High Sierra Program Manager

Company: Outward Bound California

Job Type: Seasonal

Job Description

Position Description
The Program Manager 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 supervising courses and field staff, ensuring quality training, programming, and community building, and some administrative duties. The Program Manager reports to the High Sierra Program Director and works in collaboration with other High Sierra Program Admin Staff.

Compensation & Schedule

  • This is an exempt, seasonal salaried position of approximately 6 months of full-time work, tentatively scheduled April 1st – Sept 30th
  • Monthly salary range starting from $3,500 – $3,800, depending on experience


  • Rustic housing is provided with access to communal bathrooms and kitchen. Food is also provided during the season
  • OBCA offers a competitive benefits package, including comprehensive health insurance with employer contribution, PTO, long-term disability and life insurance, Flexible Spending Account, Employee Assistance Plan (EAP), and 401(k) plan after 1 year from start date
  • Pro Deal, the opportunity to purchase outdoor gear at discounted rates

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. High summer temperatures can reach 80-100+ degrees Fahrenheit. 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.

Who We Are
Outward Bound California (OBCA) is a non-profit that uses challenging experiences in outdoor settings to create social-emotional learning opportunities for our students. We are a part of the Outward Bound USA network of outdoor education programs, with a 50-year history in the US, serving over 40,000 students annually.

We offer a wide range of programs, from 1-day experiences on our San Francisco Challenge Course to multi-day rock climbing and backpacking courses in the High Sierra and Joshua Tree. We work with students aged 12+ (including adults & veterans). OBCA is committed to increasing access for those who have traditionally been excluded from outdoor spaces. We do this, in part, through our 40+ community partnerships and by offering partial or full scholarships to over 2/3 of our students.

Check out what our staff and students have to say about our High Sierra programs in this video.

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
OBCA 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.
  • Have a deep understanding and personal commitment to equity and inclusion in the outdoors and can mentor staff in this topic.
  • Great organizational skills, self-motivated, and flexible.
  • Works both independently and cooperatively, and can balance multiple projects at a time.
  • Effective communicator with the ability to give and receive both positive and constructive feedback.
  • Proficient with computer systems, primarily G Suite (Gmail, Google Docs, Drive, and Calendar).
  • Proficient in backpacking in alpine environments

Education & Work Experience

  • Experience with Outward Bound or other wilderness expeditionary programs (NOLS multi-day course or equivalent).
  • Have 3-5 years’ experience in the outdoor education/experiential learning field, a Bachelor’s degree and/or or any similar combination of education and experience

Physical Requirements

  • Able to participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity, including but not limited to backpacking.
  • 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.
  • Able to maintain composure, exercise sound judgment, and decision-making, and assess and mitigate risk under periods of stress.

Required Current Licenses & Certifications (by Start Date)

  • Wilderness First Responder, CPR and CA Epinephrine certifications.
  • Have had a valid US or Canadian driver’s license for at least five years
    Onboarding Requirements (by Start Date)
  • Able to pass a federal & Live Scan background check, MVR check, and provide current (within the last 4 years) negative TB screen or test results upon hire (cost of all screening paid for or reimbursed by OBCA)

Bonus if you…

  • Hold an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor or higher certification.
  • Have experience in the Outward Bound Course Director role.
  • Hold a current CA Class C Commercial Driver’s License.
  • Have experience with curriculum development with an equity focus.
  • Have Salesforce experience.
  • Have previous supervisory experience.


Program Leadership

  • In coordination with the High Sierra Program Team, support all facility needs, including basecamp opening and closing, general maintenance, and community gatherings
  • Be a mentor and role model of best practices in the community and workplace at all times
  • Represent Outward Bound California appropriately when interacting with outside agencies and people
  • Oversee staff mentorship, promotion, and development in technical, educational, and interpersonal skills

Safety & Risk Management

  • Support in critical incident responses and on-call system, which may require after work hours and could happen during scheduled time off.
  • Ensure accurate and complete incident reporting for all courses.
  • In coordination with the Program Team, create the content and delivery methods for safety briefings.
  • If the applicant has technical rock climbing skills and program needs dictate, they may take on oversight of our climbing programs.
    Uphold Outward Bound’s zero-tolerance policy for incidents of child abuse and neglect. Protecting our minor students against abuse and neglect is of the highest priority

Administrative Duties

  • Coordinate the collection, completion, and filing of all course paperwork—update forms as needed.
  • Ensure proper recording of financial transactions, including gear store and petty cash.
  • In coordination with the Program Team, fulfill program oversight duties throughout the season, such as maintenance and tracking of course materials.

Outward Bound California is an equal-opportunity employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, protected veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law. Outward Bound California also promotes respect for all people, and will not tolerate harassment based on any of these characteristics.

How to Apply

Please apply with a resume and cover letter on our website.
Posted on: October 4, 2023
Location: Midpines, CA
Job Type: Seasonal
Job Starting Date:
April 1, 2024
Application Closing Date:
January 1, 2024
Job Salary Range:
$3,500 - $3,800/month, depending on experience
Job Category(ies): Outdoor Education Center
Region(s): California