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Northwest Outward Bound School

  • 6400 NW 83rd Street, Redmond, Oregon

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Wilderness Program – Instructor

With over 50 years of innovation in experiential and outdoor education in the Pacific Northwest, Northwest Outward Bound School (NWOBS) continues to change lives through challenge and discovery. Our transformative and educational wilderness courses are set in some of the most dramatic and stunning parts of the United States. NWOBS was founded in 1965 and facilitates wilderness-based programs in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and also serves urban youth and schools in the Portland metropolitan area. As an Outward Bound School, we are committed to the core values of compassion, integrity, excellence, equity, inclusion and diversity, and strive to achieve the following outcomes: building character, developing leadership skills, and creating an ethic of social and environmental responsibility.


min experience

salary range

$105.00 - $105.00 / day

Additional Job Details

International Applicants Allowed?
Work Visa Sponsoring Available

Job Overview

Instructors intentionally design inclusive and culturally relevant courses, build rapport with students, facilitate difficult conversations, and empower students in interpersonal and outdoor skills. They craft an appropriate progression of the levels of responsibility to meet our outcomes of character development, leadership skills, and an ethic of engagement and reciprocity towards others and the environment.

Primary Role & Responsibilities

Training: Attend, fully participate in, and complete 20+ days of tuition-free training beginning in early May, focused on educational, interpersonal, student management, and technical outdoor skills.

Outdoor Knowledge and Skill: Skillfully manage students and risk in two or more course activities including: backpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering, white water rafting, sea kayaking, and canoeing. Please view the Minimum Skills Standards for this position and download our Outdoor Skills Log template.

Safety: Appropriately manage physical and emotional safety on course. Manage student groups in hazardous terrain (i.e. rough water or uneven terrain). Develop safety plans and manage emergencies per policy utilizing your best judgment.

Use effective communication in times of crisis including SAT phone use in the event of an emergency.

Role model and promote a culture of safety in the wilderness and at basecamp.

Course Delivery: Participate in course planning, including development of educational and outdoor skill curricula, route planning, food and equipment organization, and packing. Effectively assess student needs and facilitate lessons, activities, and discussions to meet student needs and achieve stated course outcomes.

Educational Knowledge and Skill: Plan and deliver engaging experiential-based lessons to achieve desired outcomes. Assist with delivery of student-centered courses focused on the NWOBS mission and facilitation of character development, leadership, and an ethic of inter-dependence and reciprocity to others and the environment.

Interpersonal Knowledge and Skill: Work effectively with students 12-18+ years in age who have never camped before, as well as students from marginalized communities. Work with staff that have different styles and backgrounds. Take initiative and carry out necessary tasks individually and work cooperatively as a team. Provide clear, effective, and timely communication to Students, Instructors, Course Directors, Logistics Coordinators, and Administration.

Uphold NWOBS values and expectations on course and at base: We commit to personal growth in areas of equity, and inclusion; to act with integrity, role modeling excellence and craftsmanship while demonstrating compassion and respect for the diverse lived experiences of peers, students and families.

Special Benefits

  • Professional Development opportunities
  • NWOBS New Staff Training, stipend of $1200.00 paid in 2 installments during the training season which begins May 3rd and ends June 4th.
    • Professional development through training (in-house and external), including: Student Management Skills, Outward Bound Foundations, Equity/Inclusion/Diversity, Mental Health First Aid, and technical skills training for the activities worked.
  • Room & board
  • Employee Assistance Plan
    • Counseling, up to 5 sessions per occurrence
    • 24/7 Crisis line
    • Employer paid 100%
    • Provides up-to-date screened national resources and referrals including childcare, eldercare, legal, financial, well-being coaching, and case coordination
    • Valued at $1000 per case
  • Industry Pro-Deals, discounts from partner brands and other top outdoor gear providers.
  • 50% course tuition discounts for staff and their family members.
  • Individualized training schedules, development plans, and mentorship
  • Opportunity to apply for discounted technical training, such as Swiftwarer rescue and Single Pitch Instructor

Minimum Requirements

  • Must be 21 years of age or older.
  • Possess current Wilderness First Responder and CPR Certifications or willing to obtain one prior to the start of training.
  • Proficient in at least one, with a preference for two of the following outdoor skills: backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing, sea kayaking, whitewater rafting, and canoeing. View guide for Minimum Skills Standards for NWOBS.
  • Minimum 1 year of extensive and comparable experience in risk management, experiential learning, and/or outdoor education.
  • Experience working with students from a broad range of identities, particularly students with marginalized identities, and the ability to facilitate a positive group environment on course, on base, and in any other NWOBS context.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups of people, to create an environment of inclusion and cooperation on course and at Base camp.
  • Ability to have open, honest, and difficult conversations, including the ability to give and receive feedback.
  • Experience working in a team setting and ability to independently resolve conflict or seek support.
  • Awareness of personal biases and the impact (as opposed to intention) that your language, behavior, or assumptions, may have on those around you.
  • Have the willingness to actively engage in anti-racist, sexist, ableist, and all other oppressions, and continually implement new skills and learning to support the liberation of those within your sphere of influence.
  • Ability to take ownership and practice humility in your personal journey toward building a more inclusive and increasingly safer workspace.
  • Ability to plan and facilitate activities, lessons, and discussions, including presenting culturally relevant and engaging lessons that meet learners' needs and reflect their experience beyond their course.
  • Must be sufficiently fit to participate in all duties as assigned and maintain ample energy and focus to aid students and staff.
  • Excellent organizational skills, assessment of self, professionalism, and decision making skills.
  • Strong personal motivation, initiative, humility, commitment, follow through, and passion for NWOBS’ mission.


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