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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)

Fax: 503-823-6007

1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204

Consider working with us in 2015!

Are YOU interested in spending your summer working with PP&R's Environmental Education program? Take a few minutes to learn who we are, who we serve and what we have to offer. We value diversity on our staff - we strive to create a staff rich in culture, language, backgrounds and ideas. We offer the following:

  • Leadership Staff positions in our Nature Day Camp and Teen programs
  • Lead Teacher & Teacher positions for Summer Nature Day Camp and Preschool Camps/Classes
  • Teen Naturalist Team Crew Member position through the Youth Conservation Crew
  • An AmeriCorps position focused on assisting the Jr GRUNT program
  • Volunteer positions with Summer Nature Day Camp or the Rockin' Robins (preschool camp) for teen ages 13-15

"I am 17 or older":   CLICK HERE for the EE Summer Application

"I am 16 yrs old":   CLICK HERE for the Nature Day Camp Assistant Teacher Application

"I am 13-17 yrs old and interested in volunteering as a Teacher Apprentice!"

Great - we're glad you're interested. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Browse the schedule of Teacher Apprentice options online - camps run June 22-Aug 21 with two site options every week (except Aug 17-21).
  2. Compare dates, sites and themes and find the best matches for you. (The three themes are goal-setting, professionalism and communication) 
  3. Choose which weeks you would like to register for - you can see online how many spots are still available. 
  4. There is no online registration for this course. Call the EE Office at 503-823-3601 and register for up to 3 weeks during the summer. There is a $20 fee for each week that helps cover the cost of a t-shirt, the Teacher Apprentice Workbook and staff time. NO TEEN WILL BE TURNED AWAY. If you can help us cover the cost, great. If not, we have scholarships available for families in need. 
  5. Teens - fill out the Teacher Apprentice Form and get it to our office by June 5. CLICK HERE to find it on our website. 

Teens enrolled in the Teacher Apprentice program should show a genuine interest in working with children & youth as well as an interest in learning about and connecting to the natural world. Teens will need to communicate to children and adults in a professional manner and demonstrate qualities of a positive role model for children – ensure appropriate language & conversation topics, look out for children’s safety and treat all children equally. Teens who become Teacher Apprentices should be responsible, teachable and able to take initiative

Does your camp philosophy match ours?

Through the guidance of a team of Environmental Educators, the goal of Summer Nature Day Camp is to provide opportunities for children ages 4-13 to follow their innate curiosity with a goal of learning, exploration and discovery; to connect with their natural surroundings through experience & exposure to flora & fauna; and to create positive relationships with meaningful, highly trained naturalists. Through their interactions with nature, an experienced educator and other children, campers may be inspired to share their discoveries and become future stewards of nature, in Portland and beyond.

Our teaching goals at Nature Day Camp...

  • We give children the opportunity to spend time in nature with highly trained teachers, teen-aged assistants and peers. Children experience a unique balance of hands-on exploration, child-directed learning, unstructured play and teacher-directed games, projects and investigations.
  • We introduce Leave No Trace principles and strive to encourage an overall appreciation of the park grounds, natural spaces and materials. We know that the appreciation of nature comes through a personal connection to the plants, animals and ecological concepts discovered in each park.
  • We find ways to say "yes" and redirect attention while creating a safe environment to explore.
  • We allow space and time for children to think, process and ask questions.
  • As environmental educators, we are inspired by our own natural curiosity and honest wonderment of nature. We can share and learn too… and we believe children have a lot to teach us!