Trailside Discovery Camp Director

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Deadline to Apply:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 12:00am



Anchorage, AK
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:


Job Description:

Trailside Discovery Camp Director:
Overview The Alaska Center Education Fund seeks an enthusiastic and talented Director for our Trailside Discovery Camp. The mission of The Alaska Center Education Fund is to educate and empower Alaskans of all ages to support clean air and water, encourage healthy communities, and become engaged citizens.  Trailside Discovery Camp is an important program of The Alaska Center Education Fund that provides a broad range of outdoor environmental education experiences for children and youth (4-16 years) from diverse economic, social, and cultural backgrounds.   
Trailside Discovery Camp operates day camps and wilderness trips in Southcentral Alaska.  The program is based on the philosophy that the outdoor environment is an ideal classroom for learning important skills while also sparking curiosity and appreciation for the natural world. Since its inception in 1982, Trailside has served more than 40,000 youth in Anchorage, Eagle River, and the Matanuska Susitna Valley through seasonal camps and on-site programs with community partners. 
Position Overview The Director will advance the mission of the Trailside Discovery Program through the development and management of programs, human resources, finances, marketing, and strategic operations. 
*The incoming Director will serve in the capacity of Associate Director for the first three months of the position, overlapping with the outgoing Director to observe summer camp in session while receiving orientation and training to the program and organization. The incoming Director will assume full Director responsibilities by August 18th, 2017.  
Status: Exempt Location: Anchorage, Alaska* Reports to: Executive Director 
Core Responsibilities: 

  • Oversee the design and delivery of high quality camps & on-site programs in Anchorage and the Matanuska Susitna Valley: ensure that all programming meets American Camping Association (ACA) standards, curriculum addresses wetland and stream ecology, wildlife biology, climate change and energy, sustainable agriculture, and outdoor leadership skills, crisis and risk management procedures are practiced, and programs are age-appropriate and address the developmental needs of youth. 
  • Oversee the daily operations of the summer day camps and wilderness trips:  supervise staff in preparation and execution of multi-day trips in kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, camping; 
  • Manage health care protocols and implementation; supervise staff in managing daily financial and administrative tasks; work collaboratively with community partners and service providers to ensure effective camp operation.   
  •  Fundraise and manage Trailside Discovery Camp annual budget: develop and manage an $800,000 budget each year, develop and submit foundation grant proposals, cultivate corporate sponsorships, solicit scholarship funds, and raise individual donations to support the camp. 
  • Promote Trailside Discovery Camp to a broad and diverse array of families, community partners, and the general public annually: develop and implement recruitment and retention strategies with a focus on engaging youth from diverse economic, geographic, racial, and cultural backgrounds, update programs based on current trends, community needs, and constituent feedback, promote Trailside in the media, and serve as an active representative in outdoor education coalitions and networks throughout the state.  
  • Recruit, hire, and manage staff to execute successful programs in Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Valley: hire, train, supervise, and evaluate 50 qualified seasonal staff and 1-2 year-round staff, implement human resource management practices to recruit and retain seasonal staff, and ensure staff have sufficient health and safety, outdoor leadership, youth development, environmental education, and other appropriate training and background. 
  • Work with the federal, state and local agencies who manage the facilities to ensure stewardship of current resources and identification of future needs: conduct annual assessment of property and maintenance needs; prepare annual and long-term operation plans with the BLM, meet American Camping Association standards of operation annually, and apply for state and federal permits for wilderness camping trips. 
  • Develop and maintain a robust array of community partnerships, including: The Anchorage School District, The American Camping Association (ACA), Bureau of Land Management, and local universities. 

Skills & Qualifications:

This position demands a creative, energetic person with strong problem-solving and organizational skills who is self-motivated, adaptable, and patient.


  •  Minimum of a college degree or equivalent field and vocational experience;
  • Minimum of three years’ experience managing or executing summer camp and outdoor education programs, wilderness trips and high adventure activities; 
  • Background and familiarity with outdoor education, guiding, environmental or science education;
  • Experience managing staff and providing performance accountability;
  • Proficient in computer skills and related word processing, data management platforms;
  • Budget development and management experience;
  • Familiarity with wilderness trip equipment, maintenance, office equipment;
  • Valid, clean driver’s license and ability to operate camp vehicles;
  • Ability to work in camp setting: work outside in variable weather conditions, occasional equipment transport and handling (trailers, vehicles, kayaks, etc.), working with energetic children and youth audiences; 
  • Ability to manage a flexible schedule which may require some evening and weekend work;
  • Excellent organization and planning skills;
  • Excellent staff management and leadership development skills;
  • Innovation, ability to take risks, constant curiosity and desire to learn;
  • Interest in, and support for, the mission of The Alaska Center Education Fund;
  • Understanding of (ACA) American Camp Association Standards; 
  •  Additionally the Director must pass an annual background check.


Additional skills/qualifications/background preferred but not required: 

  • Familiarity with Alaska’s diverse communities and cultures; 
  • Familiarity with Southcentral Alaska ecosystems;
  • ACA Accreditation experience preferred. 

This is a full-time position that must be based in Alaska. Salary is dependent on experience with a generous and competitive benefit package. This position will travel within Alaska as necessary to achieve organizational and individual work plan goals with some travel to the Lower 48 for trainings and relevant conferences. All staff have access to professional development opportunities. We provide a supportive work environment with excellent benefits and incentives. Employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or any other protected characteristic as established under law. 


How to Apply:

To apply, email your resume and cover letter to No phone calls please.