Voyageur Outward Bound School - Twin Cities Program Director

Job Description

We challenge you to change a life.

We challenge you to change your community.

We challenge you to change the world!


The need for leaders of character and compassion is great.

For over 50 years, Voyageur Outward Bound School (VOBS) has changed lives through challenge and discovery. We know that personal discovery leads to positive transformation. Our students grow character and compassion through nature-based adventure. Our vision is more resilient and compassionate people for a more resilient and compassionate world.

Voyageur Outward Bound School is a charter of Outward Bound USA, the leading provider of experiential education for youth and adults. We design and deliver intensive single-day and extended wilderness expedition experiences that build and develop character, leadership, and service through shared experience.

VOBS delivers high impact programs across three sites: Twin Cities Center in St Paul, MN, Homeplace Wilderness Basecamp in Ely, MN and Big Bend Basecamp in Redford, TX.

Our values are integrity, excellence, compassion, inclusion, and safety. Our instructors are highly trained and experienced.  We are proud to be recognized as one of the 100 Best places to work by Outside magazine for consecutive years.

Collaboration with educational and non-profit organizations is critical to our mission. We partner with schools, colleges, non-profit organizations, and families to serve their youth and young adults with programs that support specific educational goals.

The Program Director will lead all programs at our Twin Cities location.  This includes our groups and open enrollment programs.  Over the next 5-7 years, the Twin Cities will more than double the number of students we serve to nearly 4,000 annually.  These students represent diverse communities (including, ethnic, socio-economic, LGBTQI, faith, age, learning needs). The Program Director is responsible for program quality and safety, program partner relationships, supervising staffing, logistics operations, and course directors.  This includes other government agencies that manage the parks, trails and course areas.


  • Lead the Twin Cities program to deliver high-quality Outward Bound program with schools, non-profit organizations, and families in our Group and Open Enrollment courses.
  • Supervise and lead program, logistics and program support team to deliver experiential programs in partnership with our education and youth development partners. The program curriculum focuses on developing character, leadership and service with students from the ages of 12 and up. 
  • Work collaboratively with the Group Program and Twin Cities Director to establish annual VOBS Twin Cities goals and is accountable for meeting them with benchmarks, including a budget, student program days, staff & partner retention, and safety goals.
  • Provide vision for annual staff training to ensure a proper staff development process for Interns through Course Directors that results in a high level of annual staff retention.
  • Participate in meetings and carrying out actions with the VOBS Program Heads team, comprised of all VOBS Program and Staffing Directors
  1. SAFETY:
  • Ensure implementation of all OBUSA and VOBS safety policies and procedures.
  • Analyze and evaluate incident reports and course data and contribute to safety reports as prescribed by VOBS Safety Director.
  • Contribute to annual VOBS safety goals and objectives.
  • Initiate and participate in VOBS Emergency Response Team.  In the case of Twin Cities field emergencies, the Program Director will be the incident commander and lead the response to field emergencies.
  • Ensure field staff are supported and supervised in the field by course directors and TC senior program leadership


    • Communicate with all Twin Cities Group Program partners to ensure we design and deliver courses in accordance with partner goals.  Support Course Directors and Instructors in delivering high-quality courses, evaluate our course effectiveness and adjust as needed.
    • Implement the program calendar and program administration process with a high degree of customer service, ensuring quality.
    • Review course reports develop an annual report for the Twin Cities program and support the need for data, evaluation, and testimonials.
    • Manage expense budget, including the field staff budget.
    • Use our database, Salesforce, to help track and report course and student data, track communication with partners.


  • Help build and maintain a supportive environment for staff and students, demonstrated by a positive work and course culture
  • Represent the program on the Twin Cities Leadership team, Program Heads team and at national network meetings
  • Knowledge of OB programs and skill requirements, experiential education, social and emotional learning skills and an ability to design and implement training and programs as such.
  • Proficient skills in teaching, adult learning (staff), and technical skills including paddling (up to class III-IV), climbing, navigation, safety management, weather, camping, etc.
  • Ability to work both independently and cooperatively as a team member, detail oriented with good organizational skills, able to prioritize and work on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Very strong and effective communicator, both written and oral
  • Excellent leadership and supervisory skills
  • Coachable with an ability to ask questions and for help
  • Proficient computer skills, Microsoft office, email internet search and social media platforms.  Able to learn data management systems like Salesforce.
  • Ability to work with a wide variety of ages and populations of people representing the Twin Cities community.
  • Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent experience) and a minimum of 3-5 years supervisory experience in outdoor education, experiential learning, youth development, or educational field.
  • Outward Bound or other experiential education experiences in differing environments, such as wilderness, front country or urban helpful
  • Experience working with students from diverse backgrounds such as socio-economic, cultural, etc.
  • WFR, water safety required, other certifications like ACA or AMGA helpful
  • Ability to participate in vigorous to moderate physical activity including but not limited to running, swimming, backpacking rock climbing, canoeing, skiing, etc.
  • The Program Director will be required to spend a week or more at a time in the field for training, field observations and instructing
  • Ability to lift and move a minimum of 50 pounds.
  • Sitting at a desk or computer 40% of the time or greater.
  • Willingness and ability to work a non-standard, flexible schedule, as the training and program schedule demands. Including on-call responsibilities
  • Maintains motor vehicle record within OB policies and procedures, able to drive 15 passenger vehicle with trailer.
  • Ability to travel to all VOBS program locations and other Outward Bound locations for meetings, safety reviews, networking and conferences.
  • Competitive salary.
  • This is a full time, 12-month position.
  • Full-time benefits package is available.
  • Position located in St Paul.

Voyageur Outward Bound School is committed to supporting diversity in all of its forms. Applicants representing diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

  • Please apply through our website: VOBS Careers with a cover letter, resume, three references.
  • Closing Date: October 28, 2019 - Start Date January 1, 2020
Application Closing Date: 
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Saint Paul, MN
Job Experience: 
5 - 10 years
Job Degree Level: 
Bachelor's degree
Job Starting Date: 
January 1, 2020

Job Details

Job Details: 
Experiential Education
Job Population: