Internship - Ely

Voyageur Outward Bound School

About the organization

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,


The internship is an on-the-job training program for individuals aiming to become field instructors facilitating expeditions for VOBS. Depending on skill level, experience, scheduling, and availability, some interns will be promoted to instructor the same season. Most will complete the 9-week internship and will seek to be re-hired as a field instructor the following season. Internships begin with 10-12 days of in-the-field expedition training, 5-6 days of introductory technical skills, and another 5-6 days of student management skills training. This is followed by 6 weeks of practical work supporting the program.

The VOBS Ely Summer Interns will perform a wide variety of duties on any given day or week ranging from supporting a rock-climbing day for students, driving to the airport to greet a new student group, or staining one of the many buildings on our 40-acre wilderness basecamp. The intention is for the interns to have a diversity of work that will deepen their understanding and appreciation of the position of field instructor, program management, how the basecamp runs, and how to work with students. The internship is designed to be an educational experience with approximately 40% of the intern’s time spent in student contact and approximately 60% will be spent supporting courses, course delivery, and the base camp community.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Participate in a wilderness training expedition and that is modeled on an Outward Bound


Knowledge and Skills

Strong desire to learn and eagerness to serve the mission.
Ability to be flexible and positive in a dynamic, team-oriented work environment.
Exceptional communication skills.
Passion for back country travel, community living, and youth development.
Willingness to live in rustic conditions at Homeplace, VOBS wilderness basecamp, with a common dining hall and shared washhouse.
Ability to participate in moderate to rigorous physical activity including, but not limited to, paddling, backpacking, running, carrying canoes overland, swimming, rock climbing, kayaking.
Ability to lift up to 75 pounds.
Minimum age requirement is 21 years.
Valid driver’s license.
Wilderness First Responder certification or ability to obtain this certification after hiring
Education and Work Experience

Outdoor, group leadership, and/or experience (preferred, but not required).
Outward Bound, NOLS, other extended expeditionary or travel experience (preferred, but not required).

Application instructions

Contact email: [email protected]


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Equal Opportunity Employment

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