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15 Jan 2020

Full-Time Year-Round Lead Camp Counselor and Field Trip Instructor

Schoolhouse of Wonder – Posted by schoolhouseofwonder Durham, North Carolina, United States

Job Description

Year-Round Lead Camp Counselor and Field Trip Instructor

Spring brings in frosty mornings growing warmer, with fiddleheads and tadpoles to discover. Summer ushers in a 12-week whirlwind of summer camps with laughter and songs echoing through the trees. Fall welcomes the changing leaves, the quieting forest, and crackling campfires. Winter is the season for inspiration and planning of the next year.

A Lead Camp Counselor/Field Trip Instructor is an important member of our field team. They help create magical and impactful day camps for children ages 5-12 and teach outdoor, curriculum-aligned field trips to elementary-aged students. A Lead Counselor is a mentor worth remembering and emulating. A Lead Camp Counselor/Field Trip Instructor takes pride and joy in mentoring children through outdoor adventures, games, stories, and songs. These individuals can partner energy with patience and responsibility with fun. 

This is a full-time, year-round position. Looking for something shorter-term? Consider our 9-month positions in Durham and Wake. Got plans for the fall? Check out our 6-month Wake position. 

As a Lead Camp Counselor/Field Trip Instructor, you’ll be spending your time:
  • Leading a group of 2-3 staff members and 20-32 children in games, hikes, skill-based activities, river and creek explorations, storytelling, songs, building forts, whittling, and crafts;
  • Teaching field trip groups of 20-35 children, teachers, and chaperones using hands-on, curriculum-aligned programming. Read more about our field trip topics.
  • Mentoring and coaching Counselors, Junior Counselors, and Counselors-in-Training;
  • Communicating with Schoolhouse staff and camp parents;
  • Modeling Schoolhouse values;
  • Ensuring the physical and emotional safety of participants;
  • Working with your supervisor to develop camp schedules and activities, maintaining and preparing supplies, creating reports, and other office tasks as needed.

This position begins February 27th. 

General Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Safeguard the physical, emotional, and intellectual safety of campers and students. 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 of children. 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, teachers, and other Schoolhouse staff. Create established lines of communication built on trust and empathy.
  • Provide exemplary adherence to Schoolhouse’s values, policies, and procedures.
  • Create and deliver activities. Partner with your team to create and run high-quality, exciting, nature-based activities and schedules. Work with the Field Trip Manager to develop new field trip programs, activities, and curriculum.
  • Prepare for programs. Take part in training and staff meetings. Prepare materials, create schedules, 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 and Counselors-in-Training through giving and receiving feedback, modeling behavior, and creating a culture of growth. 
  • Be a leader. Run the games, tell the stories, teach students, and manage the group. Use and model behavior management and teaching 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/Field Trip Instructor’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 great verbal, interpersonal, and listening communication skills
    • Desire a cooperative, team-oriented work atmosphere
    • Have experience working with children and want to mentor them to find and be their best selves
    • Are able and willing to provide 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 
    • Take your work seriously but yourself, not so much

We require current pediatric and adult CPR and First Aid certification by the first day of work. We accept certifications from the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI).

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 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 Counselor/Field Trip Instructor reports to the Site Manager in Wake, Durham, or Orange County or the Field Trip Manager as applicable.

A formal review 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 this Lead Camp Counselor/Field Trip Instructor is typically performed at our Durham or Orange County locations and the Schoolhouse of Wonder office. Work may also be performed at our Wake County locations. Travel to off-site locations is occasionally required.

  • The Schoolhouse of Wonder office is currently located at 2634 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Suite 220, Durham, NC 27707.
  • Our Durham location is at West Point on the Eno City Park, 5101 North Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704.
  • Our Orange County location is at Brumley Forest, 3223 New Hope Church Rd, Chapel Hill, NC.
  • Our Wake County locations include Umstead State Park (Reedy Creek entrance) at 2100 Harrison Ave, Cary, NC 27513 and Harris Lake County Park 2112 County Park Dr., New Hill, NC 27562.

Hours are dependent on organizational needs and vary depending on the season. Hours typically total between 32 hours and 50 hours per week and range from 7:30a – 6:00p 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 wage range for this position is $11.50-$12.50 per hour. Benefits for year-round, non-exempt employees include the following:

  • Insurance Benefits: We currently offer 100% paid health insurance or an equivalent health insurance stipend to year-round employees
  • Paid Time Off: Paid time off is accrued at a rate of up to 80 hours per year
  • Paid Holidays: In addition to paid time off, there are up to 12 paid holidays per year
  • Staff Development: Lead Camp Counselor/Field Trip Instructor is allotted up to $200 for professional development opportunities annually

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

Revenues: Approximately $1,000,000


How to Apply

Application Instructions This Year-Round Lead Camp Counselor/Field Trip Instructor position is open until filled. Preference given to applications received before January 24, 2020. Only complete applications will be reviewed. To apply, first complete the 2020 Spring Applicant Info Sheet Please email the following to Schoolhouse of Wonder at [email protected]:
  • A cover letter that explains your interest in working as a Year-Round Lead Camp Counselor/Field Trip Instructor at Schoolhouse of Wonder (maximum one page)
  • Your resume (maximum one page)
  • Please include your cover letter and resume as one document
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 Site Manager of Wake, Durham, or Orange County. 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.

Job Categories: Environmental. Job Types: Full-Time.

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