Summer Camp Instructor

Join us this summer as a Summer Camp Instructor!

  • Make a difference by helping kids connect with the natural world 
  • Learn to be a Nature Instructor and ignite children’s passions, gifts, and curiosities
  • Join our team of skilled and experienced nature mentors
  • Be part of the Wilderness Awareness School mission to help children and adults cultivate healthy relationships with nature, community, and self.

Our Teaching Philosophy

Coyote Mentoring utilizes a number of teaching styles that mimic how children naturally learn. The end result is something of an “invisible school” where kids experience fun and games in nature without realizing how much they’re learning.

Nature Connection

Children’s lives are becoming more and more screen-based and are lived indoors. Wild spaces are shrinking and our impact on the planet is reaching a breaking point. It is more urgent than ever for people of all ages and backgrounds, especially children, to experience and fall in love with the natural world.

Become a Nature Instructor

In the quickly growing industry of Forest Kindergartens and nature-based education, there is an increasing need for skilled, diverse, and experienced instructors. As one of the world’s oldest and most respected nature schools, many of our students and staff have gone on to become leaders in the industry.

We strive to have a diverse population of staff that represents the students we work with because we recognize the importance of representation in creating a safer space for all children outside.

A Day in the Life of a Nature Instructor

  • Monday through Friday morning at 8:00 am you will meet at your camp location with your Director, Volunteers, and other Instructors to plan for the day ahead
  • The campers will arrive with their parents at 9:00 am and be invited to join you or a fellow Instructor in a big group game or investigate the mysteries of the nature museum
  • Around 9:30 am everyone will gather for a morning circle to kick off the day, give gratitude, eat snacks, hear a story, and sing together
  • After the morning circle, your group of 10 campers and 1 volunteer will follow your passions and gifts to explore, play games, learn about wildlife, and more
  • Your group will decide when to have lunch and discuss how you want to spend the rest of the afternoon – you might meet up with other instructors to play bigger group games, sit down to a craft, or go for an afternoon wander
  • By 2:30 pm everyone will gather in a closing circle to share exciting stories of the day
  • Parents will come to pick up their campers at 3:00 pm 
  • Around 3:15 pm you will reconnect with your Director, Nature Instructors, and Volunteers to check in about the day’s highlights and debrief any challenging situations

Locations

Our camps take place in multiple locations across the greater Seattle, WA area on the traditional lands of the Snoqualmie, Snohomish, Skykomish, and Duwamish peoples. Our current locations are:

  • Seward Park (South Seattle)
  • St. Edwards Park (Kenmore)
  • Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park (Renton/Issaquah/Bellevue)
  • Tolt McDonald Park (Carnation)
  • Carnation Farms (Carnation)
  • Linne Doran (Our campus in Duvall)

Job Description

Nature Adventure Day Camp Instructor

Summary

Summer Camp Instructors are responsible for supervising and instructing a group of 10 campers for each camp week they are scheduled. Instructors work with their camp directors and each other to keep campers safe and engaged using a blend of Wilderness Awareness School curriculum, (nature connection routines, games, songs, and stories; the art of questioning; plant and animal identification and tracking; community and ecology; wandering; sensory awareness, basic survival skills; etc.) and their own passions to facilitate camper connection with nature, community, and self. 

This position reports to: Weekly Camp Director

Pay

The salary for this position begins at $800.00 per week for first-year instructors. Seasonal staff members have the potential to earn more as returning staff, or if sufficiently qualified for additional instructing opportunities.

Work Hours

  • This is a seasonal exempt position, working approximately 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday – 8:00 am to 4:00 pm 
  • Actual hours required to complete the essential functions of these positions could vary without impact or increase or decrease to the salary offered.
  • Summer Camps run from June 25th – August 25th. Preference will be given to instructors who can work at least 5 of the 9 weeks of camp.
  • Planning Week: June 12th – 16th
  • Staff Training Week: June 19th – June 23rd (Mandatory for all staff. Training will be held at our Duvall campus. Camping overnight is not mandatory, but HIGHLY encouraged.) 

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Teach up to 10 campers ages 6-12 at a time with minimal support from a team member or supervisor
  • Work with a team of instructors and directors to lead activities such as songs, games, and stories for up to 60 campers
  • Use a combination of Wilderness Awareness School curriculum and activities combined with the passions of you and your campers to spark camper excitement, curiosity, and gifts, and create connections for campers with nature, self, and community. 
  • Uphold Wilderness Awareness School’s mission and policies

Physical Requirements

This is a physically demanding job and instructors must be able to be on their feet for 6+ hours at a time, walk long distances, move over uneven terrain, carry their own gear (up to 15 lbs.), and be out in the elements all day.

Qualifications and Expectations

  • Current Wilderness First Aid and CPR certifications (or able to acquire before working). We will host two WFA/CPR trainings at our Linne Doran campus in Duvall, March 11-12 and June 10-11. These trainings will be presented by Remote Medical Training and offered to staff at cost ($250.)
  • Able to pass a background check
  • Minimum age of 18 by June 12th, 2023.
  • Able to reliably arrive early/on time to various camp locations in the Seattle area, many of which aren’t accessible by public transportation (Staff will be able to state location preferences on their application, and may apply for travel stipends for commuting to camp locations 20+ miles away from home.)
  • Able to work at least 5 of the 9 weeks of camps, in addition to a week of Staff Training.
  • Must demonstrate good judgment and risk assessment
  • Be a professional adult: operate with responsibility and integrity
  • Creativity and passion for mentoring youth in a natural flow learning environment with an open and flexible structure
  • A commitment to developing your own capacity with conversations around justice and equity as well as cultivating a welcoming and inclusive space for all.
  • Strong ability to work as a contributing member of a team, able to bring your unique voice, gifts, and contributions to a relational work setting
  • Willing to participate in a healthy feedback culture
  • Have empathy, compassion, and an open mind

Preference will be given to applicants who have:

  • Experience as a naturalist instructor working with youth ages 6-18 in the outdoors
  • Experience with the 8 Shields Model and Coyote Mentoring method
  • Knowledge of Pacific Northwest hazards, mammals, tracking, edible/medicinal plants, navigation with and without map/compass, field ecology, trees, survival techniques, birds/birdsong, and history of local Indigenous Nations and right relations.
  • A diverse background
  • Knowledge and/or training in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion work
  • Completed one or more Wilderness Awareness School programs

Benefits

  • Paid training and mentoring in the Coyote Mentoring method and the 8 Shields Model by leaders in the field
  • Discounts on Wilderness Awareness School bookstore items
  • Be a part of an amazing team of passionate people doing important work!

How to apply

Applying is an easy one-step process. Click the button below to complete the application:

Questions?

With any questions, please contact Nicole O’Byrne, Summer Program Manager at [email protected]


Additional Opportunities

The following camp positions each require additional paid training, and can be added to one’s schedule on a week-by-week basis. Preference will be given to returning staff members, however, applicants with special skills or interest may be considered, and are encouraged to indicate in their application if they believe they might be a good fit: 

  • Nature Adventure Day Camp Assistant Director: (salary starts at $922.50) Experienced Camp Instructors looking to gain additional experience and responsibilities may learn from Directors by assistant directing. Assistant directing may include but is not limited to helping with paperwork, leading camper circles, assisting instructors, backup instructing, giving breaks, helping with emergent situations, and other director duties as appropriate.
  • Nature Adventure Day Camp Director: (salary starts at $1,050) Experienced Camp Instructors and Assistant Directors may be considered to direct. Directing includes but is not limited to creating and managing camp groups, supervising and mentoring instructors, interacting with parents and Program Coordinators, and overseeing camp supplies.
  • Skills Camp Instructor: (salary starts at $800) Experienced Camp Instructors or Instructors with advanced skill experience may be considered for this role. Skills camps are for campers ages 9-13, and include Fishing, Knife and Knot, Ranger, and Survival skills. These are day camps that take place in park locations, sometimes alongside Nature Adventure camps. 
  • Skills Camp Director: (salary starts at $1,050) Experienced Skills Camp instructors may be considered to direct. Directing includes but is not limited to creating and managing camp groups, supervising and mentoring instructors, interacting with parents and program coordinators, and overseeing camp supplies.
  • Overnight Camp Instructor: (salary starts at $1,200) Experienced Camp Instructors or instructors with advanced skills experience may be considered for this role. Overnight camps are for campers ages 11-14, and include Wilderness Survival, Castaway Survival, Ranger Adventure, and Bowcraft. These camps run from Sunday morning 12pm to Friday afternoon, 4pm at Linne Doran, our campus in Duvall. Instructors are expected to be present for the duration of the week, including prep and cleanup hours, and will have one night off in the middle of the week. All meals provided by cook staff. Instructors may camp, or may sleep in one of the structures on the land.
  • Overnight Camp Director: (salary starts at $1,260) Experienced Overnight Instructors may be considered to direct. Directing includes but is not limited to creating and managing camp groups; supervising and mentoring instructors; interacting with parents, cooks, land rangers, and program coordinator; managing medications; and overseeing camp supplies and schedules.
  • Expedition Instructor: (salary starts at $1,400) Expedition camps are for campers ages 14-18, and include Survival Trek (Duvall wilderness), Teen Wolf Tracking (Teanaway Community Forest), and Salish Sea (Sucia Island.) Each expedition is a different adventure with a different schedule, and may require additional preparation weeks, driving, backpacking, covid precautions, and more.
  • Summer Leadership Council: (Variable hours, opportunity to start in February 2023) Join the summer planning team in creating a summer to remember. Step into responsibilities such as designing and leading aspects of staff training, creating staff culture experiences, mentoring staff, and assisting Program Coordinators. Open to experienced returning staff members only.
Wilderness Awareness School