Youth Summer Camp Counselor

Job Type

Part Time Temporary


Details: $12-$15/hour depending on experience



Start Date:


Application Deadline:



296 Garden Hill Drive
Los Gatos
United States



If you are interested in being a summer camp counselor, camp leader, science teacher, biology teacher, elementary teacher, preschool teacher, instructor, naturalist, interpreter, parks guide, environmental educator, environmental steward, youth leader, or otherwise teach and work with kids, animals, and nature - this is the job for you! Our camps are taught mostly outdoors in a park setting. There are a variety of camp topics to choose from, including biking, fishing, animals, water quality, engineering, physics, chemistry, geology, and more!

Summer Science Camp Instructors support YSI's mission to inspire enthusiasm for science and a love of learning. Summer Science Camp Instructors will use YSI camp curricula to guide exploration, experimentation, and scientific thinking in even the youngest campers. YSI Summer Science Camps are offered to children preschool (3 ½ years old) up through entering 6th grade, and each camp is designed for and taught to a specific age group. Summer Science Camp Instructors work together to make YSI’s Summer Science Camps full of learning, imagination, and fun, including crafts, hikes, experiments, animal programs, and games. They will also be responsible for communication with other Summer Science Camp Instructors and with camp parents.

Lead Instructors will be in charge of planning and implementing lesson plans based on YSI curricula, including set-up and clean-up as well as leading campers through activities. Assistant Instructors will work with the Lead Instructors to implement lesson plans, including set-up and clean-up as well as leading campers through activities. The Floater Position will fill in as needed for Lead or Assistant Instructors, including preparation and implementation of camp curricula. Other Floater duties may include joining a camp for additional camper support, providing breaks for the Summer Science Camp team, assisting in opening and closing activities, supporting set-up and clean-up, and other duties as assigned.


This part-time, seasonal position will be scheduled to work Monday through Friday at YSI’s Vasona Park location. Summer Science Camp Instructors are required to work at least three weeks of YSI Summer Science Camp; weeks do not need to be consecutive. There are a total of 11 weeks of camp June 4th – August 17th, 2018. Shifts vary by week, with instructors working either morning shifts during camp times or afternoon shifts during extended camp times. Morning shifts may start at 7:30am or later. Afternoon shifts end by 6pm. Most shifts are 5 hours (Assistant) or 6 hours (Lead or Floater) per day (25+hours per camp week worked), but may vary based on camp prep needed. There are additional paid orientation meetings and training sessions required for all camp staff.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Teach hands-on environmental, biological, physical, and social science camps and activities in a mostly-outdoor summer camp setting. Camp topics include biking (must own & be able to ride a bike), fishing (knowing how to fish preferred), engineering, mystery solving, physics, animals, water, environmental awareness, reptiles, and general science knowledge.
  • Ensure the safety and well-being of children
  • Preparation and cleanup for all camps taught, including returning all kits, curricula, and other items to YSI in good condition
  • Understand and teach camp materials and curricula provided by YSI
  • Exhibit maturity, diplomacy and common sense in working with parents, children, staff, and other YSI constituents
  • Maintain indoor and outdoor facilities including cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming, and restocking used items
  • Positive and enthusiastic customer service with camp families and other visitors
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Program Director or Executive Director

Education and Experience:

Years of Experience

2 or more years of experience working with children in informal or formal learning settings; examples: coach, tutor, mentor, teaching assistant, museum guide, interpretive ranger, scout leader, or community volunteer. Assistants may have 1 or more years experience.

Prior summer camp experience a plus


College degree or coursework in science, education, environmental studies, or comparable experience


Must have and maintain current certification by a nationally recognized provider of training for adult and child First Aid, CPR, and AED; acquired by end of 1st 30 days at YSI

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities:

  • Excellent written, verbal, and visual communication skills including excellent customer service skills
  • Computer literate in Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs
  • Acute attention to detail and accuracy
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Able to work independently and in a team environment, juggle multiple tasks, and respond to changing priorities
  • Able to interface daily with children, parents, the public, and YSI staff in a positive, professional manner
  • Excellent people skills and personable, helpful, friendly attitude with ability to listen and respond to questions
  • Able to work with, and respond to, the public under pressure
  • Ability to understand and follow written and verbal instructions
  • Ability to adapt and be flexible as priorities shift, and willing to take on variety of tasks
  • Knowledge of Next Generations Science Standards (NGSS) preferred
  • Passionate and enthusiastic about science education, nature, working with children, and YSI’s mission and values
  • Possess a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and have access to a car
  • Able to travel locally between the 3 YSI locations in Alum Rock, Vasona, and Sanborn Parks, and other local sites for events and teaching as needed
  • Must be over 18 and undergo criminal background checks, including fingerprints, through the database of the California Department of Justice and the national FBI criminal database. Must also show evidence / verification of a negative TB skin test reading less than four (4) years old
  • Must be able to submit hours worked on an electronic timecard daily

Physical Requirements:

  • Stand for up to 6 hours
  • Move and lift items up to 30 pounds
  • See 12-point font and distances of 300 feet
  • Walk and hike for up to 1.5 hours and up to 1 mile
  • Run and/or jog on flat and hilly surfaces and navigate a 30-degree Surfaces include but are not limited to grass, gravel, wet and dry surfaces, uneven and/or rocky soil
  • Hear children and adult voices
  • Communicate clearly and be understood by groups of children and adults for periods of up to 6 hours
  • Kneel, bend, and sit occasionally
  • Work in varying conditions (indoor and outdoor)

For accommodations to these activities, staff should submit requests to Executive Director.

This position specification is not an employment contract. YSI is an at-will employer. YSI reserves the right to modify, add, or change this specification for the Summer Science Camp Instructor positions at any time.

POSITION TITLE: Summer Science Camp Instructor (Lead, Assistant, or Floater)

REPORTS TO: Program Manager


Salary Range:

Assistant Instructor: $12-$14/hour depending on experience

Lead Instructor: $13-$15/hour depending on experience

Floater: $13-$15/hour depending on experience


To Apply: Please email a completed Employment Application and resume to or mail to:

Youth Science Institute Attn: Program Director

296 Garden Hill Drive, Los Gatos, CA 95032

Level of Language Proficiency

English proficient

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

High School

How To Apply

To Apply: Please email a completed Employment Application and resume to or mail to:

Youth Science Institute Attn: Program Director

296 Garden Hill Drive, Los Gatos, CA 95032