Working for COBS

I'm new to Outward Bound. Should I apply to be an Instructor or a Logistics Coordinator (LC)? 

All applicants are ultimately assessed based on their “RITE” skills. RITE stands for Risk Management, Interpersonal, Technical, and Educational. Your blend of these skills largely determines what position(s) you are best suited for.

Instructors are expected to have strong, balanced RITE skills. They must demonstrate a high level of technical skill and have significant experience on personal expeditions to ensure safe, quality courses for students. Learn more.

Logistics Coordinators (LCs) are an integral behind-the-scenes part of the student experience. They are expected to have strong organizational skill sets and an eagerness to learn technical disciplines like gear repair and driving large vehicles. LCs are ultimately responsible for ensuring safe, effective courses (e.g. food, gear, transportation.) The LC role is excellent for those who do not have an interest in field work or for candidates who do not have enough technical experience to qualify for an Instructor position but who are interested in getting involved in the Colorado Outward Bound School. To read more about what it’s like to be an LC, check out this guest blog post by our Southwest Program LC, Lauren. Learn more.


I am turning 21 during the summer season (June, July, August). Can I still work for the Colorado Outward Bound School?

Due to institutional liability, positions at COBS must be filled by applicants 21 years or older. However, depending on the circumstances, exceptions can be made if an applicant turns 21 early in the summer (May or June).


I have some questions about the application process – is there someone I can call?

At this time, the hiring team will respond to inquiries via email sent to [email protected] or by phone utilizing our staffing line (720) 765-7634. You can expect someone within the hiring team to respond to your inquiry within a week.

I do not currently have my WFR, WFA or CPR Certifications. May I still apply?

Yes-we are happy to consider applicants without these certifications. If hired, you will be expected to obtain the necessary certifications prior to your start date. Once you have accepted an offer of employment with us, please let us know when you will be taking your course(s).

What are the dates for training?


Field staff training begins early to mid May depending on position and base camp location. Most staff attend 2-3 weeks of training before the summer season really begins.

Do I need to attend the entirety of training?

Yes. COBS operates under a module-based training systemWhich modules (trainings) you are required to attend will be influenced by the position you are hired for. 

May I send a paper application, technical experience log or references?

No. All application materials must be submitted electronically through our website.

What is the starting wage?

AIs are paid a starting wage $105/day, subject to pay scale increases with continued experience.

Logistics Coordinators are paid a starting wage of $105/day, subject to pay scale increases with continued experience.

Can I work part-time?

No. Due to the needs of the Colorado Outward Bound School, we are only able to offer full time, seasonal work opportunities.

Can I bring significant others, family members or pets to basecamp?

No. Unfortunately, staff with family or pets accompanying them must make other arrangements. 

What is basecamp life like?

Basecamp life varies between the Leadville Mountain Center (LMC) of the Rocky Mountain Program (RMP) and the facilities of the Southwest Program (SWP).

The Southwest Program:
In 2015, we built a new warehouse for the SWP on the outskirts of Moab. This gave the SWP an amazing new home. In 2016 the SWP ran its programming out of this warehouse and separate staff living quarters. Our location near the ravishing red-rock town offers good access to thousands of river and canyon miles, world-class climbing and mountain biking in the area surrounding Moab and Indian Creek and the charming amenities of Moab itself.

For staff looking for additional adventures during their days off, there are generally a handful of others around looking to rock climb, mountain bike, cool off in a water hole, or explore the mountains and canyons all in the back yard of Moab. Throughout the summer, Moab holds a weekly farmer’s market and there are plenty of other activities to be had. Pick-up Ultimate Frisbee at the park, weed and feeds at the Youth Garden Project, and a number of festivals including Jeep Week are just a few!

Staff housing is provided on the property of the new warehouse south of town. The homes at these locations are expected to be used for communal living. Bedrooms with bunk beds and shared community areas (kitchen, bathrooms, living room, and laundry).

The Rocky Mountain Program:

The Leadville Mountain Center is situated in the Arkansas River Valley at the base of the two tallest Mountains in Colorado (Mountain Elbert and Mount Massive). Many of our courses either hike directly out of the LMC basecamp or finish by hiking into basecamp on the trail systems that link the basecamp to the Colorado Trail and the Mount Massive Wilderness Area. These same trails are popular with staff for hiking and running in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter. Great access to climbing exists in the surrounding areas of Independence Pass and Buena Vista- also check out the newly published 40 Minutes From Leadville, a comprehensive guide to climbing in the area that includes many backcountry crags.

The LMC has been getting renovated in recent years- with a new bathhouse and 14 staff cabins being added in 2015- and another 7 built in 2016. You can get a sense of what our staff cabins look like here.

During the summer season, the number of staff on base fluctuates greatly as staff leave and come back from course- you may find yourself having dinner with just a few other people, or as many as 50! Staff who are not on course can be found heading out on climbing trips, at the coffee shop in Leadville, or exploring the Arkansas River Valley in their free time.

How do I create an Experience Log?

There is no perfect way to do an Experience Log, but this is something that we have found to work well.

  • Create an Excel or Word file with pages like the following
  • Mac users can create a google sheet and share it with [email protected]
  • Make tables for activities that work for you. We have provided some examples below but if you have other activities that are relevant (there are many that could be), then please include them.

Certificates and Trainings:


Whitewater Experience:

Mountaineering Experience:



Canyon Experience:

Rock Climbing Experience:


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