The Lead Instructor is a mid-level position and stands at the core of Outward Bound course delivery. They hold the responsibility for training and mentoring the Assistant Instructors, creating and facilitating course curriculum, and upholding physical and emotional safety standards. Lead Instructors must have extensive prior knowledge of educational, technical, and interpersonal skills to meet the educational outcomes and safety expectations of an Outward Bound course. Lead Instructors will participate in multiple weeks of annual training to familiarize themselves with VOBS policies, procedures, educational approach, and local course area knowledge. The instructional team of Lead and Assistant Instructors are responsible for using a wilderness expedition to deliver safe, educationally-effective courses using Outward Bound’s educational framework, outcomes, and values. The expedition lead is responsible for leading backpacking and canoeing overnight expeditions with youth and young adults, including but not limited to, a diverse group of urban, suburban, and international students.

The Twin Cities Base delivers both multi-day (Expedition) and day-long (Insight) experiential education programming. This position is for a multi-day, Expedition Lead Instructor. Two expedition activities are run from the Twin Cities base: backpacking with a rock-climbing element, and canoeing. Programming focuses on self-discovery, problem-solving, team development, collaboration, and communication in small group settings.

Tagged as: Backcountry Skills, Climbing Skills, Instruction and Guiding, Teaching/Education


Professional experiential education experience (NOLS, Outward Bound or similar organization) with minimum of 100 professional days in the field; some of which should be on extended overnight expeditions
Wilderness First Responder and CPR, Water Safety or Lifeguard Certification
Maintains motor vehicle record within OBUSA policies and procedures, ability to drive 15-passenger vehicle with trailer in all seasons (including towing canoe and equipment trailers), minimum age of 21

Required Skills:

Growth-oriented mindset in pursuing self-development as well as the growth of fellow staff
Ability to teach, train, mentor, and coach an Assistant Instructor throughout overnight courses
High level of self-awareness when reflecting on decision-making, staff-student relationships, and judgement skill
Ability to lift and move up to 70 pounds on occasion, 40 pounds regularly
Physically and mentally capable to participate in all course activities with reserve energy to safely support students

Preferred Skills:

Experience coaching, mentoring, or training youth, coworkers, or peers
Exceptional communication skills
Ability to be flexible and positive in a dynamic, team-oriented work environment

About Voyageur Outward Bound School

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.

Application Instructions

Please log into our online portal and complete an online application at https://www.vobs.org/connect/employment/. If you have any questions or concerns please email [email protected]

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