Voyageur Outward Bound School (VOBS) is a charter of Outward Bound USA, the leading provider of experiential and outdoor education for youth and adults. VOBS reaches over 2,000 students annually and has been serving its mission-changing lives through challenge and discovery-for over 50 years. At VOBS we provide experiences that challenge an individual’s own perceptions of what is possible, offering everything from multi-week expeditions to single day programs.
We have consistently offered Veteran expeditions, courses for youth and young adults, as well as adults and families. Currently we operate programs at our basecamp in Ely, MN (Homeplace), Twin Cities Center in St. Paul, MN, and near Big Bend National Park in Texas. At VOBS we put a high priority on developing our staff and running a strong organization and we’re proud to have recently been named one of the 100 best places to work by Outside magazine.
Instructors oversee the safety, quality and educational effectiveness of courses. Lead Instructors mentor and evaluate Assistant Instructors, and communicate with parents and teachers when necessary. Assistant Instructors carry out all instructor responsibilities while under the tutelage of Lead Instructors, Course Directors and other program staff.
The Twin Cities Center delivers both multi-day (Expedition) and day-long (Insight) experiential education programming. These programs work with a diverse spectrum of students across an array of high impact activities including: urban adventure, canoeing, rock climbing, ropes course, environmental service and orienteering. Programs focuses on self-discovery, problem-solving, team development, collaboration, and communication in small group settings.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Works with instructor team and Course Director to design and implement experiential outdoor education programs that promote social and emotional learning and support Outward Bound’s mission and educational goals
- Works with instructor team to plan expedition logistics including: route planning, pre/post course paperwork, expedition food, and equipment organization/packing
- Maintains physical and emotional safety of students and co-instructor during all course activities; manages student behaviors, group dynamic, and field emergencies
- Ensures adherence to local operating procedures, safety policies and emergency procedures as outlined in the field staff manual
- Expected to provide clear, effective and timely communication with co-instructor, Course Director and other staff
Additional Responsibilities of LEAD INSTRUCTOR:
- Is responsible for all aspects of course and student learning: including teaching all aspects of program, creating curriculum, group safety, emergency management, program/expedition logistics, and pre/post course paperwork
- Acts as primary trainer/mentor for Assistant Instructor providing timely feedback, coaching, and guidance as necessary
- Manages group alone in case of absence of Assistant Instructor
Experience and Qualifications
- Understanding of experiential and outdoor education principles and desire to instruct diverse student groups with various ethnicities, races, socio-economics, genders, learning abilities, and ages
- Professional expedition, education, and/or youth development experience (Outward Bound, NOLS, or similar organization) including a minimum of 40 days in the field; some of which should be on extended wilderness expeditions
- Required Certifications: Wilderness First Responder and CPR, Water Safety or Lifeguard Certification, Valid Driver’s License
- Expedition Skills: canoeing, backpacking, campcraft, navigation, expedition logistics, and leave no trace ethics
- Canoe Skills: can paddle a canoe in difficult conditions/moving water, perfom swimmer and canoe rescues and teach basic paddle strokes; whitewater experience helpful
- Teambuilding, top-rope rock climbing, and high/low ropes course facilitation experience preferred
- Safety management: assess student ability and backcountry hazards to ensure all activities and travel options are safe and appropriate
- Maintains sound judgment in adverse situations and field emergencies
- Bachelors or Associates Degree preferred
- Clean driving record
- Minimum 21 years old
- Sufficiently fit to participate in vigorous course activities, including but not limited to: running, swimming, backpacking, climbing, canoeing
- Able to drive school vehicles, including vans, trucks, and trailers for up to 8 hours per day
- Able to lift and move 40-60 pounds
- Able to work 20+ days consecutively, including nights & weekends
- Participate in all scheduled trainings
Compensation and Benefits
- Receives per diem pay according to VOBS’ Field Instructor Pay Scale for all preparation, execution, and wrap-up of coursework
- Field expedition training plus additional field skills development throughout the year
- Accident Insurance available through VOBS
- Eligible for Pro-deal with various outdoor equipment companies
- Housing available
- Summer hiring generally concludes by February; positions will remain open until filled. Interviews will begin on a rolling basis starting November 1st.
- Summer staff training will begin in late May