Survival /Wildlife Camp Instructor

Job Type

Full Time Temporary


Details: $15-$17 per hour




186 Main Street
United States


Please note, this is not a traditional summer camp, and that the position is for a highly skilled adult instructor.

This position is for one summer, from July 9 to August 17th plus an additional week of training and prep before the summer camp begins. We have two different camp programs occurring sequentially.

We will consider applicants who want to teach both camps, or who want to teach only one. The first two weeks are Being Animals Camp for children ages 4-7, held at a school in Beverly indoors and out on the trails. The campers spend each morning imagining they are a different local animal and moving to move, eat, relate, and seek shelter like that animal. Being Animals is a half day program. The last four weeks are Survival Rockport for 7-12 year olds, held in the woods in Rockport, away from any buildings or plumbing. The campers spend their full day out learning survival skills and naturalist skills in our unique story based, playful student-led format. While the campers are allowed a lot of freedom and responsibility and are allowed to use knives and fire, and come away with significant skills, there is also a lighthearted and playful feel to the program.

We are in the wilderness and we are learning to eat wild foods and survive, but we are rarely uncomfortable, and we do bring some modern conveniences, including s’mores. We end each day on a public beach that we travel to on foot. The Survival Rockport camp is staffed in the field by only two instructors, so they need to be comfortable managing all kinds of challenge and situation, administering first aid, and serving as open water lifeguards.


Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with other instructor/ Program Director to help design and deliver nature based adventure camp programs
  • Facilitate holistic programs that are more than a collection of activities and that are thoughtfully and intentionally designed to progress logically throughout the week and to be meaningful
  • Facilitate group building activities throughout the week, building a strong and cohesive team that values everyone’s voices, ideas, and needs
  • Serve as a mentor to campers, getting to know them as individuals and supporting their needs
  • Lead up to 5 miles of hiking per day (at Survival Rockport)
  • Administer first aid as needed for minor injuries and illness, and document all care given
  • Serve as a lifeguard during our daily beach swims.
  • Maintain an environment that balances freedom and safety, with safety being the number one priority


Undergraduate or advanced degree in education or environmental field, or equivalent experience

•Two or more years experience teaching children in classroom and/or field settings, or experience as a field naturalist or biologist along with a natural affinity for education and a high comfort level instructing young children

  • Excellent outdoor and survival skills. You need not possess all survival skills, but we are looking for someone who has several strong skills to bring to the table, such as tracking, wild edibles, matchless fires, tool making, shelter construction, water purification, knot tying, group building initiatives, or any other valuable outdoor skill
  • Strong swimming and hiking abilities. Must be able to swim well in open water, with waves
  • Knowledge of New England Natural History

•Comfort with all forms of local wildlife

• Trust in children’s ability to construct learning and meaning for themselves with guidance, and ability to provide flexible enough learning experiences to allow them to do so

•Comfort handling small, harmless wildlife, including insects, reptiles, and amphibians, including snakes

• A supportive and non-punitive approach to group and behavior management

•Ability to carry up to 30 pounds, and to walk uphill on or off trails up to 4 miles a day, in all weather (though we rarely walk more than a mile on any program)

•Willingness to work as long as 9-10 hours on extra long days, with most days extending 8 hours from 8am-4pm

•Strong concern for the natural environment and an interest in working towards its protection by educating young people                                                                 

•Current Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and Lifeguard Training or willingness to obtain these at own expense

• Ability to teach and make decisions as part of a collaborative teams

• Enthusiasm for the process of teaching and willingness to be a reflective educator, constantly fine tuning your skills and lesson plans and working with colleagues to give and receive honest feedback  


We offer excellent training, supervision, and support, and a free membership to Kestrel.

We do not offer housing.

Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply


If you’re interested in a position, please submit a cover letter explaining what interests you about working at Kestrel specifically, resume, and contact information for 3 references to, or mail to 186 Main St, Gloucester, MA 01930 

Please only apply if you have the required skills, including all certificates. If you need to get re-certified that is fine, but you need to have been certified or demonstrate an ability to get all the certifications before the start date.(Wilderness First Aid, Lifeguard Training, and CPR)