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

Instructors co-lead backpacking, rock-climbing, and/or canoeing wilderness expeditions and/or day-long team building programs at our local challenge courses. Staff can specialize in either role or do a mixture of both!

All POBS programs, whether in the front country or back country, whether one day or two weeks long, are designed to encourage compassion, leadership, teamwork, and, above all, compassion. Read on for an in-depth description of the responsibilities and requirements of POBS field staff.


  • Create an emotionally safe environment by teaching and role modeling respect and compassion towards others
  • Effectively design program outcomes that are informed by our Educational Framework and experiential education theory
  • Promote transference of Outward Bound’s outcomes and values to the students' 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
  • 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


  • 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
  • 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

For expedition instructors:

  • Must have or be willing to procure Wilderness First Responder certification
  • American Canoe Association certification a plus
  • Minimum one year instructing or guiding expeditions for Outward Bound or a comparable experiential education organization

For day-long team-building program instructors:

  • Minimum one year of experience facilitating team-building programs and high ropes elements
  • Must have or be willing to procure Wilderness First Aid certification


  • Must be 21 years or older
  • Must procure and pass Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History, Child Abuse Clearance, FBI Background Check
  • On feet most days, sometimes for up to 16 hours
  • Valid driver's license and and willingness/ability to drive large vans (we provide driver training)
  • Able to carry, lift, and move a minimum of 50 pounds


  • Exposure to Outward Bound curriculum and training
  • Exposure to Outward Bound technical training
  • Per diem pay commensurate with relevant experience/field credits
  • Professional development sessions


The Philadelphia Outward Bound School provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.