The Philadelphia Outward Bound School (POBS) empowers individuals to effect positive change in their communities. POBS Instructors and Facilitators design and lead customized programs that help youth and adults to realize their true potential through challenge and discovery.

Expedition Instructors co-lead backpacking, rock-climbing, and/or canoeing wilderness expeditions. Insight Facilitators lead daylong teambuilding programs at our local challenge courses. All POBS programs, whether in the front country or back country, whether one day or two weeks long, are designed to encourage compassion, leadership, grit, teamwork, and, above all, compassion. Read on for an in-depth description of the responsibilities and requirements of POBS field staff.

The Apprenticeship is the traditional route folks take to join the POBS family; however, it’s not the only way! Experiential educators who have extensive trip-leading or facilitation experience (whether at another Outward Bound school or a similar organization) are encouraged to submit their online application.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Create an emotionally safe environment by teaching and role modeling respect and compassion towards others
  • Effectively design program outcomes that are informed by the Educational Framework and experiential education theory
  • Promote transference of Outward Bound’s outcomes and values to the student’s home and community
  • Accurately assess physical and emotional risks in the context of student population, activity, travel and local conditions
  • Create student-centered programs; adapt to student needs
  • Create positive group culture consistent with Outward Bound values
  • Effectively resolve conflict with co-workers and students; facilitate conflict resolution in group and individual settings
  • Clearly establish limits and boundaries for student behavior
  • Design programs that meet the needs of different learning styles and student populations

Knowledge and Skills

  • Instructor candidates must possess WFR certification. Facilitator candidates must posses WFA certification.
  • Accurate self-assessment of communication, experience, leadership style and intentions; aware of the effect these qualities have when building rapport with students and on personal reactions to circumstances
  • Possess strong organizational skills and attention to detail; produce professional paperwork
  • Manage and resolve individual and group behavioral issues with a variety of tools
  • Comply with national safety policies and procedures
  • Understand and utilize institutional standards and best practices
  • Anticipate, prevent, evaluate and care for medical issues at WFR standard (for backcountry expeditions) or WFA standard (for day programs)
  • Expedition Instructor: Minimum two years of experience leading backpacking, rock-climbing, and/or canoeing trips
  • Insight Facilitator: Minimum two years of leading teambuilding activities and challenge course elements

Physical Requirements

  • Must be 21 years or older
  • Must possess up-to-date and valid driver’s license and have at least three years of driving experience
  • Must procure and pass Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History, Child Abuse Clearance, FBI Background Check, and Motor Vehicle Record Screening
  • On feet most days, sometimes for long hours
  • Able to carry, lift, and move a minimum of 50 pounds

Compensation & Benefits

  • Exposure to Outward Bound curriculum and training
  • Exposure to Outward Bound technical training
  • Per diem pay commensurate with relevant experience/field credits. Base rate begins at $85/day
  • Professional development
  • 10-20 formal opportunities per contract year that promote technical and non-technical skill mastery