Temporary ZooCamp Teacher
ZooCamp is a summer day camp program for kids entering grades K-5, run by the Education Department at the Oakland Zoo. Camp runs 9am-4pm M-F throughout the summer, with four 2-week sessions and one 1-week session. ZooCamp Teachers lead and facilitate a group of no more than 16 campers and supervise 1-4 Teen Assistants. Teachers play a huge role in setting the tone for camp and report directly to the ZooCamp Director and Assistant Director.
ZooCamp Mission Statement: ZooCamp is a space where life is celebrated and nurtured. We respect the diversity of life we find reflected in our people, our plants, and our animals. Camp is a physically and emotionally safe environment in which campers and staff alike develop and practice our skills of communication, compassion, and scientific thinking. Through hands-on exploration, play, and community building campers will deepen their connections to themselves, each other, and our natural world.
Important Dates: Mandatory Staff Training: May 31 – June 3
Session 1: June 6 – 17
Session 2: June 20 – July 1
*No camp the week of July 4 – 8*
Session 3: July 11 – 22
Session 4: July 25 – Aug 5
Session 5: Aug 8 – 12
Priority will be given to candidates who can work all summer.Hours: M-F, 8:15am – 4:45pm (Staff meetings once per week and may require longer hours)
Pay: $19-25/hr depending on experience.
This is a seasonal position; there are no benefits or paid time off.
- Experience working with youth in grades K-5 in education (formal or informal) and/or camp settings
- Some scientific literacy and experience with science concepts and thinking
- Experience working in a team and giving/receiving feedback
- Excellent communication skills
- High emotional intelligence and patience and compassion for others
- General openness towards people, experiences, and ideas
- Comfort being in front of a group
- Excellent problem solving skills
- Willingness to be silly and add your voice and personality to the ZooCamp culture
- Experience working in a zoo/nature center/museum
- Experience in outdoor/environmental education
- Experience supervising others, especially teens
- Nonviolent communication training/experience
- Knowledge of climate change and climate-related issues
- Experience in project based learning, civic science, and community organizing
- Background in biology, zoology, ecology, and/or environmental science
- Knowledge of local plant and animal species and ecosystems
- Experience working with animals
- Skills in wilderness/outdoor rec, field science, crafts/visual art, drama/improv, dance, physical ed/sports, music, photography/video, activism, writing, gardening
- ZooCamp is an active and high sensory environment! Teachers should expect to spend the majority of their day outside in the sun and often in dirt/grass. Teachers should expect to spend much of their time standing, walking, and sometimes other types of physical movement (running, dancing, etc) when playing with campers. Sometimes teachers will need to carry things from place to place.
- All Zoo staff are required to be fully vaccinated against covid-19. Teachers are required to be fully vaccinated (including booster) 2 weeks before staff training begins on May 31.
- Teachers are required to be CPR and First Aid certified before the start of camp. Those selected for the position who are not already certified can choose to get independently certified (and reimbursed) or attend a weekend training provided by the Zoo.
- Teachers are required to provide a recent (within the last 2 years) TB test or acquire one before the start of camp.
- Lead and supervise a group of ~16 campers, ensuring the physical, social, and emotional well-being of all campers in accordance with the ZooCamp Mission
- Create a weekly schedule for your camp group with the help of the teaching team and Directors
- Facilitate lessons, games, Zoo tours, and other camp activities
- Participate in, help create, and facilitate all-camp activities like skits, song sessions, and games
- Help campers solve conflicts and provide guidance and discipline as needed
- Attend weekly all-staff meetings and one: one check ins with the Directors
- work collaboratively with fellow camp staff, zoo education team, animal care, operations and administration staff
- Supervise 1-4 Teen Assistants. Have daily meetings about the day. Have weekly one: one check-ins and provide feedback on their performance. Delegate tasks and facilitation and provide opportunities for them to take on leadership roles in the group
- Communicate with campers’ parents/guardians about issues as well as successes, inform camp directors about any concerns
- Understand and maintain Zoo and ZooCamp health and safety standards
- Follow all Zoo safety protocol to ensure safety of people, equipment, and animal
In lieu of a cover letter, please answer the questions listed in this application process. You can format your answers in any way that makes the most sense to you.
How to Apply
Email your resume and cover letter or click here to apply online.
If you choose to apply via email, please remember to put the title of the position in your subject -- failure to do so may result in your application not being seen/forwarded to the correct party for review.
Please, no phone calls! We apologize, but due to the heavy volume of applications, only those applicants who are selected for an interview will be contacted. Do not call to follow up on the status of your application.