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Outdoor Educator – Start in April 2019 Posted Feb 05
Chewonki Foundation , Wiscasset, ME
Outdoor Educators work with residential school programs leading groups of students on base-camping trips and teach outdoor living, team building and ecology through facilitating a variety of lesson topics; natural history, sustainability, organic 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 out 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, to support the Chewonki Mission of promoting personal growth, natural history, and community development.

Outdoor Classroom
Chewonki’s Outdoor Classroom program is a unique model where educators work with residential school programs leading groups of students on base-camping and saltwater canoe trips and teach outdoor living, team building and ecology through facilitating a variety of lesson topics; natural history, sustainability, organic farming, and canoeing. During these programs educators live with their students and school chaperone in small groups camping at shore-side campsites on Chewonki Neck, sleeping in tents, cooking over open fires, and teaching other hard skills.

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 organic 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.

Position Title: Outdoor Educator
Employment Category: Category C
Reports to: OC Field Coordinator
Exempt/Non-exempt: Exempt
Schedule (hours and weeks): Full Time
Benefits Eligible: Yes


- Lead base camping residential school programs for four to six days
- Lead saltwater canoe trips for four to six days
- Lead wilderness expeditions for school groups for four to six days
- Facilitate day programs for school groups
- Supervise student groups in overnight camping programs
- Maintain a high level of knowledge about the natural history of Chewonki Neck and facilitate lessons in pond, estuary, forest, and rocky shore ecology
- Maintain a familiarity with Chewonki’s sustainable energy projects, farm, and land use history and facilitate lessons in climate change, renewable energy, 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 and woodcraft, personal hygiene and low impact camping
- Serve as an adventure activity leader 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 a high level of safe food handling in Chewonki’s Packout facility and in 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 as assigned
- Communicate professionally with chaperones, parents, and family members
- Become familiar with and abide by wilderness trip protocols as stated in staff manual
- Fill out 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 semester school students in shared program spaces/resources (e.g. dining hall)
- Participate in general support tasks related to campus maintenance and cleaning
- Handle and teach with TNHP lab animals that are approved for Outdoor Educator use
- Serve as evening “on-call support” as needed
- Teach trip activities while in camp
- Support all functions of the Wilderness Trip Program
- Help with essential functions of Wilderness Programs (resupplies, evacs, general support)


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


- Maine State Trip Leader Permit
- Attend staff training
- Attend necessary driver training


- Bachelor Degree in a related field e.g. environmental education, natural sciences, recreation, etc.
- Passionate about working with students and other educators
- Experienced in teaching ecology, natural history, sustainability, team building, challenge course facilitation and outdoor living
- Adaptive, communicative, accountable, and solution focused
- Candidates must pass a background check and have 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 program schedule. Health insurance is available in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.

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