Lead Nature Camp Instructor: Wilderness Specialist
The VINS Nature Camp mission is to help young people develop the life skills necessary to be a positive force for their community and the environment.
By exploring the diversity of nature’s living creatures and habitats, VINS Nature Camp nurtures each child's curiosity and helps them to build respectful, caring relationships with themselves, others, and the natural world.
Each day of camp is another opportunity for your child to join an exciting journey to reveal the wonders of the natural world. Whether it is a hike through the woods, a closer look at an insect under the magnifying glass, a messy craft, or a group game that reinforces the value of teamwork; VINS Nature Camp programs are an invaluable and exciting learning experience for children.
VINS’ professional and highly trained staff, and unparalleled collection of resident raptors, ensure that your camper will have a unique and enriching summer camp experience.
Additional Job Details
- International Applicants Allowed?
- Work Visa Sponsoring Available
The Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) Nature Camp in Quechee, VT helps young people develop the life skills necessary to be a positive force for their community and the environment in a fun and exciting summer adventure. VINS seeks passionate, conservation-minded individuals who desire to work with children in an outdoor setting to join our camp team. Lead Wilderness Camp Instructors are responsible for leading and teaching natural science topics with an emphasis on backcountry and wilderness survival skills to children ages 6 – 13 in our outdoor camp environment.
- Provide direct leadership for up to 14 campers throughout weekly day camp sessions at the VINS Nature Center and offsite camp locations
- Provide direct leadership for up to 12 campers for overnight camp experiences including one week-long overnight camp at an offsite camp location
- Oversee the health and safety of campers, and create emotionally healthy environment
- Plan weekly camp curricula
- Teach educational camp programs related to natural sciences, wilderness survival skills and outdoor target archery for a variety of age groups
- Facilitate a wide range of activities including group games, outdoor sports, adventure scenarios, leadership skills, crafts, nature hikes and other hands-on activities
- Supervise all aspects for camp group including but not limited to, equipment usage, lesson and activity plans, cleanliness of camp area, risk management, and camper behavior
- Share planning and teaching responsibilities with co-instructors
- Support and mentor other instructors and Leaders-in-Training (L-I-Ts)
- Maintain excellent rapport and communication with parents/guardians of camp participants
- Utilize approved safety practices in all activities
- Understand and be able to implement emergency procedures
- Use and maintain VINS equipment appropriately
- Develop and maintain excellent communication with the Director Nature Camp, Nature Camp Coordinator, other instructors, VINS staff, and volunteers
- Act as a professional representative of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science
- Participate in all scheduled camp staff training sessions and camp events
- Consult with VINS educators, researchers, and wildlife rehabilitation specialists to bring added content to camp programs, as appropriate
- Must be at least 21 years old
- Education: Bachelor’s Degree or currently working towards a degree in education, natural sciences, or related field of study preferred
- Previous work experience with groups of children, experience with summer camps, environmental education or outdoor education preferred
- Experience and knowledge of wilderness survival skills and general knowledge of basic ecological processes and New England natural history
- Instruction experience in archery, canoeing, Leave No Trace, wilderness first aid, and backcountry travel, a plus
- Experience in program or curriculum development, a plus
- Passionate about conservation and environmental education
- Flexibility and willingness to adapt to and facilitate change
- Excellent group communication skills
- Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
- Ability to carry bulky, heavy teaching equipment (up to 40 lbs.)
- Ability to lead field trips over diverse terrain in all weather conditions
- Current driver’s license and clean driving record
- Current Wilderness First Aid and CPR certification, or willing to obtain
- Lifeguard Certification, or willing to obtain
- General computer literacy including ability to use Microsoft Office programs
All VINS staff working directly with children are subject to a thorough background check, including fingerprinting for an FBI criminal history records check.