Challenge Course Site Manager

Company: Outward Bound California

Job Type: Full Time, Part Time

Job Description

Application open until filled. No cover letter required. Please submit an ACCT Portfolio with your application so we can better understand your experience with Challenge Course programming.

We are committed to reflecting the diverse communities with whom we work and strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ identifying folks, and women to apply.

Position Description
Become a leader of outdoor education with Outward Bound California as a Challenge Course Site Manager. Come to work at McLaren Park with a stunning view of San Francisco Bay & surrounding cityscape, all while serving the local community. You will supervise the day-to-day of the challenge course and mentor staff in facilitation, technical skills & risk-management. You will also help develop curriculum for our programs that instill courage, confidence, and compassion in our participants. Our Site Managers have at least 50 days (or 400 hours) of facilitation on challenge course programs. If you’re ready to weave together the magic of facilitation, mentorship, and community building, then we’re excited to read your application. Come join our team of passionate educators!

Compensation & Schedule (Full-Time)

  • Starting hourly wage is $30.90/hour with a $1500 commitment bonus after 400 hours
  • This is a full-time, hourly position, 5 days/week, (approximately 34-38 hours/ week). Part-time work (approximately 20 hours/week) also available if interested.
  • Our annual season runs from late January until early November with opportunities to return for the next season
  • Staff meet for a half day on Tuesdays. Student programs run Wednesday-Saturday, 8am-4pm. There is also an unpaid summer break of programs from June 10-15 & July 29-August 3, 2024. Availability of work is dependent on the number of booked programs.

Benefits (Full-Time)

Comprehensive health, dental, and vision insurance with employer contribution, Long-term Disability & Life Insurance, Flexible Spending Account, Paid and Unpaid Time Off – Accrue 1 hour for every 13 hrs worked, Paid designated holidays, 401K (with employer match) after 1-year of employment, Pro Deals (the opportunity to purchase outdoor gear at discounted rates), free youth development training, professional development funds, and recertification reimbursements, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), free of charge for staff and family members, all required training is paid


Most program days take place at the McLaren Park Ropes Course in southeast San Francisco.

Who We Are
Outward Bound California uses challenging outdoor experiences to teach social-emotional skills like teamwork, leadership, confidence, and compassion. We offer a wide range of programs, including high/low ropes activities at our San Francisco Challenge Course and multi-day rock climbing/backpacking trips in the High Sierra or Joshua Tree. Our programs help our participants (ages 12+, including adults and veterans) embrace challenges and reflect on how they want to contribute to their communities and the world.

We are a part of the Outward Bound USA network of outdoor education programs, with a 60-year history in the US as a leading provider of outdoor education. OBCA is a non-profit and is committed to increasing access for those who have traditionally been excluded from outdoor spaces. We work towards this goal with our 40 community partners and by offering scholarships to more than half 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. If you have 75% of the following qualifications, we encourage you to apply.

Experienced in Challenge Course Facilitation

  • Have at least 50 days or 400 hours of facilitation on challenge course programs or equivalent
  • Experience managing a team of instructors and serving as single point of accountability
  • Uses sound judgment while making decisions regarding safe use of the challenge course
  • Familiar with belaying and spotting low and high ropes course activities
    Able to work weekends and nontraditional hours (earlier than 9am and later than 5pm)

An Educator

  • Have prior experience in experiential, outdoor, or environmental education programs
  • Passionate about working with youth, especially teens and middle schoolers and expanding access to the outdoors for underrepresented communities
  • Comfortable giving and receiving feedback
  • Able to frame, facilitate, and debrief course activities to promote reflection and self-discovery
  • Experience providing trauma informed care
  • Have a deep understanding and personal commitment to equity and inclusion in the outdoors
  • Lived experience or experience working effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds including age, racial, ethnic, socioeconomic class and members of the LGBTQ+ community

Physical Requirements

  • Able to lift and transport 20-50 pounds of gear several times a day
  • Can be on feet most days – sometimes for up to 10 hours a day, possibly more in the case of an emergency
  • Comfortable working outdoors, regardless of weather or season
  • Comfortable climbing to height and efficiently moving own body to perform rescue and repair

Required Current Certifications & Licenses 

  • Wilderness First Aid & CPR (or higher)

Other Requirements

  • Are 21 years of age or older
  • Able to pass a federal & Live Scan background check, MVR check, and current negative TB test results upon hire (cost of all screening paid for or reimbursed by OBCA)

Bonus If You…

  • Speak Spanish, Mandarin, or Cantonese
  • Hold an ACCT Level II or equivalent experience
  • Have held a valid US or Canadian driver’s license for at least 3 years
  • Available on Saturdays


Ropes Course Operation

  • Oversee planning and facilitation of one-day programs, with an eye to the big picture and safety of the program
  • Manage a team of Instructors on course and ensure safety procedures are being followed
  • Assess risk and make decisions in the interest of safety of staff and students
  • Facilitate effective & thorough belay school for student belayers, and coach/evaluate for a safe and effective experience
  • Responsible for ensuring daily course inspections occur, are documented, and discrepancies are elevated.
  • Responsible for ensuring all course paperwork and logs are completed.

Program and Educational Design

  • Assess and mentor Instructors to support growth and development
  • Demonstrate cultural responsiveness and an ongoing desire to work with students from diverse backgrounds in the outdoors
  • Assess and adapt activities so that they are appropriate for the students’ experience level, desired group outcomes and social/cultural needs
  • Give and receive feedback with co-workers and supervisor to cultivate a reflective learning community
  • Role model inclusive and compassionate behavior that build a positive group culture for students and staff

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 needed and as appropriate
  • Able to safely and efficiently perform high angle rescue in training and as needed
  • Manage big picture and delegate responsibilities in the event of an emergency and utilize organizational communication systems Practice proper self-care and energy management while working outdoors
  • Uphold Outward Bound’s zero-tolerance policy for incidents of child abuse and neglect as protecting our minor students against abuse and neglect is of the highest priority

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.

Contact Person: Han Bourne
Posted on: March 18, 2024
Location: San Francisco, CA
Job Type: Full Time, Part Time
Application Closing Date:
May 25, 2024
Job Salary Range:
Years of Experience: 3 – 5 years
Preferred/Required Degree Level: Not Specified
Region(s): California