A Lead Counselor is an important member of our field team. They help create magical and impactful day camps for children ages 5-12; lead groups in games, hikes, skill-based activities, river and creek explorations, storytelling, songs, building forts, whittling, and crafts; manage time and activities for their groups; provide excellent group and behavior management; and organize logistics with their co-counselors.
As a Lead Counselor, you’ll be spending your time:
- Leading a group of 2-3 staff members and a small group of children or teens in games, hikes, skill-based activities, river and creek explorations, storytelling, songs, building forts, whittling, and crafts;
- Mentoring and coaching Counselors and Junior Counselors;
- Communicating with Schoolhouse staff and camp families;
- Managing your group, your timing, and camper behavior;
- Modeling Schoolhouse values;
- Ensuring the physical and emotional safety of participants;
- Working with your supervisor to deliver camp activities and maintain and prepare supplies.
Camp Leads are expected to:
- Safeguard the physical, emotional, and intellectual safety of participants. Model Schoolhouse values like kindness, curiosity, and empathy. Patiently process conflict and disagreements.
- Participate in all aspects of programs using Schoolhouse methodologies. Actively engage participants and deliver consistent and exceptional supervision. Be a good example and role model at all times. Play the games, sing the songs, wade in the river, hide in the leaves, build forts, and enthusiastically join in on all aspects of our programs.
- Communicate with participants, their families, and other Schoolhouse staff. Create established lines of communication built on trust and empathy.
- Provide exemplary adherence to Schoolhouse’s values, policies, and procedures, including creating a safe environment by following our COVID procedures.
- Create and deliver activities. Partner with your staff to create and run high-quality, exciting, nature-based activities and schedules.
- Prepare for programs. Take part in training and staff meetings, set up and break down programs, and clean and maintain program spaces.
- Set an excellent example in teaching and behavior management methods, work ethic, and attitude.
- Serve as a resource to other Schoolhouse staff in areas of special knowledge or interest.
- Mentor staff through giving and receiving feedback, modeling behavior, and creating a culture of growth.
- Be a leader. Run the games, tell the stories, and manage the group. Use and model behavior management techniques. Stay on schedule and manage your time. Create a culture of physical and emotional safety.
- Participate in marketing and promotional strategies and Schoolhouse events as requested.
- Professional Development. Work with your supervisor to create a professional development plan. This includes continuing education and familiarity with best practices.
- Elsewhere as needed. This list highlights major parts of a Camp Lead’s responsibilities, but there are plenty of other parts to the job!
You can find a description of the physical activities common in our field staff positions here.
Please Apply If You…
- Are a high school graduate or equivalent, and are at least 18 years of age by your first day of work
- Are kind, curious, and confident with a “can-do” attitude
- Have exceptional mentoring skills, including effective communication, enthusiasm, resourcefulness, sense of humor, self-control, and patience
- Have experience working with children or teens and want to mentor them to find and be their best selves
- Have experience leading or managing a group of children, ideally in a nature-based setting
- Have great verbal, interpersonal, and listening communication skills
- Desire a cooperative, team-oriented work atmosphere
- Are able and willing to accept and effectively act on feedback and guidance
- Have a passion for the outdoors and are comfortable working in the outdoors in all kinds of weather
- Are committed to Schoolhouse’s mission and values
- Are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines, or are able to provide documentation of exemption
- Take your work seriously but yourself, not so much
Bonus points (or at least a high-five) if you have…
- A college degree, or equivalent combination of education and experience in a relevant field (e.g. biology, ecology, environmental science, natural resource management, botany)
- Teaching experience
- Summer or day camp experience
- Knowledge and interest in plants, animals, geology, ecology, or cultural history
- Experience with experiential and inquiry-based learning techniques
- Skill-based training or certifications (Lifeguarding, EMT, etc.)
- English/Spanish bilingual fluency
Lead Camp Counselors report to the applicable Site Manager.
A formal review will be conducted by the supervisor to establish and assess progress against employee goals. Ongoing feedback provided through regular supervision and work plan development/review sessions.
Office Location, Hours, Travel
The work of the Lead Camp Counselor is typically performed at Durham, Orange, and Wake County locations. Travel to off-site locations is occasionally required.
Hours are dependent on organizational needs. Hours typically total between 40 hours and 50 hours per week and range from 7:30a – 6p Monday through Friday. Any hours worked beyond 45 during any single week will be classified as overtime. Occasional weekends and/or evenings may be required.
The wages for this position are $17.00 to $19.00 per hour.
Benefits include professional development opportunities, unlimited vitamin D, and a steady stream of (mostly funny) stories.
This Lead Camp Counselor position is open until filled, so we encourage you to apply as early as possible. Only complete applications will be reviewed.
First, make sure you have the following:
- A cover letter that explains your interest in working as a Lead Counselor at Schoolhouse of Wonder (maximum one page). Please include your email and phone number.
- Your resume (maximum one page). Do not include photos of yourself on your resume.
- Your cover letter and resume need to be a single document
Second, complete your application here.
Current certification in CPR and First Aid and a successful background check are required before work can begin. Schoolhouse will pursue both indicated and non-indicated references.
This is an “at will” seasonal, non-exempt, hourly position that reports directly to the applicable Site Manager.
Qualified women, minorities, and bilingual candidates (English/Spanish) are encouraged to apply. We are fully invested in creating a supportive environment for all marginalized groups including women, people of color, and LGBT+ people by promoting community collaboration within our organization.
Schoolhouse of Wonder is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, disability, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.
About Schoolhouse of Wonder
Founded in 1989, Schoolhouse of Wonder’s mission is to create kind, curious, and confident kids through nature-based outdoor adventures. We seek to achieve this mission through year-round, outdoor day camps, curriculum-aligned field trips, and leadership training for teenagers.
These core values guide our behavior and help us make decisions:
- We model and teach self-awareness and empathy
- We celebrate individuality; Different is just different
- Everyone deserves to be witnessed, heard and respected
- In nature, we’re all students
- Life should be filled with adventures and a sense of wonder
- We send every kid home dirty, tired and happy