The No Barriers Warriors program improves the lives of veterans with disabilities through transformative, curriculum-based expeditions in challenging outdoor environments. Each No Barriers Warriors expedition is designed to push veterans mentally and physically in some of nature’s most incredible wilderness settings. We create a safe space and encourage them to reflect on their past, recognize where they are in the present and then look with positivity to the future. These life-changing experiences are offered at no cost to our veterans and include airfare, meals, gear, and a world-class expedition crew. Each expedition is a three-phased journey that includes preparation for the expedition, the expedition, and post-expedition support and integration into the broader No Barriers Warriors community.
Want to know more about “No Barriers Warriors?” Go to nobarriersusa.org/warriors »
No Barriers Warriors Expedition Leaders take groups of injured US veterans on backpacking, mountaineering and rafting expeditions in an effort to empower them to break through barriers, find their inner purpose and contribute their best to the world.
Expeditions at No Barriers Warriors range from basecamp/multi-sport five day trips to two week mountaineering excursions throughout the mountains of the Western United States and beyond. The basecamp/multi-sport trips are based at our Red Feather Lakes, CO campus in northern Colorado and cater to a broad range of ability levels, with a day of whitewater rafting (through a subcontractor) on the Poudre River, a day of rock climbing, and a day of hiking. Mountaineering expeditions typically involve carrying backpacks on a multi-day approach with the purpose of attempting to summit a mountain peak.
Expedition Leaders (ELs) are divided into three levels — Senior EL, Assistant EL, and Apprentice EL.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Pre-trip route scouting
- Pre-trip food shopping and meal assembly
- Work with vendors, partner organizations and other supporters
- Perform risk management assessments, both formally and informally
- Meet participants at the airport and be responsible for them until the moment they depart at the end
- Drive vehicles with gear and/or participants inside
- Teach about Leave No Trace, gear and food packing, camp craft, backcountry travel techniques, and more
- Continually assess the group in the field and make changes as needed
- Deliver the No Barriers curriculum in interesting, situationally appropriate ways
- Facilitate discussions that can sometimes be sensitive, difficult, controversial, or painful
- Manage injuries, conflicts, emergency situations and evacuations as needed
- Coordinate with office staff from the field using satellite communications
- Attend events and meals with sponsors and other No Barriers supporters
- Improve upon each trip using feedback from participants and staff
Required Skills and Abilities for all Expedition Leaders:
- Ability to be a confident leader- use different leadership styles as appropriate to make effective decisions, give and receive effective feedback
- Ability to carry a 50+ pound backpack — ELs are expected to role model how to properly pack a backpack with personal gear, group gear, food, and climbing gear
- Excellent physical fitness — Moving through mountainous terrain at elevation while carrying an expedition pack should not be difficult so that ELs can focus on helping participants
- Ability to cook food in the backcountry — ELs should be confident in using camp stoves and facilitating group meals
- Ability to take initiative to accomplish camp chores — ELs should be the first up in the morning and the last to bed in the evening and able to effectively delegate camp chore tasks to others (i.e. proper camp selection, tent setup, kitchen setup, fetch water, bear-proofing, etc.)
- Ability to facilitate the No Barriers curriculum
- Ability to drive a 15-passenger van
- ELs need not be veterans themselves (although that can be a plus), but they must have strong compassion for, and appreciation of, the men and women who have sacrificed in service to our country
- Understand and be able to find ways to assist participants with a variety of injuries, some of which may be unseen. Common injuries among our participants include Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), gunshot and/or shrapnel wounds, limb amputation, and burns.
Required Skills and Abilities for Senior Expedition Leaders:
- Wilderness First Responder or higher
- Ability to facilitate and manage a top-rope climbing site
- Ability to lead participants and junior ELs on 4th and 5th class terrain
- Ability to lead participants and junior ELs on glaciated terrain
- Ability to mentor Assistant and Apprentice Expedition Leaders