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Science Camp Coordinator
Science camp coordinators are responsible for all aspects of camp programming. One moment they could teach an interactive lesson to the kids and the next they might be in the kitchen preparing them dinner. They will need to know a lot about science and the natural world, because they will be developing lesson plans and programs. Camp coordinators spend a lot of time with children, so they will need to be understanding, patient, and energetic. Many science camp coordinators are self-employed, while others work for government agencies, libraries, schools, heritage centres, and other recreational institutions.Science camp coordinators are responsible for all aspects of camp programming. One moment they could teach an interactive lesson to the kids and the next they might be in the kitchen preparing them dinner. They will need to know a lot about science and the natural world, because they will be developing lesson plans and programs. Camp coordinators spend a lot of time with children, so they will need to be understanding, patient, and energetic. Many science camp coordinators are self-employed, while others work for government agencies, libraries, schools, heritage centres, and other recreational institutions.
At a glance
Imagine it is a gorgeous day, and you are leading a group of 20 children on a hike through dense forest. You’ve just taught them a brief lesson about the types of butterflies that live in the area. Now they’re running through the woods trying to spot the insects you’ve just described. Much of the knowledge you pass on to the children comes from your grandfather. It’s a great feeling to be a role model for these youngsters, and you know your grandfather would be proud that you are passing on important knowledge of the natural world.
As a science camp coordinator, you develop and run programs designed to help youth understand and appreciate the natural world. You are an energetic, well-organized, and motivated person who has a lot of patience. You work well independently and as part of a team.
Part of your job involves working in an office as you plan programs and do administrative work. When the camp begins, your time is split—you spend part of your time in the office and the other part outside with the kids. Some camps take place overnight and you may be out in the wilderness for weeks with your young charges. Other camps happen only during the day with the kids going home every evening.
You spend your days participating in the camp activities with the children, and having as much fun as your campers. You feel good at the end of each day, reflecting on what you taught the children and what activities they enjoyed the most.
Duties vary significantly from job to job, but the following list includes typical job duties one might encounter as a science camp coordinator:
- Develop education programs
Create exhibits of information based on the programs
- Write weekly lesson plans
- Supervise youth
- Complete camp administration work
- Organize field groups and conduct research
- Arrange for overnight camping and field trips
- Train and supervise junior staff members
- Develop and teach special interest classes
- Work with budgeting and finance
Science camp coordinators work in a variety of locations, including, but not limited to:
In the office:
- Plan lessons for youth
- Do paperwork and administrative duties
In the field:
- Facilitate interactive lesson plans with youth
- Take participants hiking, exploring, canoeing, etc.
Where to work
- Federal, provincial, and municipal parks and other nature areas
- Community Centres
- Heritage Centres
- Recreational institutions
Education & requirements
The minimum educational requirement to work as a science camp coordinator is a high school diploma. A college diploma or a Bachelor’s degree is highly recommended and often required. The following post- secondary programs are most applicable for a career in this field:
- Outdoor recreation
- General science
- Education or childhood education
Certification is not required to become a science camp coordinator. Taking courses in first aid/CPR, child management, and conflict management will make it easier for you to get a job and negotiate your salary.
If you are a high school student considering a career as a science camp coordinator you should have a strong interest in:
- Physical education/outdoor recreation
- Language arts
Science camp coordinators in an entry-level position make an average of $12,000 per year in Canada.
A science camp coordinator with several years of experience and education can make between $24,000 and $40,000 per year.