Field and Support Intern

Company: Colorado Outward Bound School

Job Description

Organizational Overview 

The Colorado Outward Bound School (COBS) is a non-profit adventure-based education organization that emphasizes personal growth through challenge and experience.  For over 60 years our wilderness courses have focused on inspiring responsibility, teamwork, confidence, compassion, and environmental and community stewardship.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

Colorado Outward Bound School celebrates diversity and strives to create an inclusive environment for all employees. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nation origin, age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is based on qualifications and business needs. Outward Bound has a zero-tolerance policy for incidents of child abuse and neglect and will report any suspected abuse or neglect.

Working at the Colorado Outward Bound School means joining a growth-minded community where we are actively creating a more inclusive organizational culture. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion shows up at all levels of the organization – in our trainings, in our meetings, on our courses, and in our daily lives. This work can be challenging at times, and we are committed to navigating it together to create a supportive and inclusive environment for our staff and our students. To foster a more welcoming outdoor community for all, we are working to address barriers related to race, culture, socioeconomics, ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, geographic location, and mental health.

Position Summary 

The COBS Field and Support Internship is an entry point into COBS and provides an opportunity to learn skills, knowledge, and abilities necessary for the outdoor recreation and education industry. Interns will be based at the Rocky Mountain Program (RMP) in Leadville, Colorado, starting around mid-May and ending in late August, exact dates may vary each year with flexibility to meet individual needs.

The Field and Support Internship has two primary outcomes: learning how to instruct and manage students in the field and learning how to logistically support courses in the field, with a focus on the hands-on application of these skillsets. Through the internship, an individual will gain an initial appreciation and knowledge for outdoor education, program management, and operations. Interns will be offered additional professional development days with Program Managers who are dedicated to their development. Upon completion of the internship, participants will have a clear understanding of job opportunities and requirements at COBS, as well as next steps to apply for an instructional or logistics role with the organization in the future.

The internship starts with a 12-day basecamp and wilderness-based training and offers approximately three weeks of field time in an observational and mentorship capacity, working directly with students and our instructors in the mountains of Colorado. The remainder of the time will be spent supporting the program’s logistical needs: packing food, driving students, organizing gear, and supporting courses in a mentorship capacity working under the guidance of a Logistics staff.

Key Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Develops a foundational understanding and assists in delivering the Outward Bound Mission and Education Framework while learning course components or supporting courses.
  • Fully participates in course planning, including development of educational and technical curricula, route planning, and food and equipment organization and packing.
  • Actively engages in the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) efforts at COBS and contributes to the RMP as a welcoming and inclusive community member.
  • Drives school vehicles to support course needs, where operating large vehicles and driving on 4×4 roads is a common function of the job.  Additional trailer training and long-distance driving with a trailer may also be provided.
  • Works under the supervision of the Warehouse Manager, Logistics Manager, or APD of Logistics and hold responsibility for helping address course-related needs such as transportation, gear, and food for our primarily wilderness-based courses with the support and mentorship of Logistics staff.
  • Helps support course needs before and after course through assisting Instructors, Logistics Coordinators, and Course Directors with planning and packing, supporting evacuations, as well as course debrief paperwork.
  • Contributes to the maintenance of our vehicle fleet through vehicle checks and communicating necessary repairs.
  • Follows warehouse and basecamp systems to help ensure a high-functioning basecamp and program.
  • Assists with packing, cleaning, repairing, and inventory of gear or food.
  • Participates in the emergency on-call system by supporting evacuations and responding to field emergencies when needed
  • Adheres to all local operating procedures, safety policies and emergency procedures outlined in the Field Staff Manual and Employee Handbook.
  • Provides clear, effective, and timely communication with Instructors, Course Directors, the Logistics team, or other staff.
  • Committed to openly sharing and receiving feedback from staff. Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities
  • Personal commitment to, and working knowledge of, the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Knowledge and experience with outdoor recreation and adventure education programs preferred.
  • Ability to effectively work on diverse teams and with a diverse range of people and identities, including those that might be different than your own lived experience.
  • Detail oriented with excellent organizational skills.
  • Ability to demonstrate emotional regulation and balanced decision-making in stressful situations.
  • High level of professionalism with strong leadership attributes both in work and community environments.
  • Strong personal motivation, initiative, follow-through, and commitment.
  • Ability to work both independently and cooperatively as a collaborative team member.
  • Strong and effective communicator, both written and oral. Ability to give and receive both positive and constructive feedback.
  • Demonstrated ability to act as a role model for students, able to engage with a range of student behaviors in a positive manner, and a willingness to develop in this area utilizing COBS’s practices and policies.

Education and Work Experience  

  • Please see https://www.cobs.org/connect/employment/interns/ for more information on the Field & Support Internship
  • Medical Certification: Wilderness First Aid (WFA) & CPR preferred
  • Must have held a driver’s license for over 5 years with a clean driving record.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements 

  • Must be able to participate in all site and course activities and maintain ample energy, strength and focus to support students and instructors.
  • Ability to work on your feet most days, sometimes for extended periods of time.
  • Constantly works in outdoor weather conditions, occasionally during poor weather.
  • Ability to lift, crawl, bend, carry and pull; work is sometimes done in confined spaces and at height.
  • Occasionally must carry equipment weighing up to 50 pounds.
  • Ability to participate in vigorous to moderate physical activity including but not limited to backpacking, mountaineering, and/or rock climbing.


Compensation and Benefits 

  • 12-week (Mid-May – Mid Aug.) Internship, offering a $500/month stipend
  • Onsite housing option with meals included while in the field and when working on base
  • Paid training in outdoor education facilitation, backcountry risk management, technical skills
  • 56 hours of sick pay per year
  • Employee Assistance Program including free counseling sessions
  • Eligibility for up to $1,000 in professional development funds after first season
  • Outdoor professional gear discounts
  • Ability to borrow gear from the COBS equipment library
  • Opportunity for growth: Almost all Program Managers and Directors began as Instructors or Interns. Pursuing a career in outdoor education is possible at COBS!
  • Access to a network of outdoor professionals: COBS is part of an international network of Outward Bound schools. Joining our community will open doors to a vast network of education professionals and potential for employment at our partner schools in the US and around the world.

Application Process 

  • Click “Apply for this Position” or apply through our website www.cobs.or/connect/employment
  • Upload your resume and answer the application instructions
  • Supplemental documents can be uploaded as appropriate
  • Applications accepted on a rolling basis

*Colorado Outward Bound School is an E-Verify Employer*

Posted on: October 31, 2023
Location: Leadville, CO