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Outdoor Educator

Wiscasset ME

Chewonki seeks an Outdoor Educator.

Personal growth, appreciation and stewardship for the natural world, and building community are the three core values that support Chewonki’s mission. Each Outdoor Classroom experience strives to achieve each of these core values. The majority of programming takes place on Chewonki’s 400-acre peninsula, which is surrounded by tidal estuaries. The land is mostly wooded, and also contains fields, two freshwater ponds, a working farm, an extensive salt marsh, a hiking trail system, and eleven established shore-side campsites with tent platforms. In addition to the base camping programs, the OC program also offers wilderness trips and day programs for schools. The majority of Outdoor Classroom’s school partners participate in our programming in the Spring and Fall seasons.

Outdoor Educators work with residential school programs by leading groups of students on base-camping trips and teach outdoor living, team building, and ecology by facilitating a variety of lesson topics: natural history, sustainability, farming, and canoeing. Educators live with their students and school chaperone in small camping groups at shore-side campsites on Chewonki Neck or on islands in Hockomock Bay, sleeping in tents, cooking over open fires or camp stoves to facilitate positive learning experiences in nature. In addition to their job responsibilities by season, educators are expected to take initiative and be part of the greater community and to support the Chewonki Mission of promoting personal growth, natural history, and community development.

Outdoor Educators teach students how to set up a tent, process firewood, and cook over an open fire where they discover the demands and satisfaction of authentic teamwork while enjoying their time outdoors together. Our educators live and work alongside their students during program. They usher in each new group with enthusiasm and dedication, and they take pride in their students’ growth throughout the week. Each educator receives training in natural history education, group facilitation, and outdoor leadership. With a low student-teacher ratio, every group receives the most careful, individualized attention possible. The group includes 10 to 12 students, a Chewonki educator, and the teacher/chaperone from the visiting school.

In addition to their job responsibilities by season, educators are expected to take initiative and be a part of the greater community. This includes the care and maintenance of common spaces. Our educators are viewed as outdoor professionals and our Outdoor Classroom team is here to support each individual’s growth throughout their time at Chewonki and beyond.


Position Title: Outdoor Educator

Employment Category: Category C

Permanent/Temporary: 8/18/2020 – 10/31/2020 & 4/12/2021 – 8/17/2021

Reports to: OC Coordinator/Summer Program Director

Exempt/Non-exempt: Exempt

Schedule (hours and weeks): Full Time

Benefits Eligible: Yes



Lead four to six day environmental education base-camping experiences at Chewonki campsites

Lead four to six day saltwater canoe trips

Lead four to six day wilderness expeditions for school groups

Facilitate day programs for school groups

Supervise student groups in overnight camping programs

Support functions of Camp Chewonki in the summer one of three ways; summer support position, wilderness trips, and/or camp staff member

Maintain a high level of knowledge about the natural history of Chewonki Neck and facilitate lessons in pond, estuary, animal study, and rocky shore ecology

Maintain familiarity with Chewonki’s farm and land-use history, facilitate lessons in sustainable food and farm systems, and human history of the landscape

Maintain a high level of skill in outdoor living and facilitate lessons in orienteering, outdoor cooking, personal hygiene, and low impact camping

Serve as a facilitator for Chewonki’s challenge course

Practice and enforce all Chewonki safety and risk management protocols

Maintain a high level of professionalism

Provide for the emotional and physical well being of participants at all times:

administer first aid and medications

support students through common challenges such as homesickness and self-care

Develop rapport and collaborate with school teacher/chaperone partners

Maintain safe food handling practices in and out of the field

Co-lead wilderness trips; plan, prep, pack for each trip

Check all equipment and make sure it is appropriate for age and location

Provide direct supervision of participants

Communicate professionally with chaperones, guardians, and participants

Become familiar with and abide by wilderness trip protocols as stated in our field protocol manual

Complete all necessary paperwork; i.e. incident reports, participant evaluations, trip reports, co-leader evaluations

Develop a positive learning environment

Effectively teach technical skills and group dynamics



Support Outdoor Classroom programs when not in the field

Be an active member of the Chewonki community; e.g. dish crew, Chewonki Day (whole-staff integrated work day to support program maintenance needs across campus)

Uphold professional and appropriate relations with other program participants in shared program spaces/resources (e.g. dining hall)

Participate in general support tasks related to campus maintenance and cleaning

Handle and teach with Chewonki’s wildlife center animals that are approved for Outdoor Educator use

Serve as evening on-call support as scheduled



Current Wilderness First Responder Certification (preferred certifying bodies are Wilderness Medical Associates and Wilderness Medical Institute)



Maine State Trip Leader Permit

Attend staff training



Bachelor’s Degree in a related field e.g. environmental education, natural sciences, recreation, etc.

Current Lifeguard and ACCT Certifications are appreciated.

Passionate about working with students and other educators.

Experience in K-8th grade education or environmental education.

Experience in teaching ecology, natural history, sustainability, team building, challenge course facilitation, and outdoor living skills

Adaptive, communicative, accountable, and solution-focused.

Candidates must pass a background check and have their driving record approved by Chewonki’s insurance carrier.



Salary for the Outdoor Classroom season is $355.00 per week plus room and board. Educators earn one half Paid Time Off day each pay period. PTO is taken with supervisor approval in consideration of the program schedule. Health insurance is available in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.



Applications due: Rolling until positions filled


Please see the Outdoor Classroom website to learn more about this program. Please complete the following information, upload a cover letter and resume, AND complete this form to indicate your interest in summer opportunities associated with the position.

Posted May 20, 2020

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