $17.35/hour with opportunities to move up to Lead Instructor role
This is a part-time, hourly position, typically 2.5 days a week Program operates Tuesday-Saturday, January 20, 2022 through November 5, 2022
Paid training begins January 20 - 29, 2022 (8hrs/day)
All required trainings are paid
Paid Time Off (PTO) - Accrue 1 hour for every 13 hrs worked
Unpaid Time Off (UTO) - Accrue 1 hour for every 13 hrs worked
Pro Deal, the opportunity to purchase outdoor gear at discounted rates
Access to professional development funds and recertification reimbursements
Opportunity to enroll in supplemental, subsidized accident/injury insurance coverage
Access to Employee Assistance Program (EAP), free of charge for staff and family members
Highly energetic and supportive work environment in a mission-driven organization
Most program days take place at the McLaren Park Ropes Course in southeast San Francisco. This position also operates out of our Bay Area program base in the Presidio, a national park in San Francisco. The basecamp consists of two buildings with offices, warehouse and kitchen.
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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