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Camp Wa-Ya Executive Director

Company: Wa-Ya Outdoor Institute

Camp Wa-Ya Executive Director
Job Type: Full Time

Job Description


Wa-Ya Outdoor Institute is a Native women led nonprofit focused on combining outdoor adventure, environmental science, and Indigenous knowledge and we strive to provide this programming to all youth regardless of income. We are hiring for an energetic, innovative Executive Director.  This is a rare, exciting opportunity to lead the direction and implementation of a unique, place-based immersion outdoor summer camp that combines a love of local South Sound landscapes and native culture with the integration of western and indigenous science and learning.

Wa-Ya is growing and we are looking for someone to take the values, intentions and foundations built by the Board and bring them to the next level of sustainable systems and smooth functioning.  We are looking for someone with a passion for youth, environmental education, South Sound ecology and native communities. Creative problem-solving, ability to work well with diverse populations and superb communications skills required.

Currently Wa-Ya runs 10-weeks of summer camp programming including Day Camp for ages 6-13, overnight Adventure Camp sea kayaking and backpacking trips for ages 12-17, and Outdoor Leadership Internship for ages 14-18. We have also partnered with SOS Outreach to run a Learn to Ride snowboarding program for youth during the winter. We also offer scholarships to low income families through grant funding. Future program expansions are envisioned.

This position is responsible for the formulation, implementation, and management of Camp Wa-Ya’s summer camp program and will set the tone for camp staff culture and engage in a culturally integrated environment, where Wa-Ya’s values of respect, diversity, equity, and inclusion are practiced. The position routinely engages with and works at the direction of engaged Board members.

This position is full-time year round and can be remote during the shoulder and off-seasons (mid-September through mid-May), but must be on-site in Olympia, WA in preparation for and during Camp Wa-Ya’s 10 week Summer Camp. Off-season duties will focus on grant writing and reporting, fundraising, outreach, budget development, program planning and evaluation and staff recruitment. In-season duties will focus on staff training and management, program logistics and support, and registration and parent communication.



  • Direct recruitment/hiring, administration and supervision of camp staff, including an Assistant Director, Lead Instructors, Assistant Instructors, and ancillary staff, volunteers, guest speakers, interns, and fellows.
  • Establish, oversee, and implement payroll and contractor reimbursement processes and systems.
  • Ensure payroll and staff and contractor reimbursement is implemented accurately and in a timely manner.
  • Administer and manage with autonomy, the Board approved annual budget for camp operations.
  • Manage online camp registration, associated general records, camp assignments, and registration associated communications.
  • Manage and track the annual Camp Wa-Ya scholarship process to ensure need-based scholarships are equitably and efficiently disbursed to maximize access for underserved campers.
  • Maintain and ensure quality of Camp Wa-Ya seasonal and year round inventories, which may include pre- and post-season organization, repair, replacement and inventory, and in-season routine minor purchases.
  • Maintain the Wa-Ya website (wayaoutdoorschool.com) including registration offerings, staff profiles and other content (presently, Camp Wa-Ya utilizes a user-friendly SquareSpace platform).
  • Formulate, implement, and manage summer programming and logistics and provide logistical support, including but not limited to: maintaining camp rosters, maintaining camp calendar, organizing and delivering supplies, arranging and confirming field trip locations and speakers, transporting kayaks, loading and unloading kayaks onto a trailer, maintaining camp inventory & supplies, assisting with the purchasing equipment/supplies, and ensuring that speaker gifts are presented.
  • Lead weekly staff meetings during camp.
  • Design and lead pre-season Staff Training for all lead and assistant instructors and Wa-Ya’s Native Fellow (in recent years this has consisted of a 5 day all staff training and an additional 5 days of specialized training for Adventure Camp instructors).
  • Provide pre-week written orientation materials to Wa-Ya’s Leadership Interns.
  • Develop and maintain curriculum and associated curriculum resources to ensure Wa-Ya’s learning objectives are met.
  • Manage parent communication before, during and after camp programs including the timely delivery of Camp Wa-Ya’s weekly pre-session newsletter. Engage the Board as appropriate.
    Serve as a substitute instructor when needed and deliver pre-planned curriculum and activities to students.
  • Provide mentorship and routine communications to Camp Wa-Ya staff, teen interns and Native Fellow.
  • Drive the WaYa vans (12- and 15-passenger) and kayak trailer when necessary.
  • Responsible for the overall safety and well being of the entire camp, including establishing a safe camp environment and maintaining a well documented comprehensive crisis management plan.
  • Responsible for ensuring that all staff follow camp policies and procedures and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all participants at camp.
  • Adhere to established Wa-Ya COVID protocols, including proposal changes as state requirements evolve.
  • Conduct grant reporting, grant writing, and other fundraising opportunities in the off-season.
  • Conduct outreach and advertising to families/youth, including low-income families that would benefit from our scholarships.
  • Conduct outreach and build partnerships with other organizations and community leaders.
  • Effectively set and manage expectations of the Board with regards to engagement in day to day operations of Camp Wa-Ya.
  • Attend quarterly board meetings and provide timely updates to the Board on organizational matters (may be more frequent at times depending on necessity).


  • A passion for inspiring and educating youth and connecting them to their authentic selves, their environment, science and native perspectives.
  • Creativity and motivation to develop and maintain a program of excellence that is always looking to improve.
  • Available 40 hours a week year round.
  • Familiarity and experience in at least two elements of the following: environmental education, outdoor adventure activities, ecological science/ research, working with youth, and Native cultures.
  • Knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide excellent logistical support and utilize critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, prioritizing, and multitasking.
  • Familiarity with the Tribal community, local flora and fauna, STEAM activities, and adventure related activities including, but not limited to sea kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, and outdoor survival.
  • Proven ability to develop and manage budgets, including multiple grants, other fundraising opportunities and payroll management.
  • Excellent communication skills including written and oral, presentation, grant-writing, conflict-management, and board communication.
  • Familiarity with Google Drive, Microsoft Excel, Word, and other Office programs required.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Access, SquareSpace web design, and other camp management software preferred.
  • Valid driver’s license, clean driving record, and ability to pass a background check required.
  • First Aid/CPR certified, Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder preferred.

Annual Salary: between $60,000 and $70,000  per year and may include bonuses

Send Resume, Cover letter, and 3 References to [email protected]

How to Apply

Send Resume, Cover letter, and 3 References to [email protected]
Posted on: December 19, 2023
Location: Olympia, WA
Job Type: Full Time
Job Starting Date:
July 23, 2024
Application Closing Date:
January 15, 2024
Job Salary Range:
Preferred/Required Degree Level: None Required
Population(s) Served: Youth - At Risk, Youth - K-12