Camp Counselor - Temporary

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Seattle, WA
United States

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Job Description:

Camp counselor―temporary

Posted:                       Open to internal and external applicants.
Reports to:                 Public programs coordinator.
Status:                        Temporary, June 13–September 2, 2022.
Hours of work:          Standard Monday–Friday workweek, 8am–5pm. Occasional need for after-hours work as related to program operations.
Date needed:             June 2022.
Posting expires:        Open until filled, preference for applications received by April 20.

Position description:

The Seattle Aquarium is looking for four camp counselors (CCs) to join the School & Public Programs team. Counselors carry out the daily procedures of camp while occasionally supporting the lead instructor in administrative tasks. They act as role models and mentors in marine science, conservation and empathy. CCs work with all ages of campers while leading groups of up to 11.

Marine summer camp at the Seattle Aquarium seeks to Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment through engaging, inclusive and fun educational experiences. Campers range in age from 4 to 14 years and are grouped by age for a total of 20 campers per session. Each session is led by one camp lead instructor and two camp counselors, with youth volunteers and admin staff as support. Activities take place at the Seattle Aquarium and various off-site locations. The camp day runs 9am−4pm with before- and after-care options.

Hours of work:

Camp counselors must commit to working all set dates/times:

Pre-camp season:

June 13-17:
At-home pre-reading and preliminary meetings with managers and HR onsite at the Aquarium, totaling up to 10 hours.
June 20-24, 8am–5pm: Camp staff training

Camp sessions:

June 27 – Aug 26 (off July 4-8)
Shift times: Mon-Fri, 7:45am-4:45pm or 8:30am-5:30pm

Post-camp season:

Aug 29-Sept 2, 9am–5pm: Season debrief, evaluation and cleaning.


Essential functions:

  • Support camp lead instructor in implementation of camp program.
  • Support camp lead instructor in child management and ensure safety of all campers.
  • Positively support an inclusive environment. Promote appropriate behavior among all participants and serve as a role model. When appropriate, encourage all campers to participate, observe, discover, and appreciate the marine environment while being respectful of their surroundings.
  • Lead small groups of campers of up to 11 kids, (ages vary from 4 to 14 years old) each week in activities such as marine science lessons, games, field trips and habitat and behind-the-scenes tours.
  • Responsible for keeping track of all camper information (medical, general and authorizations) as written on release forms. Responsible for ensuring all such information is respected and referenced appropriately and remains confidential.
  • Lead scheduled activities on time for your group.
  • Positively support an inclusive environment. When appropriate encourage all campers to participate, observe, discover and appreciate the marine environment while being respectful of their surroundings on- and off-site.
  • Establish and build positive relationships with all camp staff, volunteers, campers and their families, and our camp partner organizations.
  • Assist with all aspects of maintenance, preparation, setup and cleanup of all program-related activities on- and off-site.
  • Assist with all logistical aspects of the program, including but not limited to camper sign-in/out, light administrative tasks, communicating with external partners, etc.
  • Act as the communication link between the camp lead instructor and youth volunteer camp assistants to help guide them in fulfilling their roles.

Additional responsibilities:

  • Give feedback on activities and documentation to camp coordinators as prompted, supporting the School & Public Programs team’s evaluation efforts.  
  • Other camp program-related duties as assigned.

Required skills, abilities:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Commitment to teamwork and collaboration.
  • Strong organizational and communication skills.
  • Demonstrated reliability, responsibility and enthusiasm.
  • Basic knowledge of group activities, games, team-building initiatives or other environmental/experiential education–related programming.
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as a team player.
  • Ability to be flexible in a rapidly changing work environment.
  • Some knowledge of and/or interest in marine science and conservation.
  • Comfort handling adult, child and infant first aid and CPR/AED; anaphylaxis and epinephrine auto-injector training. Certification proof required by first day of paid work. Red Cross online courses are not accepted. If this is a financial barrier, the Aquarium will provide assistance.
  • Familiarity with MS Office programs: Word, Excel, Outlook, Teams, OneDrive and other basic computer skills.

Experience, education and certifications: We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education in order to meet minimum requirements.


  • High school diploma or equivalent; must be 18 years or older.
  • Minimum of one year of experience working with youth in a formal or informal education setting.


  • Minimum of six months’ experience working or volunteering in an aquarium, zoo, museum, environmental education center or similar institution.
  • Courses in education, child development, recreation, environmental science, biology or related field.
  • Experience working with diverse racial and socio-economic audiences.


Working conditions:

Ability to commit to the set hours/dates of work.
Must be able to spend long periods of time outdoors during all weather conditions (rain or shine).
Must be able to sit, stand, walk and/or run for varied and extended periods of time while interacting with youth.
Heavy to moderate vocal demands to project talks and announcements to direct a large audience in loud areas during heavy foot and vehicle traffic.

Salary and benefits: $18.35/hour. Temporary staff are not eligible for benefits but accrue paid sick time and are paid an additional $0.75/hour to assist with transportation costs.


About the organization: 

The Seattle Aquarium is a respected authority on Puget Sound, the Salish Sea and the world’s one ocean. Our passionate staff increases awareness and drives the change needed to preserve and protect our marine environment through a variety of channels, including a compelling habitat experience and engaging daytime and evening events, conservation education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds, community outreach to marginalized populations, research that advances understanding of animals in our care and their counterparts in the wild, advocacy and policy work, an award-winning volunteer program, strong and consistent marketing efforts and more.

We’re noted for our collaborative, communicative and team-oriented working environment. Our values, developed in conjunction with our staff, include commitments to adopting and promoting sustainable practices, creating awe-inspiring experiences, constantly learning and improving, fostering an inclusive community, maintaining scientific credibility through evidence-based practices, and honoring our unique place by using our location and history as a lens for larger understanding.

Proudly accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, we’re the eighth-largest aquarium in the U.S. by attendance, and we welcome over 850,000 people through our front doors each year. Guided by our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, we’ve developed a master plan to substantially increase in size and impact by opening a new habitat building, the Ocean Pavilion. Our current annual budget is $20 million.

Regarding COVID-19:

Open daily, the Aquarium prioritizes health and safety for our staff and visitors, embracing science to guide our operations. We maintain high standards of cleanliness and all high-touch surfaces (like windows, railings, restrooms and elevators) are continuously cleaned.

Please note, all Aquarium staff and volunteers must provide proof of vaccination or approved medical or religious exemption by date of hire. If you have questions about this policy or for information regarding the exemption process, please contact the Human Resources department at


We anticipate the following recruiting schedule for those candidates who are selected for consideration. The following dates are preliminary and subject to change. We will work with candidates to set interviews that work for all involved. If hired, relocation assistance is not available.

Application deadline: open until filled. 
Priority given to applications received by April 20.
Interviews, using Zoom: complete by May 10.
Start date: mid-June 2022, ideally.  

How to Apply:

The Seattle Aquarium is a progressive, equal-opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce. One of our core values is fostering an inclusive community and we want our staff to reflect our community. To that end, we encourage diverse candidates to apply, including but not limited to Black, Indigenous and People of Color applicants and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Interested candidates should upload a résumé to our online application in order to be considered. Application review will begin immediately.

Please go to  to apply

Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for this job by emailing us at

*Note: Must pass a background check, upon job offer, to be eligible for this position.