Assistant Instructor (Ely/Twin Cities)

Job Description

Voyageur Outward Bound School (VOBS) is a charter of Outward Bound USA, the leading provider of experiential and outdoor education for youth and adults. VOBS reaches over 2,000 students annually and has been serving its mission-changing lives through challenge and discovery-for over 50 years. At VOBS we provide experiences that challenge an individual’s own perceptions of what is possible, offering everything from multi-week expeditions to single day programs.

We have consistently offered Veteran expeditions, courses for youth and young adults, as well as adults and families. Currently we operate programs at our basecamp in Ely, MN (Homeplace), Twin Cities Center in St. Paul, MN, and near Big Bend National Park in Texas. At VOBS we put a high priority on developing our staff and running a strong organization and we’re proud to have recently been named one of the 100 best places to work by Outside magazine.

Instructors oversee the safety, quality and educational effectiveness of courses. Lead Instructors mentor and evaluate Assistant Instructors, and communicate with parents and teachers when necessary. Assistant Instructors carry out all instructor responsibilities while under the tutelage of Lead Instructors, Course Directors and other program staff.

The Assistant Instructor is an entry level position. Assistant Instructors will receive training in the Spring including wilderness travel training with other staff, technical trainings including rock climbing and ropes course, and training on VOBS curriculum and education philosophy. The training is intended to provide familiarity with VOBS policies, procedures, educational approach, as well as knowledge of the local course area. On-the-job training continues when the Assistant Instructor begins working in the field with student populations under the supervision of a Course Director and a Lead Instructor. The instructional team of Lead and Assistant Instructor are responsible for using a wilderness expedition as the means for delivering educationally-effective and safe Outward Bound courses to a wide-range of populations. During the summer season, the majority of work will be with youth and young adults, including but not limited to, the teenage at-risk youth population.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Works with instructor team and Course Director to design and implement experiential outdoor education programs that promote social and emotional learning and support Outward Bound’s mission and educational goals
Works with instructor team to plan expedition logistics including: route planning, pre/post course paperwork, expedition food, and equipment organization/packing
Maintains physical and emotional safety of students and co-instructor during all course activities; manages student behaviors, group dynamic, and field emergencies
Ensures adherence to local operating procedures, safety policies and emergency procedures as outlined in the field staff manual
Expected to provide clear, effective and timely communication with co-instructor, Course Director and other staff

Experience and Qualifications
Understanding of experiential and outdoor education principles and desire to instruct diverse student groups with various ethnicities, races, socio-economics, genders, learning abilities, and ages
Professional expedition, education, and/or youth development experience (Outward Bound, NOLS, or similar organization) including a minimum of 40 days in the field; some of which should be on extended wilderness expeditions
Required Certifications: Wilderness First Responder and CPR, Water Safety or Lifeguard Certification, Valid Driver’s License
Expedition Skills: canoeing, backpacking, campcraft, navigation, expedition logistics, and leave no trace ethics
Canoe Skills: can paddle a canoe in difficult conditions/moving water, perfom swimmer and canoe rescues and teach basic paddle strokes; whitewater experience helpful
Teambuilding, top-rope rock climbing, and high/low ropes course facilitation experience preferred
Safety management: assess student ability and backcountry hazards to ensure all activities and travel options are safe and appropriate
Maintains sound judgment in adverse situations and field emergencies
Bachelors or Associates Degree preferred
Clean driving record
Minimum 21 years old

Job Requirements
Sufficiently fit to participate in vigorous course activities, including but not limited to: running, swimming, backpacking, climbing, canoeing
Able to drive school vehicles, including vans, trucks, and trailers for up to 8 hours per day
Able to lift and move 40-60 pounds
Able to work 20+ days consecutively, including nights & weekends
Participate in all scheduled trainings

Compensation and Benefits
Receives per diem pay according to VOBS’ Field Instructor Pay Scale for all preparation, execution, and wrap-up of coursework
Field expedition training plus additional field skills development throughout the year
Accident Insurance available through VOBS
Eligible for Pro-deal with various outdoor equipment companies
Housing available

Summer hiring generally concludes by February; positions will remain open until filled. Interviews will begin on a rolling basis starting November 1st.
Summer staff training will begin in mid-May

To Apply

Submit online application, resume, and technical skills log at
Interviews will begin in November on a rolling basis.

Application Closing Date: 
Not Specified
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Ely, MN and St. Paul, MN positions available

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