High Sierra 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 a High Sierra Program Manager. Interns have two primary roles: Instructional Intern and Logistics Intern. Through these roles, Interns gain a comprehensive understanding of outdoor education programming and facilitation. Between 2-4 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 We Are

Outward Bound California (OBCA) is part of a national network of experiential and outdoor education programs, with a 50 year history in the US, serving over 40,000 students annually. OBCA uses unique experiences in natural settings to create social-emotional learning opportunities for our students to tap into their inherent potential as compassionate leaders and active participants in their communities. 

We work with students on a range of programs, from 1-day experiences on our San Francisco Challenge Course to multi-day rock climbing, backpacking and mountaineering courses ranging from 7 to 65 days long.  We work with students aged 12+, including adults, educators and veterans.  OBCA is deeply committed to opening up access for students and schools that have traditionally been excluded from outdoor spaces and programs and we do this through over 40 effective community partnerships.  As a non-profit, more than 2/3 of our students receive partial or full scholarships to go on a course with us in the High Sierra, Southern California and in the Bay Area.

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, 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.  


  • Passionate about working with youth, especially teens and middle schoolers

  • Have a deep understanding and personal commitment to equity and inclusion in the outdoors 
  • Experience working effectively with a wide variety of age groups from middle schoolers to adults from racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds different from your own. 
  • Role models inclusive behavior and build a positive group culture, while building rapport with students and colleagues
  • Culturally competent: 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 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 authorize a federal background check, Live Scan background check, and MVR check and provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination and 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: hiking, 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 multi-day program wilderness expeditionary experience

  • Have 1-2 years prior field experience in outdoor education programs or similar educational settings
  • 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 on one-two courses (10-28 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 $1,000 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
  • Access to Employee Assistance Program (EAP), free of charge for staff, interns, and family members
  • 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 an office, warehouse, and commercial kitchen.  Other buildings throughout include administrative and field staff housing and communal areas

To Apply

Application Closing Date: 
Not Specified
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Midpines, California, in the Sierra Nevada foothills 30 miles east of Yosemite National Park
Job Salary Range: 
Job Starting Date: 
Job Activity: 

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