Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 315-acre educational nature center located in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness just three miles from downtown Knoxville. Originally a bird sanctuary in the early 1900’s, Ijams Nature Center has grown to provide a wide variety of educational programs, events, recreation, community outreach, and conservation opportunities that inspire people to celebrate, participate, and protect nature. Ijams Nature Center offers high quality education experiences to all ages, abilities and walks of life that encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing an urban greenspace for people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors through engaging and meaningful experiences.
Located on the Tennessee River, Ijams is positioned to offer expansive recreational opportunities featuring 12+ miles of hiking and mixed-use trails, a public access river dock, swimming, boating, biking, high adventure, and more. In addition to recreation, Ijams has grown into a regional leader in educational engagement, offering hundreds of educational programs annually, from school field trips, to nature preschool, service-learning, homeschool, teacher education, rehabilitative animal programs, nature playscape, volunteer events, to name just a few. In addition, Ijams is building robust off-site programs and partnerships that are extending our impact into the local community.
Youth Programs Manager
Supervisor: Jennie McGuigan, Education Director
Hours: Full-Time (40 hours/week); Exempt
● During school year: Tuesday-Saturday between the hours of 8:00 am-4:30 pm
● During summer season: Monday-Friday between the hours of 7:30 am-5:00 pm
Supervisory Responsibilities: Under the direction of the Education Director, this role will supervise seasonal staff during Summer Nature Adventure Camp (8 weeks), and part-time staff during the school year. This position will act as a leader on the Education Team, and will play an active role in mentoring and training staff, be a positive role model for the team, and be active voice within the organization when it pertains to youth program development.
Staff Training Dates: During camp season, all camp staff are expected to be available for Staff Training (May 27-28 and May 31-June 4) and entire camp season (June 7-July 30).
Pay Rate: Commensurate with experience
Benefits: 403(b) retirement package with 2% matching, full health care package, Ijams outdoor gear discounts, room for advancement, and the opportunity to work with children and a dynamic team of educators.
This is a full-time position responsible for developing, coordinating, implementing, and evaluating a wide variety of nature programs for diverse youth audiences.
The Youth Programs Manager will help develop programming that supports the mission of Ijams Nature Center while also supporting the programming philosophy of the Education Department.
The Youth Programs Manager will provide programming using Ijams Nature Center’s educational approach to providing high quality programming in the East TN region that is relevant, impactful, and builds community through place-based, student-centered, and multi layered experiences.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Field Trips and Outreach
1. Develop standards-based curriculum and field trip activities for grades Pre-K through 12.
2. Develop standards-based outreach topics for grades Pre-K through grade 12
3. Coordinate field trip and booking processes with the Education Administrative Coordinator.
4. Plan and conduct volunteer and staff training workshops for field trip leaders and other staff/volunteers.
5. Assist Education Administrative Coordinator with recruitment, training, and retention of field trip leaders and assistants.
6. Train AmeriCorps members to deliver field trips, camps, and outreach programs.
7. Work with the Animal Care Coordinator to incorporate education animals into field trips and outreach programs.
8. Develop and conduct teacher and camper feedback surveys to evaluate the success of programs.
9. Work with the Education Administrative Coordinator to prepare annual reports of revenue, participation, and scholarship funding.
10. If necessary, coordinate the promotion of field trips and outreach through traditional media, social media, and other publicity.
11. Deliver programming with live animals (small raptors, reptiles, and mammals).
12. Present and exhibit at community events, education fairs, educational conferences, and other outreach opportunities to market programs and expand engagement opportunities with the public.
1. Develop, coordinate, supervise, and evaluate camps; Summer Nature Adventure Camp (8 weeks), Spring and Fall Break camps (1 week each), and Single-Day Camps (holidays throughout the year).
2. Work with the Education Director and Development Director to develop publicity plans for camps, including traditional media, social media, third-party calendars, local camp directories, and other publicity.
3. Provide design input for development of camp posters, flyers, and postcards.
4. Create seasonal staff position descriptions, and coordinate recruitment and hiring through a variety of job posting platforms.
5. Conduct interviews and oversee the hiring process for all camp staff.
6. Create weekly camp schedules and rotations for 60-80 campers weekly.
7. Develop safety and risk management protocols for camps, including inclement weather plans, lost camper procedures, and first aid guidelines for all counselors.
8. Train all camp staff on camp activities and materials, check-in and check-out procedures, safety and risk management protocol, and special theme-based curriculum prior to the start of camp.
9. Communicate with camp parents, including confirmation emails, inclement weather announcements, and weekly camp updates.
10. Conduct weekly staff meetings during camp to support counselors and other camp staff in their professional development and successful implementation of programs.
11. Coordinate movement of equipment such as paddling equipment, water coolers, caving supplies, and climbing equipment throughout each week of camp.
12. Supervise Camp Coordinator and assist that position with staffing challenges, modifications to activity schedules, and disciplinary issues.
Other Education Program Leadership Support
1. Assist Public Programs Coordinator with Public Programs as needed.
2. Assist Education Director with preparing and tracking the Education Department budget, tracking program participation and feedback, and preparing information for grant proposals and reports.
3. Serve on Volunteer Committee with Education Administrative Coordinator.
4. Assist with volunteer recruitment and training.
5. Assist and help lead programs that support other educational events and programs such as the Hummingbird Festival, Ijams River Rescue, Take Action!, Ijams Symphony in the Park, as well as any other organizational events.
6. Other duties as assigned.
Knowledge, Skills, Experience, and Education Required:
● Understanding of outdoor experiential education standards and philosophy.
● Knowledge and experience regarding camp standards and operation procedures.
● Knowledge and experience regarding natural history of East Tennessee desired.
● General knowledge of biology, ecology, natural science, conservation, or related field.
● Public speaking skills and the ability to work with people of all ages, especially children.
● Excellent written and verbal communication skills including the ability to communicate through multiple media (print, TV, radio, Internet, public events, etc.).
● Strong organizational skills, with attention to detail, accuracy, and deadlines.
● The ability to multitask, prioritize, and display excellent time management skills.
● The ability to carry out duties and directives independently under limited supervision.
● Responsible, creative, relational, enthusiastic, flexible, self-motivated and resourceful team player.
● Ability to speak, read, and/or write Spanish a plus.
● Minimum of two years of experience leading and/or coordinating outdoor programs, camps, and/or field trips for a variety of audiences.
● Experience and demonstrated proficiency using Google Suite, Canva, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Adobe, and Microsoft Publisher software programs.
● Experience working with audiences who are diverse in culture, age, race, and physical abilities.
● Bachelor's degree in a field related to natural history, education, outdoor recreation, or environmental science. Master’s degree preferred.
● Two to four years of experience and/or training, or equivalent combination of education.
● First Aid/CPR certification (or the ability to obtain certification upon employment) preferred.
● Must successfully complete a pre-employment, post-offer background screen, and motor vehicle record (MVR) screen.
● Valid driver's license.
● Access to a personal computer and internet.
● The ability to work mostly evening and weekend hours.
● Energy and desire to work with diverse audiences.
● Passion for nature and the ability to deliver programs in a pleasant, tactful, and enthusiastic manner.
While performing the duties of this job, this employee is frequently required to sit, talk, hear, use keyboard, view computer monitor for potentially long periods, and use phones. The employee occasionally will be required to lift and/or move 15-40 pounds and may need to carry for approximate distances up to 50 feet, bend, reach with hands and arms, use fingers to write or type and handle or feel, walk, carry documents, crouch, stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and use a step ladder in lifting and lowering materials. The position requires use of office equipment such as computer, copier, hole punch, calculator, fax machine, postage machine, and point-of-sale system. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. This position requires a candidate in good physical condition, with the ability to stand, walk, and hike for extended periods of time. This position requires being outside in all conditions, including inclement weather and a wide range of temperatures. While performing the duties of this job, this employee may be exposed to dust, temperature variance, weather variance, noise, pollens, and fumes.
How to Apply:
Email or mail a cover letter, resume, and a list of three references to Jennie McGuigan, Education Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Deadline to apply: COB Friday, March 19. Note: Interviewing will begin ASAP and this position may be filled prior to this deadline if an exceptional candidate is found. This position is planned to start in late spring 2021 (April/early May).
Ijams Nature Center is an equal rights employer committed to diversity in staff, Board of Directors, volunteers, visitors, and program participants without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability.