White Water Program Manager

Job Description

Whitewater Program Manager 


Founded in 1967, North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) is a charter member of the leading outdoor education network in the world.  Our wilderness courses, from the mountains of North Carolina to the shores of South Florida to the peaks of South America, deliver our mission to change lives through challenge and discovery.  

The Whitewater Program Manager (WPM) plays a pivotal role as both a whitewater specialist and as a member of the Program Team. The WPM is responsible for ensuring the overall risk management and quality of all NCOBS whitewater programming.  This includes establishing and maintaining river access, equipment inventories, curriculums, staff training, staff recruiting and development.   

The WPM will work with the Director of Wilderness Operations (DWO) and Staffing Manager to facilitate program scheduling, staffing, delivery, and assessment. The WPM is expected to work up to 180 days annually. The WPM will work between February and November, with approximately half of these days being field instruction based.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 


  • Deliver whitewater instructional days.
  • In conjunction with the Climbing Program Manager schedule river blocks on the master calendar.
  • Work with the Staffing Manager to hire and schedule river staff for courses, projects days and to facilitate staff trainings.
  • Design, coordinate and implement all river-related trainings for NCOBS.
  • Oversee river related professional development opportunities for river staff and field staff. This will include ACA level 4 and SWR courses.
  • Act as the advocate and coach for the river specialists and provide direct performance & developmental feedback to them.
  • Collaborate with the Program Resource Manager on all river equipment needs for the upcoming fiscal calendar year.
  • Monitor, maintain, and repair all river inventory, including river fleet vehicles and trailers.
  • Provide river briefs during pre-course.
  • Stay abreast with industry associations and standards.


Program Team:

  • Serve as a member of the NCOBS program team.
  • Research and recon potential new and/or former rivers to be used by the school, as requested.
  • Work with Safety and Training Director to manage whitewater related resources for the school including curriculum and whitewater specific LOPs.
  • Responsible for compiling end of season report, safety report summaries, and safety analysis.
  • Monitor the performance of the whitewater program and whitewater incident reports (IR).
  • Assist the DWO in the creation of the annual whitewater operations budget.
  • Assist the DWO and PRM in tracking and reporting all whitewater expenses.
  • Establish and foster relationships with outside contractors and land managers specific to NCOBS whitewater program.
  • Serve as field staff as needed.
  • Additional tasks as designated.


  • Minimum five years working for Outward Bound or another similar program.
  • Minimum two years working as an NCOBS lead river specialist or equivalent experience.
  • Minimum ACA Level 4 instructor certification and SWR trained or equivalent.
  • Current WFR, CPR, and other pertinent certifications and training related to position.
  • Personal and professional values consistent with the NCOBS mission, values, and principles.
  • Strong knowledge of Outward Bound history, standards, and programs.
  • An outstanding record as an instructor, trainer, course director, and/or administrator.
  • Experience with community living.
  • Able to give and receive timely, effective oral and written feedback. 
  • Strong and effective leadership, supervisory, organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Personal initiative, motivation, and resourcefulness.
  • Strong presentation, writing, and computer skills.
  • Cooperative attitude and ability to be flexible; good team player.

Compensation and Benefits: 

  • Per-diem rate based on NCOBS pay matrix for position. Option to recognize prior work. 
  • Availability to work shoulder seasons in an instructional position.
  • Robust seasonal benefits available. 
  • Pro-purchase deals with industry retailers.
  • Room and board available at basecamps during agreement.

To Apply

At the North Carolina Outward Bound School, we are dedicated to the goal of building a diverse community of staff who are committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment. In this effort, we strongly encourage women, people of color, people with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

  • Apply through our website at https://www.ncobs.org/connect/careers/
  • Provide a cover letter and upload a resume with three references.
  • Upload your technical experience / trip log. 
  • Qualified candidates will be contacted to set up an interview.

The North Carolina Outward Bound School is committed to equal opportunity for its employment, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, national o ethnic origin, sex or sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, marital or parental status, status with respect for public assistance or veteran’s status.           

Application Closing Date: 
Not Specified
Application Contact Email: 
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Asheville, NC
Job Experience: 
3 - 5 years

Job Details

Job Details: 
Experiential Education
Job Activity: 

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