Summer Adventures Instructor

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Gloucester, MA
United States

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Job Description:

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Lead outdoor, place-based, inquiry-driven, experiential science and nature programs substantially guided by student voice
  • Teach either wildlife based explorations for young children, or survival based programs for older children
  • Using collaborative design, build upon existing teaching and adventure plans to improve them
  • Create an atmosphere of fun and open ended curiosity
  • Focus on community building, authentic nature connection, imagination, and the development of independence, confidence, and compassion


  • Undergraduate or advanced degree in education or environmental field, or equivalent experience
  • 2 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
  • Experience teaching in depth, cumulative science skills and natural history, ideally using essential questions and adapting lessons to students’ ideas, interests, skills, and spontaneous events in nature.
  • Willingness to relinquish some predictability and control in favor of  authentic student voice and genuine inquiry
  • 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
  • Strong interest or background in New England natural history
  • 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 flexible hours, including some early days, beginning as early as 7am upon occasion, and some long days (up to 12 hours on occasion)
  • Strong concern for the natural environment and an interest in working towards its protection by educating young people
  • Reliable vehicle with ample empty space for transporting teaching equipment       
  • Current First Aid / CPR (required). Lifeguard certification is also required for summer instructors

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. 


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:, or mail to 186 Main St, Gloucester, MA 01930 

Compensation Information:

What We Offer:

Starting wages are $14-$16 per hour depending on education and experience level. 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

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.