Position Opening: Summer Day Camp – Assistant Instructor

Assistant Instructors will work two or more weeks (approx 8:30 am – 4pm, Mon – Fri) of one or more of these programs:

Click the camp links above for this summer’s dates.

Our summer starts with 8-10 hours of staff training and site orientation on June 16, 2023. Earthfriend and Shambhala camps will have additional on-site training, date(s) TBD.

About the position:

We’re looking for Assistant Instructors to complement our teaching team. Your role would be to support the Lead Instructor in leading a group of 10-12 youth for a six-hour day outdoors (a four-hour day in the case of the Foxwalk program), from Monday to Friday for at least one week of summer 2022. At times a teen or adult volunteer or intern may also be present.

A love of children and an understanding of their needs is crucial to your success in our program, as is your skilled communication and playful spirit. 

Your main responsibilities in this role is to support and collaborate with the Lead Instructor in developing program activities and ensuring the physical and emotional safety of the children.

Instructors are paid for program instruction and time spent in staff meetings and trainings . More than a job, it’s an opportunity to grow and tend nature-connected community.

Desired Qualifications:  

  • Some experience with any of the following: nature connection mentoring, naturalist knowledge, outdoor living skills, and/or familiarity with past and present human relationship with the lands of this region. (If you don’t have much experience in these areas, we will support you in your development.) 
  • Ability to create a safe and nurturing program experience for all children and families, including those who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BiPOC), LGBTQ+, and/or disabled. (If you don’t have much experience in these areas, we will support you in your development.)
  • Group management and safety skills
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Current or recently expired First Aid/CPR certification (These are available locally in the months before camp begins and the cost is partially subsidized by VWS.)
  • Ability to perform essential job functions involving light-to-vigorous physical outdoor activity in all weather conditions
  • Able to attend staff trainings before your 1st day with youth; dates & times to be arranged with your Program Director

What you embody:

  • Love of children
  • Love of nature
  • Attunement to the diverse experiences and identities participants bring
  • Playfulness and fun
  • Integrity & emotional intelligence
  • Humility & service-mindedness
  • Creativity & collaboration
  • Commitment to personal & professional growth
  • Commitment to equity and creating an inclusive space for all children


You will be paid hourly for your time in the field:

  • 37.5 hrs/wk for Summer Camps

Approximately ¾ of these hours are spent with youth. The remaining ¼ are for daily staff prep and debrief meetings, email & phone communications, and required staff training.

The base pay is $17.50/hour (individuals with current Wilderness First Aid/CPR certifications make an additional $0.25/hour, and $0.25/hour is added for each 2 previous years of experience as a VWS Lead Instructor). 

Housing: Staff hired for Otter Day Camp who do not have local housing are eligible for housing assistance from VWS. Depending on availability, we may be able to cover the cost of renting a lean-to/tent platform at Fort Dummer State Park (which is the site of Otter Camp and Foxwalk Camp). 

To apply, complete this form.

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 1.


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.