Summer Instructor

Job Description

Department: Camp Programs; School-Based Programs

Employment Class: Seasonal Part-time

Pay Status: Exempt

Expected Hours: Minimum 40 hours/week

Dates of Employment: May 26, 2020 - August 14, 2020

Reports To: Overnight Camp Managers; Day Camp Manager; Summer CATCH Camp Manager

Housing Available: Yes (housing on campus is available and required for most staff in this role)

Number of Positions Available:

  • Drivers (over the age of 21) = 11 females + 11 males
  • Non-drivers (under the age of 21) = 6 females + 6 males
  • Total positions available = 34                                                

At Keystone Science School, we believe that the power of inspiring curiosity and critical thinking, through the lens of science, changes lives and strengthens communities. We create future leaders who can problem solve and work together in an ever-evolving world and workplace environment.

Located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Keystone Science School’s historic campus serves as base camp for our diverse suite of inquiry-based learning programs. We combine hands-on science education with outdoor adventure to create engaging experiences for our students. At KSS, we change lives, we bring fun and laughter to everything we do, we care about each other and those we serve, we strive for excellence, we offer competitive compensation and generous benefits, and we are committed to serving students from diverse backgrounds. We’re proud to be Summit County’s #1 Best Non-Profit and #2 Best Place to Work (2019)! Visit to learn more!

Program Overview and Job Summary

KSS offers a range of programs that balance hands-on science activities, field-based exploration, and adventure programming. Curriculum themes include but are not limited to: environmental science (aquatic ecology, forest ecology, earth science, snow studies, winter ecology, weather and climate), leadership, community building, STEM, outdoor skills, and health. The Summer Instructor is one of the most popular summer positions at KSS due to the changing weekly schedule that allows the Instructor to experience a variety of summer programs and to provide support where it is needed most. The Summer Instructor works with our day, overnight, and Summer CATCH Camp programs:

  • Overnight Camp programs combine weekly curriculum themes with traditional summer activities like hiking, camping, songs, skits, archery, and more! Students stay overnight in dorms or canvas tents.
  • Day Camp programs are age-specific, full-day programs offering educational and recreational activities based upon weekly science or adventure themes.
  • Summer CATCH Camp is a full-day program offered to Summit School District elementary students entering grades 1-5. Students participate in a variety of outdoor activities, learn about the importance of physical activity and nutrition, spend time reading, and doing many other fun educational activities. We are grateful for a community of generous individuals, corporations, foundations, and our local government whose contributions make this program a reality for local families and their children.

The Summer Instructor is a teaching position responsible for teaching and facilitating the wide variety of curricula and activities offered at KSS. They are the primary caregiver for each child attending programming, and they are responsible for guiding campers in their personal growth and daily living skills.

Main areas of focus:

  • 75% Teaching;
  • 10% Lesson planning and curriculum development
  • 15% Support staff duties (e.g. facilitation of meals, set up/clean up, transportation, student free time);

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Plan, prepare, and teach age appropriate activities;
  • Supervise up to 13 children each day;
  • Supervise up to 13 children on one overnight wilderness camping trip and challenge backcountry hike each session;
  • Supervise and participate in Adventure Day experiences led by professional contractors;
  • Supervise and maintain high standards of health and safety, and follow Risk Management policies in all activities;
  • Provide support for overnight summer programs a minimum of 1 nights per week when working day camp programs, this will involve sleeping over with current overnight-program clients;
  • During overnight shifts, supervise up to 16 children in a dormitory or tent;
  • Actively interact with and engage children during KSS programs;
  • Supervise and support a wide variety of KSS programs and activities, which includes but is not limited to: day program overnights, camper choice activities/freeplay, evening programming, special events, the end of season celebration, etc.;
  • Provide an electronics-aware experience for all children and be a role-model for an electronics-aware environment;
  • Set up before children arrive and clean up after children depart from KSS campus;
  • Maintain storage of all KSS equipment, including teaching materials, gear, keys, toys, etc.;
  • Attend all staff meetings as assigned;
  • Gather and submit pictures and videos to reflect the experience children have during KSS programs;
  • Attend weekly program family slideshow events;
  • Live with other instructors;
  • Candidates age 21+ with a minimum of 5 years driving experience will be required to participate in and pass Van Driver Training, and they will be required to drive a 15-passenger van;
  • Abide by and uphold the policies and procedures set forth by KSS;
  • Complete set up/take down projects at the end of every camp session as assigned;
  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities – Minimum Requirements

  • Have an interest in, respect for, and ability to work with children;
  • Have an interest in, respect for, and ability to work with people with diverse backgrounds, opinions, beliefs, abilities, and experience;
  • Proven ability to creatively develop science and education activities and lesson plans;
  • Strong work ethic and will work until the job is complete;
  • Ability to adapt instruction and lessons to meet a wide variety of learners utilizing different educational philosophies;
  • Ability to be creative, adaptable, and flexible while managing children in a variety of situations;
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret professional journals and educational methods;
  • Disciplined in thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence;
  • Motivation to contribute positively to the KSS at-large community;
  • Interpret a variety of instructions provided in written or verbal form;
  • Multi-task efficiently while managing a high-volume workload in a fast-paced, changing environment;
  • Superior customer service skills;
  • Demonstrate the ability to be creative and think 'outside the box';
  • Strong command of communication, writing, and organizational skills;
  • Ability to work in a busy environment with many distractions;
  • Write incident reports and lesson plans with attention to detail.

Required Education, Experience, and Certifications

  • Current Wilderness First Aid (WFA) and CPR certifications, from an approved vendor, or the ability to obtain before the first day of employment;
  • Age 21+ with a minimum of 5 years driving experience, excellent driving record, and a valid driver's license* (*twelve (12) Summer instructors will be hired that do not meet this qualification);
  • Must be able to successfully pass a comprehensive background check.

Preferred Skillsets

  • Candidates with prior childcare experience will be asked to provide verification of 460 hours of experience working with school-age children;
  • Desired computer skills include proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc.) and Adobe;
  • Ability to communicate verbally and teach in Spanish.

Travel Expectations

There will be significant travel in Summit County and throughout Colorado, but no travel outside the state.

Physical Demands of this Position

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands and fingers to feel, handle, or hold objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; and talk and hear. The employee often stands for up to 16 hours per day, but may be required to stand longer in emergency situations. The employee must be able to lift and carry at least 40 pounds for an extended duration. The employee is frequently required to travel for extended periods over rugged terrain. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This position requires the employee to work in close contact with their teammates and children. The office space is small and the employee must have the ability to stay focused while others are working in close proximity. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate, but varies seasonally due to programs and staffing on campus. While performing the duties of this job, the employee often works outside and drives vehicles in various weather conditions.


Starting salary of $440/week. Housing and meals are available at no cost.

Work-Based Learning and Internships

Keystone Science School strives to develop the next generation of leaders through work-based learning programs for young professionals. Work-based learning integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with hands-on experience and skill development in a workplace setting. The Summer Instructor position provides an excellent opportunity to explore and prepare for a career in teaching, outdoor education, or non-profit work, while developing skills essential for the future workforce. We’re happy to work with students to meet their individual learning objectives and to provide feedback and guidance throughout the summer. Please contact us for more information.

Job Availability: 

34 positions available.

To Apply

Application Instructions

Please submit the Employment Application found at Applications require a cover letter, resume, and 3 references. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. For more information, please contact Human Resources at [email protected].

Equal Employment Opportunity

Keystone Science School is committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, and we seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a wide variety of backgrounds. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type, without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, religion, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Application Closing Date: 
Not Specified
Application Contact Email: 
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Keystone, CO
Job Salary Range: 
Job Experience: 
1 - 2 years
Job Starting Date: 

Job Details

Job Details: 
Environmental Education Program/Center
Environmental Organizations
Outdoor Education Center
Private School
Seasonal Program
Summer Camp
Job Population: