Lead Camp Instructor - Temporary



Seattle, WA
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:


Job Description:

The Seattle Aquarium is looking for two lead camp instructors (LCIs) to join the School & Public Programs team. The LCIs’ primary role is to lead and oversee all operations of their assigned camp sessions, carry out curriculum (created in advance) and lead the camp counselors, volunteers and children in their assigned camp sessions. These positions are expected to establish positive relationships with summer program staff, volunteers, interns, campers and families.

Lead camp instructor―temporary

Posted:                       Open to internal and external applicants.
Reports to:                 Public programs coordinator.
Status:                        Full-time, hourly, temporary position.
Duration:                    June 10–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 two lead camp instructors (LCIs) to join the School & Public Programs team. The LCIs’ primary role is to lead and oversee all operations of their assigned camp sessions, carry out curriculum (created in advance) and lead the camp counselors, volunteers and children in their assigned camp sessions. These positions are expected to establish positive relationships with summer program staff, volunteers, interns, campers and families. Each day varies greatly. Willingness to adapt from office tasks, guide camp staff and volunteers and instruct classes with participants whose ages vary from early childhood to teen (generally 4 to 14 years old) is essential.

Marine Summer Camp at Seattle Aquarium seeks to inspire conservation of our marine environment through engaging, inclusive and fun educational experiences. Campers range in age from 6 to 14 years, and are grouped by age for a total of up to 20 campers per session. Each session is led by one lead camp instructor and two camp counselors, with youth volunteers and admin staff as support. Activities take place at Seattle Aquarium and along the Seattle waterfront. The camp day runs 9:00am-4:00pm with before and after-care options.  

Hours of work: Lead camp instructors must be committed to 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 at least 20 hours.  
June 20-24, 8am–5pm: Camp staff training.  

Camp sessions
June 27 – Aug 26 (off July 4-8)  
Shift times: Mon-Fri, 8:00am-5:00pm 

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


Essential functions:

  • Foster an inclusive, positive and safe learning environment and interact professionally with campers, their families, volunteers and camp staff.  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 on and off site. 
  • Implement curriculum:
  • It will be the CLI’s role to maintain, modify as needed, and execute the activities as scheduled. Any significant modifications will need approval from the Public Programs Coordinator or Senior Marine Science Educator.   
  • Responsible for materials care and maintenance as well as spacing out of designated supplies to last all summer.  
  • 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.   
  • Report daily incidents or interactions of note to Aquarium staff/volunteers and camp families. Professionalism, confidentiality, respect, and quality communication are key.  
  • Greet families every day, sign in/out campers, make sure children are prepared for the day with all proper paperwork, lunch etc., and connect parents and guardians to the appropriate staff and program when applicable.    
  • Delegate administrative tasks and the teaching of lessons to camp counselors and youth volunteers as appropriate.  
  • Act as first point of contact for camp counselor needs, concerns, and curiosities. 


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 projects as assigned. 

Required skills, abilities:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.  
  • Commitment to teamwork and collaboration.   
  • Strong organizational 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 with people of all ages and handle a variety of situations, including those that may be complicated or challenging, with grace, empathy, and a sense of humor.   
  • 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.  
  • Models active and personal commitment to DEI education; solid understanding and proven literacy around DEI topics.  
  • Training in 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, Teams, Outlook, 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 plus some college; must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Minimum of two years’ experience working with youth in a formal or informal education setting.


  • Previous experience (2-4 months) in a leadership role preferred.  
  • Six months experience working or volunteering in an aquarium, zoo, environmental education center, museum, or similar institution, preferred but not required.  
  • Previous experience working at a camp highly desired.  
  • Courses in education, child development, recreation, environmental science, biology or related field are a plus.  
  • Experience working with diverse racial and socio-economic audiences preferred.  

Working conditions:

  • Ability to commit to the set hours/dates of work.  
  • Must be able to spend long periods of times 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.   

Pay and benefits: $19.50/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 jobs@seattleaquarium.org.



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 visit https://www.seattleaquarium.org/careers to apply 

Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for this job by emailing us at jobs@seattleaquarium.org.

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