High Sierra Program Manager

Job Description

The Program Manager (PM) is integral to the High Sierra Management Team and overall day-to-day wilderness program management. The PM is a role model and mentor within the High Sierra community, providing daily leadership, administrative support, and management of the High Sierra basecamp and programming. Responsibilities include: course supervision; ensuring quality training, programming, and community building; and some business management. The PM reports to the High Sierra Program Director (PD) and works in collaboration with other High Sierra Program Managers. This opportunity is perfect for the individual looking to work at a mission-driven organization within a tight-knit team and community during peak program season!

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.  

Knowledge & Skills

  • Passionate about Outward Bound’s mission, programs, and course activities.
  • A strong leader with excellent organizational skills and high attention to detail.
  • Self-motivated and flexible with an innate sense of initiative, follow-through, and commitment.
  • Works both independently and cooperatively as a team member, prioritizing and moving forward on multiple projects  simultaneously.
  • Effective communicator with an ability to give and receive both positive and constructive feedback.
  • Holds a current WFR, CPR and CA Epi certification.
  • Proficient with Microsoft operating system (Word and Excel), Adobe, and G Suite (Gmail, Google Docs, Drive, and Calendar).
  • Proficient in backpacking, mountaineering, and rock-climbing.
  • Experienced in working with and mentoring staff around topics of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Education & Work Experience

  • Experience with Outward Bound or other wilderness expeditionary programs (NOLS multi-day course or equivalent).
  • Possesses a Bachelor’s degree and/or 4-6 years’ experience in the outdoor education/experiential learning field, or any similar combination of education and experience.

Physical Requirements

  • Able to participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity, including but not limited to running, backpacking, and mountaineering.
  • Able to lift and move a minimum of 40 lbs, and able to carry pack weight of up to 60 lbs.
  • Comfortable sitting or standing at a desk or computer 80% of time or greater.
  • Bonus if you…
  • Hold an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor or higher certification.
  • Have direct familiarity with the Outward Bound Course Director role.
  • Are a current holder of CA Class C Commercial Driver’s License.
  • Have previous management experience.

Program Leadership

  • Collaborate as a member of the High Sierra Management Team to determine and fulfill program needs, goals, and strategy.
  • Provide Course Director (CD) oversight and support. Supervise, mentor and develop CDs. Additional duties may include serving as a CD for multiple courses or trainings per season.
  • In concert with the Associate Program Director, oversee Trainers Training and Course Director Training and field trainings.
  • Participate in the administration and delivery of all courses to ensure that course quality remains true to OBCA mission and educational outcomes.
  • Assist APD in educational and technical training creation, curriculum, assessment and oversight.
  • Directly oversee staff promotion and development in technical, educational, and interpersonal skills.
  • Work with APD and Course Directors to track staff development and maintain clear structures for mentorship and professional growth.
  • Create and role model professionalism at all times. 
  • Uphold and follow all internal and partnering agency policies, and hold staff accountable for the same.
  • In coordination with the APD, conduct both pre-season and end-of-season interviews with staff.


  • Participate in the incident command and on-call system.
  • Act as the local incident commander when necessary.
  • Respond to field emergencies, as needed.
  • Remain single point of accountability for clarification of climbing technical skill standards and the assessment/promotion process for Site Managers.
  • Ensure accurate and complete incident reporting for all courses.
  • In coordination with the APD, create the content and delivery methods for course safety briefings and support the dissemination of quarterly safety reports and trends for all courses.
  • Assess, inventory, and maintain all technical equipment, rock sites, and technical course resources.
  • Track pertinent climbing industry standards and trends to inform local policy and best practices.

Site Support

  • In coordination with the Management Team, support all facility needs, including basecamp opening and closing, management of students on-site, general maintenance, and community gatherings.

Business Management

  • Coordinate the collection and proper filing and dissemination of all course paperwork. Ensure that course paperwork is completed with excellence.
  • Update all field paperwork and assessment forms for accuracy and relevancy.
  • Ensure proper recording of financial transactions.
  • Track and disseminate petty cash, as needed.

Compensation & Schedule

  • This is an exempt, seasonal salaried position of approximately 6 months in length, tentatively scheduled April 6th - Oct 7th
  • Monthly salary range from $2,841 - $3,391, depending on  experience.
  • Rustic and comfortable housing is provided with close access to communal bathrooms and kitchen.
  • Food is provided while on contract.


  • Pro Deal, the opportunity to purchase outdoor gear at discounted rates
  • Professional development funds
  • Opportunity to enroll in supplemental, subsidized accident/injury insurance coverage
  • Access to Employee Assistance Program (EAP), free of charge for staff and family members
  • Highly energetic and supportive work environment in a mission-driven organization


  • This position 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
Application Closing Date: 
Not Specified
Application Contact Email: 
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Midpines, CA
Job Experience: 
3 - 5 years
Job Starting Date: 

Job Details

Job Details: 
Outdoor Education Center

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