Challenge Course Instructor (Part-Time)

Company: Outward Bound California

Job Type: Part Time

Job Description

Position Description

 Challenge Course Instructors facilitate full-day programs for students in grades 6-12 and adults. This role is responsible for planning curriculum and flow of the day, set up and break down of the course, facilitating students through the program elements, and maintaining safety.  The ideal candidate will be skilled in facilitation and working with a variety of students and ages.

Who We Are

 Outward Bound California (OBCA) is a non-profit that uses challenging experiences in outdoor settings to create social-emotional learning opportunities for our students. At the Challenge Course, we offer 1-day experiences for students aged 12+, including adults. We serve a variety of participant groups including schools, community organizations, and companies. To learn more about our course elements, check out the video tour. OBCA is deeply committed to increasing access for students and schools that have traditionally been excluded from outdoor spaces. We do this through our 40+ community partnerships and offer partial or full scholarships to over 2/3 of our students.

Equity and Inclusion Statement:

We believe that all people should have safe access to the outdoors and culturally relevant and responsive educational programming. OBCA is also striving to create an equitable and inclusive internal culture where all staff members feel represented and honored for their identities and lived experiences. We examine how power, bias, race and other aspects of identity impact our organization. We work to build a culture where we are always learning and improving toward a vision for equity and belonging for all staff. We are looking for team members who can actively join us in this process. We are also committed to reflecting the diverse communities with whom we work and strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ identifying folks, and women to apply.

Who you are…

Outward Bound California does not expect every applicant to have every skill and qualification listed here, and we are committed to the professional development of our employees.  A strong candidate who is interested in growing and learning in this role will possess at least 75% of the following qualifications.  If this is you, then we strongly encourage you to submit an application for consideration.  

An Educator

  • Passionate about working with youth, especially teens and middle schoolers
  • Have a deep understanding and personal commitment to equity and inclusion in the outdoors
  • Lived experience or experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds including age, racial, ethnic, socioeconomic class and members of the LGBTQ+ community
  • Comfortable giving and receiving feedback
  • Adaptable to the different learning needs of students
  • Uses good judgment while making decisions regarding safe use of the challenge course

Physical Requirements

  • Sufficiently fit to participate in all course activities while maintaining ample energy, strength, and focus to aid students and instructors
  • Able to lift and transport 20-50 pounds of gear several times a day
  • Can be on feet most days – sometimes for up to 8 hours a day
  • Comfortable working outdoors, regardless of weather or season
  • Comfortable climbing to height and efficiently moving own body to support rescues and repairs

Current Certifications & Licenses (Required by Start Date)

  • First Aid & CPR/AED (must meet EMSA requirements for childcare providers [i.e. requires an in-person assessment]; please consult this list to find examples of acceptable providers or check compliance with [email protected])

Required Upon Hire

  • 20 years of age or older by start date
  • Able to work weekends and nontraditional hours (earlier than 9am)
  • Able to pass a federal & Live Scan background check, MVR check (if you have a driver’s license), and provide current (within last 4 years) negative TB screen or test results (cost of all screening paid for or reimbursed by OBCA)
  • Up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines as defined by the CDC

Bonus if you…

  • Lived experience or experience working with communities often underrepresented in the outdoors
  • Have prior experience in experiential, outdoor, or environmental education programs
  • Familiar with belaying and spotting low and high ropes course activities
  • Speak Spanish, Mandarin, or Cantonese
  • Hold an ACCT level 1, 2 or equivalent experience
  • Experience with practicing healing centered engagement
  • Have held a valid US or Canadian driver’s license for at least 3 years


Ropes Course Operation

  • Facilitate students through a 1-day challenge course program
  • Fit personal safety equipment
  • Belay participants and teach/monitor student belayers
  • Set up and break down of course

Program Design & Delivery

  • Plan and facilitate programs in conjunction with Outward Bound values and partner’s desired outcomes
  • Assess students to ensure all activities are appropriate for experience level and social/cultural needs
  • Role model inclusive behavior and build a positive group culture
  • Demonstrate cultural responsiveness and an ongoing desire to work with students from diverse backgrounds
  • Create an emotionally safe environment for students and staff
  • Consistently give and receive feedback with co-workers and supervisor to support a learning community

Safety & Risk Management

  • Adhere to all operating procedures, safety policies, and emergency procedures outlined in the staff handbook
  • Clearly establish limits and boundaries for student behavior and independence
  • Respond to or manage a student group in emergencies as appropriate
  • Able to safely and efficiently perform high angle rescue in training and as needed
  • Practice proper self-care and energy management while working outdoors
  • Uphold Outward Bound’s zero-tolerance policy for incidents of child abuse and neglect. Protecting our minor students against abuse and neglect is of the highest priority.

Benefits, Compensation and Location

Compensation & Schedule (Part Time)

  • Starting hourly wage is $22.66/hour with opportunities to promote to Lead Instructor role
  • This is a part-time, hourly position, typically 2.5 days a week (~20 hrs/week)
  • Program operates Tuesday-Saturday, January 20, 2023 through November 3, 2023
  • Paid training week begins January 20 – Feb 3, 2023 (8hrs/day)

Benefits (Part Time)

  • All required trainings are paid
  • Paid Time Off (PTO) – Accrue 1 hour for every 13 hrs worked
  • Unpaid Time Off (UTO) – Accrue 1 hour for every 13 hrs worked
  • Pro Deal, the opportunity to purchase outdoor gear at discounted rates
  • Access to professional development funds and recertification reimbursements
  • Access to Employee Assistance Program (EAP), free of charge for staff and family members
  • Access to free youth development training


Most program days take place at the McLaren Park Ropes Course in southeast San Francisco. Outward Bound California is an equal opportunity employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, protected veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law. Outward Bound California also promotes respect for all people, and will not tolerate harassment based on any of these characteristics.

How to Apply

Please visit our website: https://www.outwardboundcalifornia.org/connect/careers/field-positions/bay-area-challenge-course-instructor-part-time/
Contact Person: Han Bourne
Posted on: November 15, 2023
Location: San Francisco, CA
Job Type: Part Time
Job Starting Date:
April 21, 2024
Application Closing Date:
April 21, 2024
Region(s): California