The Northwest Outward Bound School (NWOBS) changes lives through challenge and discovery. Our students are provided an opportunity to explore their strengths, fears, build authentic relationships and connect with the natural environment. Together, we discover that we are often more capable and interdependent than we ever thought possible. By bringing Outward Bound experiences back to their families, schools and communities, our students are the leaders who will help create the more peaceful, equitable, and sustainable world we all yearn to have.
NWOBS facilitates wilderness-based programs in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and serves urban youth, schools, and partner organizations in the Portland metropolitan area. As an Outward Bound school, we are committed to the core values of compassion, integrity, excellence, equity, and inclusion. NWOBS strives to achieve the following outcomes: building character, developing leadership skills, and creating an ethic of personal, social, and environmental responsibility.
The School's operations are run out of three locations in the PNW:
Portland, Oregon | Redmond, Oregon | Mazama, Washington
Join Northwest Outward Bound School! Be the catalyst for growth and thriving our communities so deeply need.
We recognize that members of our community face barriers to safe, transformative, culturally relevant, and inclusive outdoor experiences.
At NWOBS we believe that our school has a responsibility, as an educational institution, to identify and dismantle barriers so that together we can fulfill our mission.
Student and staff experience are our priorities, we are committed to listening to the feedback our students and staff so generously offer.
We are passionate, committed to the mission, and proud to serve youth in both urban and natural spaces.
We build resilient communities through intentional engagement in the field, classroom, base camp and office.
We incorporate values of compassion, excellence, integrity, equity, inclusion, and reciprocity on course and in every aspect of our workplace.
We practice open communication, collaboration, creativity, effective problem solving, and we welcome new ideas.
We are a wonderful, creative community at base camp. Typically we are 30-40 staff including Instructors, Administrators, Course Directors, Logistics Coordinators, a Cook, and others. We begin our day at 8:30 am with a morning meeting to nurture connections before working together to care and maintain our living spaces. While not working, we continue to enjoy amenities provided at base; showers, wifi, housing, and meals.
Amazing recreational opportunities are located near each base camp; providing us with unique and humbling landscapes in which to replenish and recover. You’ll enjoy the beautiful ancestral lands of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Wasco and Paiute tribes, where the Odin Falls Base camp is located in Redmond, Oregon, or the Nlaka'pamux and the Okanagan ancestral lands, now named the Methow Valley in Mazama, Washington.
General Qualifications & Requirements
(dependent and varied based on position)
Meet the requirements listed in job description (see position links above)
21 years of age or older
Motor Vehicle/Background check clearance
Successful completion of Staff Training (from 5 to 30 days in length depending on the position)
Demonstrated ability to live and work in alignment with community values of inclusion.
COVID-19 Staff Vaccination Requirement: We require all employees to be up-to-date with vaccination and booster requirements, as defined by the CDC, no later than Feb 1, 2023 for spring employees and by Apr 1, 2023 for summer employees. Proof of vaccination is a required part of hiring paperwork for all employees. Community safety is our priority!
Hiring Process for Wilderness Programs
Northwest Outward Bound School begins the hiring process for the following season by opening applications in October of the previous year. Interviews are conducted with qualified applicants from November through the following February.
In January and February, qualified applicants receive work offers that are contingent on the successful completion of training the following May. Training is a time for trainees to; enhance risk management skills, delve into student management practices, increase capacity to work with diverse populations, fine-tune outdoor skills, review institutional best practices, and practice facilitation skills.
Trainees will be evaluated and assessed on their:
Ability to work as a member of a team
Ability to give and receive feedback
Understanding of risk management
Capacity to design and deliver engaging lessons
Performance of outdoor skills
Upon completion of training, the Associate Program Director at your Base camp will finalize your course schedule for the season based on a skills assessment. New staff typically receive 35-50 days of work between June and August, with the possibility of work in September. Staff are paid a per diem rate, with meals and housing provided as an untaxed benefit. Positions are open until filled.
Instructor and Educator Training
Room and board
NWOBS’ Employee Assistance Program
Mental Health Counseling
Financial Coaching and more!
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
Portland Program Positions
Our main administrative team and partnership programs operate out of Portland, OR. We work with Portland area schools, businesses, and organizations to develop specialized partnerships that range from single-day courses to multi-year programs. If you're interested in Portland-based job opportunities, look for Portland Programs positions or administrative positions.
Pathways to Employment
Successful staff come from diverse backgrounds and positions including classroom teachers, guides, camp counselors, recreational enthusiasts, Outward Bound (OB) alumni, naturalists, and college experiential and adventure education graduates. Many senior staff started their professional outdoor career with Outward Bound by taking an Outdoor Educator Course or stepping into a Logistics Coordinator role.
It is the policy of NWOBS to provide equal employment opportunity in accordance with applicable law to all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, political opinion, national origin, familial status, mental or physical disabilities, source of income, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local law, in all personnel action. NWOBS is committed to taking actions to diversify its workforce through initiatives to increase accessibility and a felt sense of inclusion, people of color and individuals enthusiastic about the outdoors who have been historically excluded are encouraged to apply.
J-1 Visa Applicants may be eligible for travel reimbursement. Reach out to learn more!
No other emails or phone calls, please. We appreciate all responses, but due to the expected high volume of resumes received, we can only contact those applicants whose qualifications best match the position requirements.
Sign Up for Updates
Stay informed on Northwest Outward Bound School news and updates! Please fill out the form below to begin receiving our email newsletter.