High Sierra Field Intern

Job Description

The High Sierra Internship is a hand-ons introduction to the Outward Bound educational model through all lenses of the organization. Interns are supervised directly by the High Sierra Program Manager. Interns have three primary roles: Instructional Intern, Support Intern, and Administrative Intern. Through these roles, Interns gain a comprehensive understanding of outdoor education programming and facilitation. Between 1-3 weeks of their time will be spent in the field in an observational and mentored capacity, working directly with students. Additionally, 1-3 weeks will be spent in the world of the Logistics Coordinator, orchestrating all logistical needs to support courses. The remainder of their contract will be spent building community, gaining professional development, and supporting program administrative needs. Some time may be spent shadowing members of the High Sierra administrative team.

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

  • Comfortable giving and receiving feedback
  • Works effectively with a wide variety of age groups and populations from diverse backgrounds
  • Clear, assertive, and effective when communicating
  • Easily builds rapport with students and colleagues
  • Culturally competent: You role model inclusive behavior and build a positive group culture
  • Maintains a positive attitude
  • Highly organized, with a strong attention to detail
  • Comfortable with general camping and backpacking skills and camping in mountain environments
  • Practices proper self-care and energy management while in the backcountry for extended periods of time

Additional Qualifications 

  • Willing to undergo a federal and Live Scan background check and provide current negative TB test results upon hire (cost of all screening paid for or reimbursed by OBCA)
  • 21 years of age or older
  • Hold current Standard First Aid (8-hour training) & CPR and California Food Handler certifications (or willing to obtain by start date)
  • Have held a current Driver License for at least three years and possess a clean Motor Vehicle Record

Physical Requirements

  • Able to participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity, including, but not limited to: running, swimming, backpacking, and mountaineering
  • Able to lift and move a minimum of 40 pounds and carry a pack weight of up to 60 pounds

Bonus if you

  • Have Outward Bound or other wilderness expeditionary experience (NOLS multi-day course or equivalent)
  • Have 1-2 years prior field experience in outdoor education programs or similar educational settings
  • Have experience working with a diverse range of student ages and populations
  • Are comfortable navigating with map and compass on- and off-trail, through a variety of terrain and environmental conditions
  • Are familiar with basic campcraft, including tarp set-up, Leave No Trace principles, and use of MSR Whisperlite stoves
  • Hold a current Wilderness First Responder certification
  • Are comfortable driving large vehicles
  • Are comfortable driving trailers up to 12 feet in length


Instructing Support

  • Participate as a Field Intern for one course (10-14 field days)
  • Attend backcountry travel training (5 days)
  • Attend Student Management Training, Diversity Training, and All-Staff Orientation (3 days)
  • Assist with lesson design and facilitation, as determined by the instructional team
  • Assist with technical activities on course, including rock climbing and mountaineering
  • Support student health and wellbeing
  • Openly give and receive feedback

Logistics Support

  • Act as Logistics Coordinator for one course (13-25 days)
  • Attend Logistics Training (10 days)
  • Facilitate, along with Course Director, course start, gear and food issue, gear care, resupplies, and course end gear de-issue
  • Collaborate with Course Director to plan for and meet course support needs
  • Assist with vehicle maintenance and checks
  • Manage staff during food and gear packs in the warehouse
  • Assist in gear and equipment maintenance and repair

Administrative Support

  • Foster community through the creation and facilitation of events on base
  • Assist with basecamp improvements and maintenance
  • Support administrative filing and resource management systems
  • Participate in staff-led professional development sessions on technical, education, and student management skills

Safety Support

  • Adhere to all local operating procedures, safety policies, and emergency procedures as outlined in the staff manual
  • Role model sound judgment and risk management

Compensation & Schedule

  • Internship starts May 9th through late August, with an expectation of ~22 work days/month
  • Monthly flat $500 reimbursement for living expenses
  • Room and board provided while on contract


  • Pro Deal, the opportunity to purchase outdoor gear at discounted rates
  • Professional development throughout the season
  • Opportunity to participate in additional staff trainings and expeditions, as experience and availability allows
  • Eligibility to participate in Wilderness First Responder training October 3 - 11, during Instructor Semester course, depending on enrollment availability
  • Highly energetic and supportive work environment in a mission-driven organization


This internship is located at our High Sierra program base in Midpines, California, in the Sierra Nevada foothills 30 miles east of Yosemite National Park. The basecamp has a main building with office, warehouse, and commercial kitchen.  Other buildings throughout include administrative and field staff housing and communal areas

Outward Bound California is an equal opportunity employer and works to include diversity among its staff. Outward Bound California values the inclusion and collaboration among employees of diverse backgrounds and experiences. Outward Bound California prohibits discrimination against, and harassment of, any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, gender, pregnancy, genetic information, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, military or veteran status, qualified individuals with a disability on the basis of the disability, or any other category which may be protected under applicable state or federal law. Outward Bound California also promotes respect for all people, and will not tolerate harassment based on any of these characteristics nor on differences based on gender identity or expression.

Application Closing Date: 
January 1st, 2020
Application Contact Email: 
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Midpines, CA
Job Experience: 
1 - 2 years
Job Starting Date: 
May 10th, 2020

Job Details

Job Details: 
Outdoor Education Center

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