Challenge Course Site Manager – Full-Time

Company: Outward Bound California

Job Type: Full Time

Job Description

Application open until filled. Please submit an ACCT Portfolio with your application so we can better understand your experience with Challenge Course programming.

Position Description
As a Challenge Course Site Manager, you will be responsible for overseeing risk management and ensuring high-quality programs at our Challenge Course. Using our high & low ropes course, ground games, and other team-building activities, our staff facilitate full-day programs for students in grades 6-12 and adults. Site Managers are skilled in facilitation, mentoring others, and experienced in working with a variety of students and ages. The Challenge Course Site Manager is a mid-level position that reports to the Program Manager.

Compensation & Schedule (Full-Time)

  • Starting hourly wage is $30.90/hour
  •  $1500 commitment bonus after 400 hours
  • This is a full-time, hourly position, 5 days/week, ~34-38 hours/ week.
  • Position dates are Jan 29 – November 8, 2024 with opportunities to return for the 2025 season
    • Paid Training: Jan 29 – Feb 9, 2024 (8 hrs/day Mon-Fri)
    • Program Season: Tues-Sat, Feb 13 – Nov 8, 2024. Staff meet for a half day on Tuesdays. Student programs run Wednesday-Saturday, 8am-4pm. There is also an unpaid summer break of programs from June 10-15 & July 29-August 3, 2024. Availability of work is dependent on the number of booked programs.

Benefits (Part-Time)

  • Comprehensive health, dental, and vision insurance with employer contribution
  • Long-term Disability & Life Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Paid and Unpaid Time Off – Accrue 1 hour for every 13 hrs worked
  • Paid designated holidays
  • 401K (with employer match) after 1-year of employment
  • Pro Deals (the opportunity to purchase outdoor gear at discounted rates)
  • Free youth development training, professional development funds, and recertification reimbursements
  • Access to Employee Assistance Program (EAP), free of charge for staff and family members
  • All required training is paid

Most program days take place at the McLaren Park Ropes Course in southeast San Francisco.

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.

At the Challenge Course, we offer 1-day experiences for students aged 12+, including adults. We serve a variety of participant groups including schools, community organizations, and companies. To learn more about our course elements, check out the video tour.

OBCA is deeply committed to increasing access for students and schools that have traditionally been excluded from outdoor spaces. We do this through our 40+ community partnerships and offer partial or full scholarships to over 2/3 of our students.

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.  

An Educator

  • Have prior experience in experiential, outdoor, or environmental education programs
    Passionate about working with youth, especially teens and middle schoolers and expanding access to the outdoors for underrepresented communities
  • Comfortable giving and receiving feedback
  • Able to frame, facilitate, and debrief course activities to promote reflection and self-discovery
  • Experience providing trauma informed care
  • Have a deep understanding and personal commitment to equity and inclusion in the outdoors
  • Lived experience or experience working effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds including age, racial, ethnic, socioeconomic class and members of the LGBTQ+ community

Experienced in Challenge Course Facilitation

  • Have at least 50 days or 400 hours of facilitation on challenge course programs or equivalent  *please see our ACCT Portfolio Template as a reference
  • Experience managing a team of instructors and serving as single point of accountability
  • Uses sound judgment while making decisions regarding safe use of the challenge course
  • Familiar with belaying and spotting low and high ropes course activities
  • Able to work weekends and nontraditional hours (earlier than 9am and later than 5pm)

Physical Requirements

  • Able to lift and transport 20-50 pounds of gear several times a day
    Can be on feet most days – sometimes for up to 10 hours a day, possibly more in the case of an emergency
  • Comfortable working outdoors, regardless of weather or season
  • Comfortable climbing to height and efficiently moving own body to perform rescue and repair

Current Certifications & Licenses (Required by Start Date)

  • Wilderness First Aid & CPR (or higher)

Other Requirements

  • Are 21 years of age or older by start date
  • Able to pass a federal & Live Scan background check, MVR check, and current negative TB test results upon hire (cost of all screening paid for or reimbursed by OBCA)

Bonus If You…

  • Speak Spanish, Mandarin, or Cantonese
  • Hold an ACCT Level II or equivalent experience
  • Have held a valid US or Canadian driver’s license for at least 3 years
  • Available on Saturdays




Ropes Course Operation

  • Oversee planning and facilitation of one-day programs, with an eye to the big picture and safety of the program
  • Manage a team of Instructors on course and ensure safety procedures are being followed
  • Assess risk and make decisions in the interest of safety of staff and students
  • Facilitate effective & thorough belay school for student belayers, and coach/evaluate for a safe and effective experience
  • Responsible for ensuring daily course inspections occur, are documented, and discrepancies are elevated.
  • Responsible for ensuring all course paperwork and logs are completed.

Program and Educational Design

  • Assess and mentor Instructors to support growth and development
  • Demonstrate cultural responsiveness and an ongoing desire to work with students from diverse backgrounds in the outdoors
  • Assess and adapt activities so that they are appropriate for the students’ experience level, desired group outcomes and social/cultural needs
  • Give and receive feedback with co-workers and supervisor to cultivate a reflective learning community
  • Role model inclusive and compassionate behavior that build a positive group culture for students and staff

Safety & Risk Management

  • Adhere to all operating procedures, safety policies and emergency procedures outlined in the staff handbook
  • Clearly establish limits and boundaries for student behavior and independence
  • Respond to or manage a student group in emergencies as needed and as appropriate
  • Able to safely and efficiently perform high angle rescue in training and as needed
  • Manage big picture and delegate responsibilities in the event of an emergency and utilize organizational communication systems Practice proper self-care and energy management while working outdoors
  • 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



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.

Availability:  Position is open until filled. Interviews begin in November.
Posted on: November 15, 2023
Location: San Francisco, CA
Job Type: Full Time
Job Starting Date:
January 29, 2023
Application Closing Date:
May 27, 2024
Job Salary Range:
Years of Experience: 1 – 2 years, 3 – 5 years
Region(s): California