Nature Day Camp | Paid Jobs (ages 16+)

Spend your summer as a nature educator Nature Day Camp! We offer positions leading nature activities and exploration for children.
(Educator I positions, Educator II positions, various Site Coordinator positions)

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Qualities of a nature educator

If you are 16 or older and have these qualities, you might make a great nature educator:

  • Honest and hard-working
  • Can arrive to work on time
  • Creative and able to solve problems 
  • Willing to ask for help when needed
  • Responsible and patient with children
  • Confident when talking to children, parents and peers
  • Curious about nature, science, or the outdoors
  • Silly, playful, and willing to look goofy in front of children
  • Have an interest in teaching or mentoring others
  • Have an interest in helping children learn how to be good stewards to the earth

Values we share as a team

  • We value a diverse range of backgrounds and experience in both campers and staff. 
  • We commit to working the entire ten weeks. We take care of ourselves, so we stay healthy and happy. Campers in August get the same energy and enthusiasm as those in June.
  • We are happy about the weather. Rain is just as fun as a hot afternoon - it's just different.
  • We are able to get ourselves to camp on time, no matter the location. (All locations are accessible by TriMet.) 
  • We value and genuinely appreciate spending time with children. 
  • We take the time in our small camper groups to listen to campers about their lives.
  • We are friendly to children, their parents, park users, and other staff. 
  • We take the time to offer feedback and make improvements to camp. 
  • We value our camp volunteers (called Jr Naturalists). We offer them numerous chances each week to grow and learn new skills. 

How to Apply

Make sure this job is a good fit for you. Please check out the links below before applying:

  1. Read information about Nature Day Camp. (It's what parents look at to learn about camp.)
    Make sure to focus on the following sections:
  2. Carefully read the requirements for each position. Applicants interested in more than one position must fill out separate applications. 
  3. Read about the required training days.
  4. Identify and contact three character or employment references. 
  5. Questions? Maybe we have already answered them in our section on frequently asked questions
  6. Complete your application online. (You will be asked to list your references when applying. You will also have to answer three or four supplemental questions.)  

Required training days

(Dates for Summer 2021 will be updated in December 2020.)

Please make sure you are available to attend all required training days. If you cannot attend the CPR classes provided by Portland Parks, you must get certified on your own time. 

Training days for coordinator positions only

  • Five planning days - Dates to be determined (Will be updated in January 2021), 8:30-4:30pmLair Hill Park and Carnegie office

Training days for returning staff only (all staff from Summer 2018 or 2019)

  • Date to be determined (Will be updated in January 2021), 8:30-4:30pmLair Hill Park

Training days for all staff (in all positions)

  1. Date to be determined (Will be updated in January 2021), 8:30-4:30pmMt Tabor Park
  2. Date to be determined (Will be updated in January 2021), 8:30-4:30pmHoyt Arboretum
  3. Date to be determined (Will be updated in January 2021), 8:30-4:30pmSellwood Park/Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
  4. Date to be determined (Will be updated in January 2021), 8:30-4:30pmHoyt Arboretum
  5. Date to be determined (Will be updated in January 2021), 8:30-4:30pmMt Tabor Park

These training days cover topics such as the following: 

  • Portland Parks and Recreation - what it means to wear the logo.
  • City of Portland required trainings (Mandated reporter for child abuse, HR 2.02 Harrassment based on a protected class,
  • Child development
  • Facilitating nature activities
  • Group management
  • Dealing with challenging behaviors
  • How to promote beneficial nature play in unstructured times
  • Leading large and small group games
  • Camp first aid and safety
  • Communication strategies with parents and staff
  • Leave no trace principles
  • Ecology of the Pacific Northwest (various topics)

We also spend time each day becoming friends, building rapport, team-building, understanding our roles as mentors and teachers, and meeting the supervisors and managers of our program and each park. 

CPR/First Aid - A few classes in May and June will be offered by Portland Parks OR you must get certified on your own time. 

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. 


Links to Nature Day Camp applications

Below are the basic requirements for each position. 

Educator I  --  Ages 16+, no experience necessary, but you SHOULD really like science, nature, children and be interested in teaching!
The link to this position will be provided when positions open in January 2021. 

Educator II  --  Ages 18+, experience leading and facilitating groups, and at least two summers experience as an educator at Nature Day Camp or a similar program (working 30+ hrs/wk).
The link to this position will be provided when positions open in January 2021. 

Nature Day Camp Coordinator  --  Ages 21+, experience leading groups, organizing a team, and at least three summers experience at Nature Day Camp or a similar program (working 30+ hrs/wk). Driver's license and good driving record preferred.
The link to this position will be provided when positions open in January 2021. 

Returning staff (Educator I and Educator II)  --  Ages 16+ and have been on staff before. If you were on staff at Nature Day Camp in 2018 or 2019 and are applying to be a Naturalist I or II for Summer 2021, fill out the Returning Naturalist Application. (If you are applying to be a Coordinator, you will need to fill out the Coordinator Application.) 
The link to this position will be provided when positions open in January 2021. 

All applications must be filled out completely to be considered, including a list of three references and answers to all essay questions. 


Frequently asked questions

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

How much should I write for an essay question?

Who should I list as my references?


Volunteer positions

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

Contact

Chrissy Larson

Environmental Education Coordinator, Early Childhood/Youth

Location