Position Opening – Youth Program Interns & Volunteers
Teenagers (13 & older) and Adults are invited to apply to support our summer youth programs.
Volunteers and Interns will attend one or more weeks (typically 8:30am-4:30pm, Mon-Fri) of one of these programs:
- Foxwalk Day Camp (Ages 5 – 7), Brattleboro, VT.
- Earthfriend Discovery Day Camp (Ages 7 – 12), Williamsville, VT.
- Otter Day Camp (Ages 7 – 12), Brattleboro, VT.
- Shambhala Warrior and Nature Camp (Ages 9 – 15), Williamsville, VT.
- Woodland Words (ages 12 – 15), Marlboro VT.
Click the camp links above for this summer’s dates.
Our summer starts with Staff Orientation on June 17th. (If you are unable to attend the orientation on June 17th, please go ahead and apply.)
About the positions:
The Volunteer role is unpaid, and might be a good fit if you are:
- A teen who until recently has attended VWS (or similar) youth programs as a camper/participant and now feel ready to try on a new role supporting younger children.
- A teen who is entirely new to nature-based programming and would like to check it out.
- A teen looking to satisfy a community service requirement for school.
- An adult curious about nature connection education programs and wanting to learn more.
- An adult looking to support Vermont Wilderness School programs by offering the gift of your time and presence.
The Intern role is for teens and adults seeking to develop your leadership skills and work experience. This role has significantly more responsibilities and expectations than the volunteer role. Interns receive a stipend which ranges from $75/week to $375/week, depending on experience. (Teens who have attended this year’s two-day Teen Leadership Camp and are accepted to this role will receive an additional $25/week if they work two or more weeks.)
Each Volunteer and Intern will be matched with a group of youth (typically 10-12 children), led by a Lead Instructor and an Assistant Instructor. You’ll show up for every day of any weeks you’ve committed to— barring emergencies & pre-agreed absences— and be outdoors for 6 hrs (4 hrs in the case of Foxwalk Day Camp), helping as the group wanders, learns, plays, challenges themselves, and more.
Qualifications we’re looking for:
- Age 13 or older
- Love being with children
- Enjoy outdoor activity in many weather conditions
- Want to learn and possibly eventually lead nature-based games and outdoor skills/activities
- Are attentive to group management
- Want to build leadership/mentoring capacities
- Are excited to have fun with us!
What this role offers:
- Experience. You’ll be learning from skilled instructors and observing nature connection mentoring camps that have been running in southern Vermont for the past 22 years.
- Insight. Morning staff meeting and end-of-day staff debrief provide a glimpse of how the educational experience is designed, and how instructors attend to issues, concerns, or opportunities that are arising.
- Feedback. You’ll learn about yourself by hearing from staff members what they see as your gifts and your growing edges.
- Training. In addition to the June staff orientation day, you’ll be invited to a mid-summer staff training day with the Vermont Abenaki Artist Association.
Key Areas of Responsibility:
- Cultivate an awareness of safety, and immediately bring issues to a Lead or Assistant Instructor’s attention.
- Demonstrate self-sufficiency; keep yourself fed/ bathroomed/ hydrated, and balance self-advocacy with being an enthusiastic participant in the group.
- Be a helpful presence & set a good example:
- Be engaged – show up fully present.
- Ask good questions – don’t answer for the kids.
- Model good attitudes – listening, gear maintenance, respectful communication.
- Connect with kids – stragglers, chatterers.
- Facilitate some games & activities in consultation with your Lead Instructor
- Assist your Instructors with manual labor
- Pay attention to each child’s uniqueness and to group dynamics; be ready to share insights in daily staff debrief meeting.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. However we encourage interested individuals to apply as soon as possible, and we anticipate that most openings will be filled by May 15th.
More about who we are:
The Vermont Wilderness School envisions a world where every person and every community is able to cultivate a deep connection with the natural world. We believe this will only be possible alongside the replacement of systems of colonization, oppression, and extraction with new systems of equity, justice, and regeneration. Our vision and values are reflected in our employment-related decisions, including hiring practices. VWS actively seeks to employ a diverse staff. We invite you to bring your own unique perspective, culture, and identities if you join us in this work.
As an EOE/AA employer, VWS will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, genetic information, veteran or disability status, or any other factor prohibited by law.