Launched in 2018, the Fellowship For Emerging Leaders was created to engage black, indigenous, people of color, and members of other historically marginalized groups by increasing access to employment at Colorado Outward Bound School (COBS) and in the outdoor industry. We recognize that our students, staff, and community need the perspectives, leadership, and voices that represent the diversity of our larger society, and we acknowledge that we have struggled to attract and support this diversity in our community. People from different marginalized groups have often experienced barriers in access and feeling welcome to the public lands in which COBS operates, to the character development and leadership that the outdoors can provide, and to inclusive experiences in the outdoors and the outdoor industry.
As a result, we are committed to changing our practices, structures, and culture to remove barriers to accessing these opportunities and resources. The fellowship For Emerging Leaders Program builds upon our successful intern program and access stipends to give field-based practice to Fellows to develop the needed educational practices, support, skills, and experiences to be successful outdoor educators and leaders. Applications open December each year.
We want to be transparent with all applicants that working at the Colorado Outward Bound School means joining a growth-minded community where we are actively dismantling our organization’s white supremacy culture. This conversation shows up at all levels of the organization – in our trainings, in our meetings, on our courses, and in our daily lives. Anti-racism and diversity, equity, and inclusion work can be messy at times and we remain committed to navigating that together. Challenge and discovery are what we do and (un)learning is a fundamental part of our practice. COBS was originally built for and by white men, and now in support of our community members with marginalized identities – at COBS, in the outdoor industry, and beyond – we are actively working on changing that story to support individuals with different identities to empower themselves as we address barriers related to race, culture, socioeconomics, ability, gender, identity, geographic location, and mental health. While we are committed to learning and making necessary changes, we recognize we have a long way to go and want to notify applicants of that up front.
Who are we looking for:
Individuals who identify as a member of underrepresented or marginalized groups such as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, or other groups.
Outdoors-inspired people who enjoy teaching young people.
People with a love of community and being part of something bigger than ourselves.
How does it work:
Six Fellows who are committed to educating and instructing students toward our outcomes of leadership, service, and character will work in field-based, instructional roles. One additional Fellow position will be focused on program administration and management. All positions are paid positions, designed to get Fellows up to speed quickly and with adequate support to do the work.For additional information on instructor roles click here.
The field-based positions can expect to work from mid-May to end of August. The Program Administration and Management Fellow can expect to work from May to late August.
COBS will post these positions in December annually with a goal to hire these positions by March annually. Please contact Brandon Daun ([email protected]), Staffing Manager with any other questions.
The Fellowship Offers:
Paid Training: While all new COBS trainees receive their training for free, the Fellows are paid assistant instructor wages to attend trainings.
Opportunity to develop skills in a professional, hands-on and supportive environment. COBS will provide mentoring for Fellows to increase their competencies on the job as well as build upon the competencies they bring from past professional and personal experiences.
One-on-One leadership support: Fellows will work with a dedicated program leader who will support their career aspirations, assist with skill development, support transition, scheduling, community, and professional needs. This program lead also helps support Fellows by creating opportunities to network with others within the outdoor industry.
Opportunity to complete Wilderness First Responder Certification (WFR): Recognizing that the industry standard for First Aid requirements has a high upfront cost, COBS will cover the cost of the Fellows’ WFR ($800 per person), or the bridge course (Wilderness First Aid to WFR).
Gear Support. Fellows will have full access to our COBS gear library and will receive financial support to assist with the required purchasing of gear used by instructors in our course areas. and provide donated product from program partners as available.
Travel support. Recognizing that we want to attract people both from Colorado and from a wider community, we will provide a stipend to offset the travel cost for Fellows to get to our remote basecamps.
COBS is grateful to the philanthropic partners that make this program possible including Boettcher Foundation and VF Foundation. We are also grateful to Kim Miller, CEO of Scarpa North America, for being the inspiration behind this program and one of our greatest cheerleaders and connectors.
It takes a community to support emerging leaders in the outdoor industry, who impact will ripple far beyond the Colorado Outward Bound School.