Nature Day Camp Paid Jobs (ages 16+)

Information
A group of campers at Nature Day Camp start a day of exploring.
Spend your summer as a nature educator Nature Day Camp! We offer positions working with children in nature, mentoring teen volunteers, and leading small teams of paid staff. Positions are available for people with no experience, some experience, and a lot of experience.
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Join our summer team!

Environmental Education's Nature Day Camp offers nine weeks of summer camps at six locations throughout Portland. Camps have a nature theme and offer an opportunity for educators to explore and learn with small groups of children ages 5-12. Campers spend each day outdoors noticing the world, asking questions, playing in nature, and learning through games and activities. Learn more about Nature Day Camp.

We are looking for people who are...

  • Patient, flexible, responsible, and enthusiastic.
  • Curious about nature and excited to be outdoors in all types of weather.
  • Comfortable ensuring campers, staff, and parents follow COVID-19 guidance from State and County public health authorities regarding physical distancing and face coverings.
  • Willing to learn, grow, and be challenged to try new things.
  • Comfortable and confident when talking to children and adults.
  • Eager to be part of an active and respectful team.
  • Comfortable mediating conflicts and challenging behaviors. 
  • Willing to give feedback to others and get feedback about their skills as an educator.

Camp Locations

Each week, camp takes place at two of the locations listed below.  Over the nine weeks of camp, staff could be assigned to any or all of these locations and will need to find their own transportation to get there.

  • Mt Tabor Park (SE Portland)
  • Hoyt Arboretum (SW Portland)
  • Sellwood Park/Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (SE Portland)
  • Powell Butte Nature Park (Outer SE Portland)

Dates of employment - Vary by position

Nature Day Camps for children take place June 22 through August 19. 

  • All staff work Monday through Friday. Staff will not report to work on June 20, and July 4. 
  • Site Coordinators, Educators, and Leads report to work from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm. After-care staff report to work from 12:30 pm - 5:30 pm.  
  • All staff receive a 30-minute unpaid lunch.  
  • Everyone is responsible for getting themselves to the assigned site each week.  
  • All staff are required to attend training days in June.  
  • Camp wrap-up days are August 23 and 24. (Optional for Nature Educator I and II, required for Team Lead and Site Coordinators.)
Note for summer 2022 - Please visit the COVID-19 section on the Nature Day Camp webpage for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 requirements. 

Required training days for all positions

Please make sure you can get to each of these parks on foot or by car, bike, or public transportation.

  1. Monday, June 13th, 8am-4:30pm | Mt. Tabor Park (SE) 
  2. Tuesday, June 14th, 8am-4:30pm | Mt. Tabor Park (SE) 
  3. Wednesday, June 15th, 8am-4:30pm | Hoyt Arboretum (SW) 
  4. Thursday, June 16th, 8am-4:30pm | Hoyt Arboretum (SW) 
  5. Friday, June 17th, 8am-4:30pm | Sellwood Park (SE) 
  6. Tuesday, June 21st, 8am-4:30pm | Mt. Tabor Park (SE) 

Topics at staff training will include, but is not limited to, managing groups of children, safety at camp, child development, ecology of the Pacific Northwest, communication with parents, and promoting unstructured play in nature. We also spend time each day becoming friends, building rapport, team-building, and understanding our roles as mentors and teachers.

CPR/First Aid - All staff will take part in a Medic CPR and First Aid class offered by Portland Parks & Recreation. 

Severe Allergic Reactions and Medication Administration - All coordinators and Educator II positions are asked to attend three additional hours of training. Times and dates are TBD, but training takes place in early June. 

Planning days for Site Coordinators only 

  • May 31 – June 3rd, approximately 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, hours may vary | Remote work and in-person at Lair Hill Park and Carnegie office 

Planning days for Site Coordinators and Team Leads 

  • June 6-8, approximately 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, hours may vary | Remote work and in-person at Lair Hill Park and Carnegie office 

Training days for returning Nature Educator I's and II's, with Team Leads and Site Coordinators (all staff from Summer 2018 or 2019) 

  • June 9, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm | In-person at Lair Hill Park 

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Nature Educator I - now open! Click here to apply.

Wages: $14.75 per hour

Dates of employment: June 13, 2022 - August 19, 2022

To qualify: At least 16 yrs old by June 1, 2022. No experience necessary, but you SHOULD genuinely like science, nature, children, and be interested in learning about outdoor education. 

Summary of duties (Please see the application for the full list of responsibilities):

  • Uphold all camp safety protocols and COVID-safe guidelines
  • Collaborate with other educators to lead nature-themed activities
  • Build relationships with campers and families
  • Create a safe space for campers to have fun and make friends

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Nature Educator II - now open! Click here to apply.

Wages: $17-$22 per hour

Dates of employment: June 13, 2022 - August 19, 2022

To qualify:  At least 18 years old by June 1, 2022. Must have experience leading and teaching groups of children, working at Nature Day Camp (or similar program) or at an organization related to nature, science, or outdoor education. 

Summary of duties (Please see the application for the full list of responsibilities):

  • Create safe spaces for campers to explore and observe the natural world.  
  • Collaborate with Team Leads to lead organized activities and promote nature play.  
  • Communicate with families and work together to solve problems as needed.  
  • Teach and lead groups using various teaching methods. 
  • Use creative techniques to help campers transition between activities. 
  • Recognize when to ask for help from other Educators, Teams Leads, and Coordinators. 

Submit your relevant education, experience, and training and fill out the application online.

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Nature Day Camp Team Lead - now open! Click here to apply.

Wages: $17-$22 per hour

Dates of employment: June 6, 2022 - August 26, 2022

To qualify: At least 18 years old by June 1, 2022. Must have experience leading and teaching groups of children, experience leading a small team, and experience working at Nature Day Camp, a similar camp program , or at an organization related to nature, science, or outdoor education. 

Summary of duties (Please see the application for the full list of responsibilities):

  • Mentor a small team of educators and their camp groups. 
  • Plan, organize, and lead nature-themed activities with other staff. 
  • Help educators with camper check-in and check-out process each day. 
  • Lead and assist with daily staff meetings and evaluations. 
  • Communicate any issues to staff, campers, and families as needed each day. 
  • Coordinate staff break schedules and transition between groups effectively.    
  • Fill in for educators who are unable to work because of illness or injury. 

Submit a resume highlighting your relevant education, experience and training and fill out the application online.

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Nature Day Camp Jr Educator Lead - now open! Click here to apply.

Wages: $17-$22 per hour

Dates of employment: June 13, 2022 - August 19, 2022

To qualify: At least 18 years old by June 1, 2022. Must have experience leading and teaching groups of children, experience leading a small team, and experience working at Nature Day Camp, a similar camp program , or at an organization related to nature, science, or outdoor education. 

Summary of duties (Please see the application for the full list of responsibilities):

  • Oversee Junior Educator program: lead and support teens who participate as volunteers in two weeks of Nature Day Camp.  
  • Mentor teens while they gain job skills as educators. 
  • Plan and facilitate Junior Educator orientation days.  
  • Organize and lead nature-themed activities with other staff. 
  • Ensure Junior Educators are checked in and out of Camp and understand their role each day. 
  • Provide written and verbal feedback to support growth and skill development.  

Submit a resume highlighting your relevant education, experience and training and fill out the application online.

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Nature Day Camp After-care Lead - now open! Click here to apply.

Wages: $17-$22 per hour

Dates of employment: June 13, 2022 - August 19, 2022

To qualify: At least 21 years old by June 1, 2022. Must have experience leading and teaching groups of children, experience leading a small team, and experience working at Nature Day Camp, a similar camp program , or at an organization related to nature, science, or outdoor education. 

Summary of duties (Please see the application for the full list of responsibilities):

  • Uphold all camp safety protocols and COVID-safe guidelines 
  • Mentor a small team of educators and their camp groups 
  • Help plan, organize and lead nature-themed activities with other staff.  
  • Coordinate staff break schedules and transitions 
  • Lead and assist with daily staff meetings and evaluations

Submit a resume highlighting your relevant education, experience and training and fill out the application online.

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Nature Day Camp Site Coordinator - now open! Click here to apply.

Wages: $17-$22 per hour

Dates of employment: May 31, 2022 - August 26, 2022

To qualify:  At least 21 years old on June 1, 2022. Must have strong communication and collaboration skills, experience working at Nature Day Camp or similar program or  at an organization related to nature, science, or outdoor education, and experience coordinating logistics for a large program and leading a diverse team.  Driver's license and acceptable five-year driving record required.

Summary of duties (Please see the application for the full list of responsibilities):

  • Uphold all camp safety protocols and COVID-safe guidelines
  • Coordinate program logistics, staff, and camp activities
  • Make daily decisions about issues that arise with campers, parents, and staff
  • Communicate effectively and build opportunities for collaboration
  • Build community and rapport with a large team of teens and young adults

Submit a resume highlighting your relevant education, experience and training and fill out the application online.

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Frequently asked questions

Can I apply if I need a week off during the summer?

Sure - feel free to apply. On the application there is a space to tell us up to five (5) days you would need off during the summer. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to work around it, but sometimes we can and will still invite you to an interview.

How much should I write for an essay question?

We suggest writing about 150-250 words, which is about six to eight sentences. Feel free to write more if you would like.

Who should I list as my references?

Great question! We suggest using former supervisors or managers who know you well, but there are many others who might be a good reference and can speak to your good qualities. Here are some other ideas:

  • A coordinator for an organization where you volunteered
  • A youth worker, pastor, rabbi, religious leader
  • A teacher who knows both your work and your personality
  • A friend or neighbor whom you have done odd jobs or worked for (like lawn care or babysitting or cleaning)
  • A leader of a club or group you are involved in (like a garden club or language club)
  • A leader in an organization you are connected to (like a culturally specific organization or Big Brothers, Big Sisters)

Who should I contact if I have questions or need help?

Contact Rose at rose.ramirez@portlandoregon.gov or call/text at 503-729-7854. 

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Volunteer positions - Jr Educator (ages 13-17)

We are excited to announce that the Junior Educator Program will return in 2022!

Volunteer Jr Educator Program (Ages 13-17, no experience necessary but you should like science, nature, and children.)
See the Jr Educator page for all details.

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Contact

Rose Ramirez

Coordinator for Environmental Education - Camps and Classes

Location

Park Location or Entrance
SE 60th Avenue and Salmon Street
Portland, OR 97215
Park Location or Entrance
SE 7th Avenue and Sellwood Blvd
Portland, OR 97202
Park Location or Entrance
SE 7th Avenue and Miller Street
Portland, OR 97202

Hoyt Arboretum

Arboretum
Park Location or Entrance
4000 SW Fairview Blvd
Portland, OR 97221
Park Location or Entrance
16160 SE Powell Blvd
Portland, OR 97236