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.
The COBS Emerging Leadership Fellowship provides an opportunity for training and obtaining field experience to fill an entry-level instructor position during the summer season based in the Rocky Mountain Program (RMP) in Leadville, Colorado. This seasonal position begins in the summer (May) and ends in August. Paid training takes place prior to beginning your role as an instructor. New Instructors at the RMP split time between Field Instruction and Logistics support. There are often opportunities for work in the Fall after successful completion of new instructor training.
Fellows are hired annually and will join our existing team of Instructors and Course Directors to deliver the Outward Bound mission and Education Framework through primarily a wilderness setting, primarily backpacking in Colorado. Fellows, alongside all other new instructors, will participate in pre-season trainings. Upon successful completion of any of our trainings, fellows will work as a primary instructor on courses and will be responsible for managing risk while on the course. Fellows also support pre- and post-course needs through planning, packing and structuring the course, completing course debrief paperwork, safety analysis and gear cleaning.
If a Fellow is unable to meet the standards of training at that time, they will be positioned as an apprentice on a course and will be mentored by the instructional staff, a step in becoming an instructor the following summer. Fellows will be supported by a dedicated program leader who will support their career aspirations, assist with skill development, and support scheduling, community, and support needs.
In the Logistics role, staff are responsible for coordinating course-related needs for students and staff such as transportation, gear, and food for course. This role also provides support with daily warehouse and basecamp operations and student evacuations. Both roles require the need to be collaborative, flexible, and hardworking with a commitment to ensuring a safe and quality educational experience for students and co-staff.
After the Fellowship is complete you will have an End of Season check-in and we will look back on your summer and work with you to continue growing as an instructor. We will also provide support for your career goals, both within COBS and outside the organization.
Essential Responsibilities and Duties
- Deliver the Outward Bound mission and Education Framework while teaching course components.
- Educate students about character development, leadership, and service.
- Committed to building a sustainable, equitable, and inclusive work environment where diversity is celebrated and valued across the COBS community, and our staff and students feel a sense of belonging.
- Supports the program and other staff in all aspects of course safety; identifying, assessing and managing environmental and human risk, using risk assessment and decision-making tools.
- Demonstrates the ability to behave as a role model for students, able to manage a range of student behaviors in a positive manner.
- Follow warehouse and basecamp systems to ensure a high-functioning basecamp and program.
- Packing, cleaning, repairing, and inventorying of gear, food, and facilities.
- Participate in the emergency on-call system by supporting evacuations and responding to field emergencies when needed; may be required to manage a student group and all emergencies in co-staff’s absence. Will serve on Logistics On-Call rotation to support evacuations with driving support and student supervision while on base.
- Adheres to all local operating procedures, safety policies and emergency procedures outlined in the Field Staff Manual and Employee Handbook.
- Provide clear, effective, and timely communication with an Instructor, Logistical Staff, Course Director, Supervisor, or other staff. Committed to openly sharing and receiving feedback.
- Take photos while on course and at course events.
- Participates in course planning; including development of educational and technical curricula, route planning, food and equipment organization/packing, and post course paperwork.
- Oversees logistical systems that include food planning, food packing, and gear packing for up to 40 people; tracking, managing, and repairing gear; and providing valuable feedback to continue improving course quality and the student experience.
- Functions as a driver for course events, where operating large vehicles and driving on 4×4 roads is a common function of the job. Including contributing to vehicle maintenance through vehicle checks and communication of needs for repairs.
Education and Work Experience
- Medical Certification: Must be able to obtain a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) prior to training, COBS is able to assist with this. Please see: Desert Mountain Medicine’s website: (https://desertmountainmedicine.com/outdoor-rescue-training-courses/wilderness-first-responder-wfr/)
- NOLS WMI Courses (https://www.nols.edu/en/coursefinder/courses/wilderness-first-responder-WFR/)
- Other great organizations are: SOLO and Wilderness Medical Associates
Mental Health First Aid Certification: Available trainings can be found at https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/population-focused-modules/youth/
- Exhibits sound and accurate judgement
- Demonstrates safe and appropriate use of equipment and materials
- Experience working on diverse teams or with a diverse range of people
- Experience working with youth
- Practices 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
Work in both independent and cooperative team environments, and prioritize multiple projects simultaneously
- Strong and effective communicator, both written and oral
- Ability to give and receive both positive and constructive feedback
- Experience and comfort sleeping and living in a wilderness environment, often in inclement weather, is preferred
Working Conditions and Physical Requirements
- Must be able to participate in all site and course activities and maintain ample energy, strength and focus to aid students and instructors, with or without reasonable accommodations
- On feet most days – sometimes 16+ hours a day, or possibly more in the case of an emergency
- Constantly works in outdoor weather conditions, often during poor weather
- Ability to lift, crawl, bend, carry and pull. Work is sometimes done in confined spaces and at height
- 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
- Paid trainings at Training Wage – $80 per day
- Post training wage – $105 per day
- 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.
- Click “Apply for this Position” below.
- Upload your resume, technical experience log, 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*