Company Name:

Voyageur Outward Bound School


Ely, Minnesota

Approximate Salary:

Not Specified

Job Category:


Position Type:

Full Time

Required Experience:

5 - 10 years

Required Education:

Bachelor's Degree


October 17, 2017

This job has expired and you can't apply for it anymore. Start a new search.

Associate Program Director - Staffing


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), the Twin Cities, and 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.


The Associate Program Director of Staffing is integral to the program operations of VOBS’s wilderness basecamp, Homeplace, located just outside of Ely, MN. This position is ultimately responsible for recruiting, hiring, training, mentoring, and developing VOBS’ wilderness field staff with the aim of retaining an effective pool of talented staff that is able to deliver safe and effective wilderness programs year after year. This is an 11-month position.


The APD of Staffing is also an integral member of the Ely Summer Management Team from April through October. The position assists with oversight of day-to-day base-camp operations, serves as “on-call” to oversee field evacuations, and provides ongoing leadership to field staff and to the Homeplace community. The APD also acts as a Course Director in the shoulder seasons and field instructor/staff trainer on an as needed basis.



Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Staffing

o   Recruit and hire approximately 30 new staff annually.

o   Strategically re-hire returning seasonal staff on an annual-basis to maintain an effective staff pool.

o   During the summer program, schedule field instructors in a manner that promotes both staff development and high quality programming.

o   Maintain close communication with the Program Support Manager and Intercept Program Manager about staff performance and overlapping staffing needs.

o   Coordinate sharing staff across programs, in particular with VOBS Twin Cities Center

o   Problem-solve and facilitate solutions around scheduling issues and challenges.

o   Communicate with other Program and Staffing Directors across the school to ensure consistent mentorship and development plans for individual field staff.

o   With the Program Director, promote field staff development through appropriate training, evaluation and supervision.

o   Maintain positive relationships with field staff.

o   Communicate with field staff in the off-season regarding scheduling, the upcoming season, and any other pertinent basecamp updates.

o   Participate in national staffing conference calls.

o   Conduct exit interviews with all staff and make recommendations for development at the end of each summer season.

o   Track all employees’ years of service to the school and coordinate corresponding recognition awards.

·        Human Resources

o   Maintain systems to ensure field staff have appropriate minimum standards and up-to-date certifications to work at Homeplace.

o   Manage bi-monthly payroll submission to accounting.

o   Manage ongoing service credits for seasonal staff at Homeplace.

o   Run annual MVR background checks for all staff.

o   Work with Human Resources Manager regarding high level HR functions including Worker’s Compensation claims, compensation and employee conduct issues for all seasonal staff matters.

·        Member of Program Management Team

o   Serve as a primary member of the On-Call and Emergency Response team for field problems and emergencies, including managing evacuations and early departures, in support of and/or in the absence of Course Directors. 

o   Assist with Emergency Response in other program areas including Ely Winter, Twin Cities, and Texas as needed.

o   Serve as a liaison between VOBS and students’ guardians in support of and/or in the absence of Course Directors.

o   Participate in weekly management team meetings.

o   Provide community leadership by serving as a role model and exemplifying Outward Bound’s core values.

o   Attend weekly Course Director meetings occasionally as the representative from the Ely Summer Management Team.

o   Work with the Ely Summer Program Director to review, revise, and design curriculum.

o   Work with program director to develop and facilitate pre-season and mid-season training for field staff aimed at staff engagement, staff development, and addressing emerging training needs.

o   Live on-site at Ely basecamp during the peak season.

·        Other Duties

o   Serve as a course director, field instructor, and staff trainer in the field as necessary (no more than 15%).

o   Spend time in the field visiting student groups, mentoring Course Directors and instructional staff, and assessing program quality and safety (no more than 5%).

o   Supervise some course directors and all intern trainers.

o   Occasionally site-manage whitewater kayak, whitewater canoe, rock climbing, or high ropes activities.

o   Occasionally act as the single point of accountability for Ely basecamp operations when the Summer PD is absent.

o   Other duties as assigned by the Ely Summer PD.

o   Manage VOBS’ pro-deal accounts.

o   Assign housing to field staff based on workload, seniority, and availability


Knowledge and Skills

·        Extensive knowledge of VOBS programs and OB educational philosophy.

·        Excellent communication, interpersonal, verbal, and writing skills.

·        Patience, flexibility, and ability to work well in a team setting.

·        Strong facilitation skills and confidence facilitating challenging conversations with staff, student groups, and parents.

·        Ability to make decisions, be creative, and respond independently.

·        Dynamic educator with strong initiative and an effective staff trainer.

·        Ability to be an inspiring and involved community leader.

·        Strong organizational skills and an ability to prioritize many tasks.

·        Detail-oriented.

·        Demonstrated ability to work calmly under pressure.

·        Willingness to spend time in field (not more than 20%) evaluating staff, course directing, or occasionally instructing.

·        Computer proficiency, particularly with Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

·        Wilderness First Responder certification.

·        Willing to live at Homeplace during the months or May, June, July, August.

·        Familiarity with curriculum design (preferred).

·        Strong skill set in student behavior management (preferred).

·        Knowledge of and experience in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (preferred).

Education and Work Experience

·        3-5 years experience in the outdoor education/experiential learning field or equivalent.

·        Bachelor’s degree (preferred).

·        Experience at the Course Director level for Outward Bound (preferred).

·        1-2 years managerial and administrative experience (preferred).


·        This is an 11-month, full-time position

·        Benefits include paid vacation, health care coverage, and room and board.

·        Salary commensurate with experience.


To Apply

·        Please apply at

·        Applications being accepted on an ongoing base until November 17, 2017.

Company Name:

Voyageur Outward Bound School


Ely, Minnesota

Approximate Salary:

Not Specified

Job Category:


Position Type:

Full Time

Required Experience:

5 - 10 years

Required Education:

Bachelor's Degree


October 17, 2017

Similar Jobs

Eagle's Nest Foundation - Pisgah Forest, North Carolina

Eagle's Nest is seeking a Waterfront Director for the summer of 2019! Responsibi...

Posted - September 20, 2018
Eagle's Nest Foundation - Pisgah Forest, North Carolina

Eagle's Nest is seeking a Rock Climbing Director for the summer of 2019! Respons...

Posted - September 20, 2018
Lycoming College - Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Lycoming College seeks a Director of Outdoor Leadership and Education (OLE). Entering into its fo...

Posted - October 2, 2018
Eagle's Nest Foundation - PISGAH FOREST, North Carolina

Eagle's Nest Camp is seeking a Horseback Riding Director for the summer of 2019!...

Posted - September 20, 2018
Tiny Trees - Seattle, Washington

About Tiny Trees Preschool Tiny Trees’ vision is to create a community where all children have acces...

Posted - September 20, 2018
Apply Now
This job has expired and you can't apply for it anymore