Position: Summer Camp instructor

This position is for one summer, from July 9 to August 17th plus an additional week of training and prep before the summer camp begins. We have two different camp programs occurring sequentially. We will consider applicants who want to teach both camps, or who want to teach only one. The first two weeks are Being Animals Camp for children ages 4-7, held at a school in Beverly indoors and out on the trails. The campers spend each morning imagining they are a different local animal and moving to move, eat, relate, and seek shelter like that animal. Being Animals is a half day program. The last four weeks are Survival Rockport for 7-12 year olds, held in the woods in Rockport, away from any buildings or plumbing. The campers spend their full day out learning survival skills and naturalist skills in our unique story based, playful student-led format. While the campers are allowed a lot of freedom and responsibility and are allowed to use knives and fire, and come away with significant skills, there is also a lighthearted and playful feel to the program. We are in the wilderness and we are learning to eat wild foods and survive, but we are rarely uncomfortable, and we do bring some modern conveniences, including s’mores. We end each day on a public beach that we travel to on foot. The Survival Rockport camp is staffed in the field by only two instructors, so they need to be comfortable managing all kinds of challenge and situation, administering first aid, and serving as open water lifeguards.


Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with other instructor/ Program Director to help design and deliver nature based adventure camp programs

  • Facilitate holistic programs that are more than a collection of activities and that are thoughtfully and intentionally designed to progress logically throughout the week and to be meaningful

  • Facilitate group building activities throughout the week, building a strong and cohesive team that values everyone’s voices, ideas, and needs

  • Serve as a mentor to campers, getting to know them as individuals and supporting their needs

  • Lead up to 5 miles of hiking per day (at Survival Rockport)

  • Administer first aid as needed for minor injuries and illness, and document all care given

  • Serve as a lifeguard during our daily beach swims.

  • Maintain an environment that balances freedom and safety, with safety being the number one priority


Undergraduate or advanced degree in education or environmental field, or equivalent experience

•Two or more years experience teaching children in classroom and/or field settings, or experience as a field naturalist or biologist along with a natural affinity for education and a high comfort level instructing young children

  • Excellent outdoor and survival skills. You need not possess all survival skills, but we are looking for someone who has something to bring to the table, such as tracking, wild edibles, matchless fires, tool making, shelter construction, knot tying, group building initiatives, or any other valuable outdoor skill

  • Strong swimming and hiking abilities. Must be able to swim in open water

  • Knowledge of New England Natural History

•Comfort with all forms of local wildlife

• Trust in children’s ability to construct learning and meaning for themselves with guidance, and ability to provide flexible enough learning experiences to allow them to do so

•Comfort handling small, harmless wildlife, including insects, reptiles, and amphibians, including snakes

• A supportive and non-punitive approach to group and behavior management

•Ability to carry up to 30 pounds, and to walk uphill on or off trails up to 4 miles a day, in all weather 

•Willingness to work as long as 9-10 hours on extra long days, with most days extending 8 hours from 8am-4pm

•Strong concern for the natural environment and an interest in working towards its protection by educating young people                                                                                                                                

•Current Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and Lifeguard Training or willingness to obtain these at own expense

•  Ability to teach and make decisions as part of a collaborative teams

•  Enthusiasm for the process of teaching and willingness to be a reflective educator, constantly fine tuning your skills and lesson plans and working with colleagues to give and receive honest feedback

What We Offer 

Starting wages are $15-$17 per hour depending on education and experience level. The year round instructor position has the possibility of becoming salaried after an initial season. Flexible schedule, supportive work environment, unique programming, time outdoors, and dedicated, passionate colleagues. The Kestrel office is located in downtown Gloucester, Massachusetts. We travel throughout Cape Ann and North Shore. Local candidates or those who will become local for the position, are preferred. Kestrel is a small organization with an excellent and dedicated group of staff and volunteers. Because of our small size, we cannot offer permanent full time positions, health benefits, or housing at this time. We do offer fun, fresh air, adventure, camaraderie, and chocolate.

We generally provide a 20-30 hour instructor training and ongoing support and mentoring


Position: get outside center summer intern (unpaid)

Flexible internship for an undergraduate or graduate student in environmental science, outdoor recreation, or education

Summary: Serve as a naturalist, educator, and a link to the nearby wilds as a Get Outside Center intern with Kestrel Educational Adventures

Hours: 20-40 hours per week

Duties: These are flexible depending on your academic and personal goals

  • Provide feeding and care of small native reptiles, amphibians, fish, and marine invertebrates. Collecting trips as needed.

  • Maintenance of existing exhibits (microscope lab, small natural history library, etc.), and design of new simple exhibits and activities to engage visitors

  • Become familiar with the local trail systems and ecology, as well as opportunities for outdoor adventure in the area.

  • Answer questions about local natural history and help visitors find the resources they need

  • Loan outdoor and science gear to members and keep loaning gear in good condition

  • Welcome visitors into the Get Outside Center and provide them with resources to connect with the natural world (in house exhibits, maps, loaner gear and field guides, etc.)

  • Help visitors find information to help them learn more about local ecology, using your own knowledge and other available resources

  • Host groups of young children and engage them in our exhibits and activities

  • Promote Kestrel’s programs and events to Get Outside Center visitors

  • Lead drop - in programs for families, children, and adults, on nature-themed topics of your own design

  • Conduct outreach to the general public about the Get Outside Center's services

  • Be part of a playful and warm community of educators and naturalists


  • Strong interest in the natural world and/or inquiry based science education

  • Curiosity and desire to learn more about wildlife and ecology of Essex County

  • Some familiarity with local species and/or local reservations and trails preferred

  • Cheerful, warm, highly outgoing and friendly demeanor

  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively

  • Healthy sense of curiosity and imagination

  • Iron clad dependability

  • Strong oral communication skills

What Kestrel Will Provide

  • Mentoring from the Program Director and Program Coordinator in natural history and methods of engaging learners

  • Assistance with meeting your own personal and academic goals and a customized learning plan

  • Consistent supervision meetings

  • A balance of independence and support

  • Free Kestrel T-shirt and membership

  • Basic captive animal care and maintenance training

  • Free snacks, tea, chocolate

How To Apply

If you’re interested in a position, please submit a cover letter explaining what interests you about working at Kestrel specifically, resume, and contact information for 3 references to jessica@kestreleducation.org, or mail to 186 Main St, Gloucester, MA 01930 

In addition to being an Equal Opportunity Employer, Kestrel aims to create a thriving, inclusive workplace that values each member of our team. We aspire to reflect and effectively serve the residents and communities of the North Shore, who are at the core of our mission.

About Kestrel

Kestrel Educational Adventures is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. We offer place-based natural science adventures for schools, camps, and the general public. Our participants learn through direct experiences in the local natural world, guided by qualified instructors with flexible plans. We believe in building a better and more sustainable world through excellent, student – centered natural science education. Our program instructors guide children in developing their abilities to make and share original discoveries and understand complex natural systems. We believe that everyone should develop personal values through experience, and that this is the most powerful route to sustainability and conservation action. We teach everyone that they should wander, explore, touch, imagine, and live in the natural world. Silliness, muddiness, and storytelling are as much a part of our day collecting and analyzing data. In addition to our school programs, we have recently opened a simple public facility called the Get Outside Center, designed to engage everyone in the many ways they can connect with the natural world right around them. 

Kestrel is not your typical environmental education organization; we devote intensive time and energy to custom designing inquiry science curriculum for each of our client groups. Everything we do is based on a specific place and intended for a specific audience. We focus on building skills used by professional ecologists, and understanding of the developmental level of our students. We use the very best practices in inquiry -based education and strong knowledge of the natural world to provide programs that are rich, authentic, and meaningful to each audience. 

Programs can be anywhere from one hour to 12 weeks (3 hours per week, for example), and a teaching a twelve week program requires the ability to design cumulative, project based curriculum. Our lesson plans are an approach to teaching and a plan for the question to be investigated; the students and the natural world provide the actual content.