Camp Counselor

Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden


The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s mission is to conserve California native plants and habitats for the health and well-being of people and the planet. The Garden is a living museum which fosters the conservation of California’s native plants through our gardens, research, and education, and serves as a role model of sustainable practices. Within the scope of this mission, the goal of the Education team is to enable transformative experiences through native plants for the Garden visitor.

Camp Counselors work with other Education staff to lead outdoor activities as part of the Garden’s Summer Camp program. Camp Counselors should be passionate about connecting kids with nature, creative and flexible in their teaching approach, and able to work either as a team or individually to provide effective and impactful programming. This is a full-time (around 40 hours), temporary position, and reports to the Youth and Family Programs Manager.

Essential Duties:

  • Lead and supervise groups of up to16 students outdoors (ages 4-10) with another counselor.
  • Provide exploration and engaging outdoor, nature-based activities as well as other camp activities, such as arts and crafts
  • Ensure campers follow Garden policies including physical distancing and wearing face masks when needed
  • Help coordinate child drop-off and pick-up
  • Manage group needs and safety, for example, by keeping them hydrated and cool or away from poison oak, while maintaining a fun environment
  • Be adequately prepared to facilitate camp programs by attending training from June 27-30, reviewing schedules, and reading curriculum materials
  • Support camp programs by prepping and breaking down materials and cleaning equipment and spaces
  • Work with volunteers to help facilitate camp activities
  • Help evaluate camp programs by providing feedback and performing periodic evaluation activities with campers
  • Clean and sanitize spaces and materials throughout the day as needed
  • Interact with camp parents/guardians during camp drop-off and pick-up
  • Prepare camp activities by prepping materials ahead of time and coordinating with education staff and volunteers
  • Answer general questions about the Garden and its Education Programs to the public
  • Other duties as assigned

Work Schedule:

  • Must be available to work Monday through Friday, 8am-4:30pm and 9am-5:30pm shifts from July 11 through August 12.
  • Each week, counselor will be assigned either a regular-day shift (8am-4:30pm) or an extended-day shift (9am-5:30pm).
  • Must be available to attend staff training from 9am-5:30pm from June 27-June 30

Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of ecology, botany, and/or natural history of California preferred
  • Basic understanding of conferencing and streaming technologies
  • Understanding and experience with inquiry-based teaching styles
  • Working understanding of outdoor etiquette and basic Leave No Trace principles
  • Spanish fluency preferred
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Flexibility and ability to respond appropriately to diverse group situations
  • Excellent verbal communication skills with both children and adults

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination required
  • First Aid/CPR certified or able to obtain prior to start date
  • Experience working with children ages 4 to 10
  • Completed or pursuing a degree in education or relevant science field preferred
  • Experience in a botanic garden, environmental education, and/or a museum setting preferred
  • Experience with informal education activities in a natural setting preferred

Physical Functions:

Must be capable of occasional strenuous physical work including:

  • Standing/walking for extended periods of time
  • Lifting and carrying 50 lbs., bending, squatting and walking stairs and Garden trails
  • Tolerance of an outdoor work environment including exposure to outdoor environmental conditions, including extreme temperature fluctuations, rain, dust, allergens, poison oak, insects, small wild animals, and sun exposure
  • Must be comfortable following Garden’s interventions against COVID-19, at all times, when on grounds
  • Must be capable of working outdoors for 40 hours/week

Salary Description: 17.50 per hour

To apply, please click here:

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