We teach in classrooms, in nature, and in the remote wilderness of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.
Northwest Outward Bound School is based in three different locations here in the PNW:
Portland, Oregon | Redmond, Oregon | Mazama, Washington
Our classic wilderness expeditions and custom group programs operate out of both our base camps, Odin Falls (Redmond, OR)and Mazama (Mazama, WA), while our main administrative operations, Portland Schools Program, and other group programs are stationed out of Portland, Oregon. Our classic wilderness expedition courses and most custom courses are typically 7 to 65 days in length, while the Portland Schools Program courses are specialized partnerships with urban schools, clubs, and organizations that can last from 2 hours to 5 day courses, and can include semester-long initiatives through in-school instructor programming.
Logistics Coordinators are the backbone of our program operations; planning and preparing are their forte while interacting with students effectively during course starts, resupplies, and course ends.
Base Camp Cooks have an integral role by feeding hungry bellies and enhancing the work atmosphere by creating a positive work environment in the kitchen.
Instructors facilitate value-forming experiences by promoting teamwork and leadership through challenges. Assistant Instructors (AI) are well rounded outdoor educators with experience in educational, interpersonal, and technical skills. Specialized programming and open enrollment programming have similar outcomes for our students, yet AI’s instructing between these two distinct types of programming have different degrees of ability in various skill sets. AI’s who work for Portland Program have experience in classroom instruction, counseling, and facilitation skills. AI’s who work out of Odin Falls and Mazama Base Camps have many of the qualities mentioned above and additionally, 1+ year of experience managing students on wilderness expeditions.
Interns are in a unique role for people interested in the outdoor industry to observe, experience, and develop three different roles; logistics, instructing, and administration.
Field Correspondent Interns enjoy documenting experiences in the field through photography and video. This internship offers the opportunity to be a part of sharing the NWOBS story with a broader audience utilizing social media and being a part of our visual identity and marketing goals.
General Qualifications for Field Staff
(dependent and varied based on position)
Medical Certification (Wilderness First Responder, Wilderness First Aid certified, and/or CPR), current or able to acquire prior to beginning work
21 years or older
Successful completion of training (from 5 to 25 days in length)
Meeting the requirements listed in job description
Northwest Outward Bound School begins the hiring process for the following season (May – September) beginning in November.
From January – February, applicants are offered work on the contingency of a successful completion of training.
Trainings begin in May and are a time where trainees learn facilitation skills and structuring a course, deliver lessons, delve into student populations and management, receive feedback, perform outdoor skills, enhance their risk management skills, and learn institutional best practices.
Trainings are a time where trainers evaluate abilities in:
Ability to work as a member of a team
Receive and give feedback
Risk management skills
Design and deliver engaging lessons
Performance of outdoor skills
Upon completion of training, the Hiring and Staffing Manager and Program Directors will have a formal assessment and will determine where you might fit best for the season. New staff typically receive 40 - 50 days of work from June – August, with a possibility to work in September. Staff are paid a per diem pay rate, and during the season staff can stay in staff housing and enjoy food from the basecamp chef. NWOBS supports staff through professional development opportunities including; professional trainings, discounted Single Pitch Instructor Certification, and a possibility for a $2,000 staff expedition grant (Mike Armstrong Award). We strongly suggest staff to plan for a 2-3 year (seasonal) commitment to develop their skills and promote to Instructor to give back and guide future new staff in their development.
Pathways to Employment
Classroom teachers, guides, counselors, recreational enthusiasts, Outward Bound (OB) alumni, naturalists and college experiential and adventure education graduates describe many of our staff’s backgrounds that demonstrate the diversity of our staffing pool. Many senior staff started their professional outdoor career with Outward Bound by taking an Instructor Development Course and/or stepped into a Internship role. If you do not meet the qualifications for employment as an Assistant Instructor, these are great avenues to consider.
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