Applications for Summer Camp Staff 2023 are now closed. Positions for Summer 2024 will be posted in December.
Summer Camp Staff
We are looking for adults 20 years and older who want a job that differs from most summer camp jobs. Most of our staff are college age and many are in their mid-twenties, and some in their 30’s and 40’s. Overall, our staff team is made up of quite mature folks who have a solid outlook on life and a strong sense of who they are. We also hire 18, and 19 year-olds, often in an apprentice role. Many of our staff team have been participants of Living Earth programs themselves, showing they are committed to the mission of LES and have an understanding of the teachings.
We are looking for people who strive to be role models and mentors in the lives of children and can see the gifts in a child and help bring them to the fore. Our staff members must be passionate in connecting kids to nature, and have a deep love for kids. Be ready to dive in fully and give your best to the day, and step into your own personal growth as part of the journey. Our guiding mission is “Connect with nature and Journey into the Heart”. If this resonates with you, then this could be a great way to spend your summer. One of the beautiful parts of working with Living Earth is that you become a part of the family. Most staff return summer after summer, many have officially made the move to the area, and most all become life long friends.
Please contact us right away, as we like to begin the hiring process in January, and most hiring is completed by early April. If this job feels right for you, please reach out to us even if it is after April!
(If it is after this time, please feel free to contact us to see if we still have any remaining spots open: email@example.com)
We hire for the following positions each year:
Please click the name of position to download the job description
If you have any questions, please inquire with Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Camp Roles and Competent Characteristics
This breakdown highlights the differences between roles at summer camp. As you decide which one might fit you, please read the PDF of the full job description before applying.
Basic Living Earth School Employee Expectations:
- Safety first: Manages the physical and emotional safety of campers and staff
- Atmosphere of growth: constantly curious about new things, and asks questions
- Present: Participates in daily staff meetings planning/debrief meetings, and trainings
- Inclusive Mentor: Inspires students through the day by initiating games, checking in with quiet students, and watching out for campers’ physical, social and emotional well-being
- Coyote culture: Values gratitude, curiosity, core routines, questioning, community, sinking into our senses, and trickster attitude when appropriate
- Healthy communicator: Expresses needs, ideas, and suggestions to co-workers and supervisors promptly and clearly; committed to moving through conflict
- Practitioner of reflective feedback: Gives and receives constructive feedback in a forthright yet loving way, for the purpose of growth
- Professional: Dependable, punctual, appropriate appearance, respectful demeanor
Apprentice: The job of an Apprentice Instructor is to learn through experience while being mentored by Lead Instructors. These are folks who have intro-level experience or interest in the Living Earth School, mentoring, and/or earth skills. They learn how to design lessons and take the lead on activities. Apprentices report any problems or injuries to their Lead Instructor or Camp Coordinator.
Instructor: The job of an Instructor is to feel comfortable in leading activities and designing lessons. They are expected to continue growing and learning through experience while being mentored by Lead Instructors. Instructors should monitor the energy of the group. They mentor CITs in the ways of LES, Coyote Mentoring, and other outdoor education skills. Instructors plan the day completely, thinking through gear, tasks, stories, rain plans, and explanations. They have the flexibility to deviate from the plan for what best serves the campers. Instructors are experienced in naturalist and survivalist skills across a variety of subjects.
Lead Instructor: Lead Instructors mentor campers as well as other staff. On their own, they can be trusted with group management, in small groups as well as camp-wide activities. The Lead Instructors bring dependable experience and skills as well as emotional intelligence to the camp experience. They are leaders in camp culture, capable of designing flexible lessons for campers as well as providing the space for other staff to grow and develop their own mentoring skills. Lead Instructors report any problems or injuries to their Camp Coordinator and should be a point of contact for Apprentices and Instructors in need of support.
Camp Coordinator: The Camp Coordinator is responsible for managing the facilities and the staff. Working with the Administration and the other Camp Coordinators, they create updated staff schedules weekly. They run staff meetings and facilitate the camp schedule. Coordinators are responsible for the camp’s parent interactions and communication, both face-to-face and over the phone. The Coordinator is emotionally intelligent and offers to help staff in times of need, including situations involving campers. They coordinate staff to lead large-group activities and swim time. When possible, they observe and provide feedback on staff instruction and group management. They are responsible for providing decision-making leadership during extreme weather, injuries, emergencies, or when disciplinary action is needed, and are responsible for reporting these incidents to the Administration.
Expeditions: We also have Apprentices, Guides and Trip Leaders for Leaders on our Expeditions with a very similar breakdown in responsibility.
All staff are invited to set up a tent in one of our Staff Camp locations. It is where we have down time with peers, inspire each other to practice skills and brainstorm next week’s plans. Some staff live locally and choose to sleep in their more permanent dwellings, but it has been tradition for most staff to sleep under the stars, cook over a fire, and enjoy challenging each other to hone their survival skills. We DO want staff arriving to work rested and cared for, so there are amenities to make life easier like toilets, shower, electricity, refrigeration, and large propane stoves set up for your convenience. Staff Camp locations are approximately a 30 min drive from our Day Camp locations and some staff choose to carpool.
Our staff is the backbone of our programs! We get an amazing crew of staff from all over the country. Many return year after year, and have become life long friends. It is a fun enriching community to be a part of.
We look for caring, compassionate people, who live their life with integrity and want to make a positive difference in the world. It is essential to have a love for both the natural world and being with children. Must be willing to be a part of a team, be hard working, ability to communicate clearly, and be flexible. It is important to have wilderness skills and experience working with children, but most importantly a strong desire to work with children and nature.
If this sounds like a way you would like to spend your summer, please contact us for more information and an application. We look forward to getting to know you and spending a wonderful summer together!
Are you an adult wanting to dip your feet in the world of Nature Connection Mentoring? Do you have a teen who loves working with kids, or who wants to fill service hours in a fulfilling, fun way?
Please join us as a Mentor-in-Training (MIT) for one of our spring or fall youth programs! We have programs during the week as well as on Saturdays, in locations in Charlottesville, Goochland, Warrenton, and Harrisonburg. We have had great success with our MIT’s in the past: teen MIT’s turn into strong instructors at our summer camps, and adult MIT’s gain a renewed connection with the earth.
MIT’s are thanked for their volunteer service with one or more free LES adult classes, and LES t-shirt, and participation in staff development and celebration days.
Email us at email@example.com if you are interested!