Discover What Life is Like Being an Outdoor Educator and
Career Opportunities with JUMP! Foundation
In an earlier post, we met with outdoor education enthusiast Steffen Lohrmann, who gave us a detailed account of the opportunities available to people interested in a career abroad in outdoor education. When Steffen transitioned into outdoor education, his first stint was with JUMP! Foundation. That experience opened doors to new opportunities in the field, and many of his former colleagues at JUMP! have since established themselves professionally.
JUMP! Foundation is a leading provider of outdoor education and experiential learning programs, and it is a global leader in this field. JUMP! is also a social enterprise, in that it allocates a portion of its human, educational and financial resources towards leadership programs that target underserved communities around the world. The organization’s community outreach is undoubtedly what makes it a life-altering experience for its employees, local NGOs it partners with, and the communities it serves.
JUMP! is all about equipping today’s youth with the skills needed to be leaders tomorrow. It designs and delivers a broad spectrum of impactful experiential education programs, and has, over several years, developed an extensive global network of partnerships in the field of education.
Today, you’ll gain insight into the lives of two JUMPers, who reveal what it’s like living abroad and working with one of the leading global providers of outdoor education and experiential learning. If you are considering teaching ESL abroad but have a thirst for getting into outdoor education, JUMP! just might be the organization you want to work with.
Meet the JUMP! Team
We met up with some of the leadership from JUMP! who walked us through the many aspects of what it’s like to live the life of a JUMP!er. Here they are:
Erick Van Til - Director of Programs
Originally from Canada, Erick is no stranger to outdoor education. In 2009, Erick began working as a field instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School, leading whitewater canoe and trekking programs. Erick is a true believer in the transformational impact wilderness and adventure experiences have in fostering leadership, team-building, and goal achievement.
At JUMP!, Erick is responsible for heading the organization’s programs via its Bangkok, Thailand office.
Shannon Fox - Manager of the Facilitator Network
Shannon was raised in California and studied Aquatic Biology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She has traveled around the world in pursuit of her passion for research and education. Shannon is also an avid SCUBA diver, and she loves engaging with students of all ages.
Shannon manages JUMP!’s vast network of program facilitators worldwide, and strives to create truly authentic and life-changing experiences with fellow-JUMP!ers.
Interview with JUMP! Leaders Erick Van Til and Shannon Fox
Our interview with Erick and Shannon is nearly 30 minutes long, and we leave practically no stone unturned about working with JUMP! Foundation, Watch the video:
Overview of JUMP! Foundation
JUMP! Foundation was founded in 2006 to accomplish three goals:
- Inspire individuals through transformational experiences
- Empower individuals with skills and resources to create positive impact
- Engage individuals with local and global communities
JUMP! offers its outdoor education and experiential learning programs throughout the world, but with its main offices in Thailand and China, many of its programs are offered primarily in Asia.
The organization has on-site programs for educators, students and schools (JUMP! Schools), as well as off-site programs in various parts of the world (JUMP! Experiences). JUMP! also offers virtual programs (JUMP! Connected) to expand its reach and make its programs more accessible on a global scale.
JUMP! delivers its experiential learning programs mainly for youth who are enrolled in prestigious international schools, and works with these schools to bring the programs in-house as part of the school’s wider education mandate. The purpose of these programs is to introduce learning opportunities through trips, nature excursions, community involvement, and engagement with local cultures.
As a social enterprise, JUMP! is also deeply committed to making its resources and programs accessible to youth from all backgrounds. It provides support to underserved communities across the globe through its Impact programs, which we will discuss a bit later.
One such school JUMP! has had a longstanding partnership with is NIST International School (NIST), in Bangkok, Thailand. NIST is Thailand’s first full, not-for-profit IB World School in Thailand. NIST has established a partnership with JUMP! to bring experiential education into the fold. According to NIST:
NIST and JUMP! collaborate in this endeavor to incorporate experiential education into the learning experience for its students. Experiential education centers around themes such as:
- Personal Growth
- Community Building
- Connection to Nature
- Cultural Engagement
- Developing curiosity, empathy and exploring the many local cultures of Thailand and Asia
As mentioned, JUMP! dedicates much of its resources towards empowering youth in underserved communities. The goal is to bring experiential learning opportunities to at-risk or underprivileged youth, transforming them into future leaders and global citizens by empowering them with the skills to forge change within their local communities.
Career Opportunities with JUMP!
JUMP! has opportunities to work as a full-time member of staff, as well as a contract program facilitator. Full-time job openings occur throughout the year, and it is thus a good idea to follow JUMP! and look out for openings as they are advertised. Contract program facilitator opportunities are more fluid, meaning you could join JUMP! as a member of its global facilitator network practically wherever you are located. Contract facilitators work on a per-project basis, so if you are looking for non-committal opportunities to work in outdoor education and experiential education, getting on board the JUMP! Facilitator team might be the right path for you.
Qualifications You Should Plan to Have to Work with JUMP!
ESL teachers, especially those who have genuine educational backgrounds and experience working within international school environments, can do well working with an organization like JUMP! Additionally, those who have passion for outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, trekking, or rock climbing might find themselves at home working with JUMP! If you have a Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) or Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification, this would be an added bonus.
Anyone who has been involved with humanitarian assistance or relief efforts, such as UN peace corps, would be considered to be an asset to JUMP! in helping students learn these values and skill sets.
Type of People Who Thrive Working with JUMP!
The team at JUMP! works in an extremely collaborative way, so being a team player is essential to making a career at JUMP! successful. People who are good problem-solvers, are good at presenting and speaking to large audiences, able to motivate and inspire participants in group activities, and have a high level of empathy.
How to Get Involved
JUMP! regularly posts job openings on its own site, and you can also get in touch with the JUMP! by email or phone to find out what’s down the pipeline.
Check out our job board as well, for job opportunities in outdoor education and experiential education. Although our job board is primarily for ESL education jobs, we consider outdoor education and experiential learning in many ways connected to ESL learning.