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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

Join the 2015 EE summer team!

Curious about being a Nature Day Camp Volunteer (this year we renamed it to Teacher Apprentice!) The process is a little different but it's just as fun! Click here for information!

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 13-17

***We of course are excited for you to apply for Nature Day Camp - but Portland Parks offers many other summer job opportunIties too! If you are looking for information about summer jobs with PP&R Aquatics, Community Center Camps, or Adaptive & Inclusive Recreation, find information about those jobs here!***

To apply to Nature Day Camp, click on the appropriate link! ALL NDC APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE FAXED, MAILED OR EMAILED TO CHRISSY LARSON. Contact information is on the application. 
"I want to apply to Nature Day Camp and I am..."

...17 or older:   Summer applications are no longer being accepted - thanks!

...16 yrs old:   CLICK HERE for the Nature Day Camp Assistant Teacher Application

"I want to volunteer at Nature Day Camp and I am 13-17 yrs old!"

Great - we're glad you're interested. Nature Day Camp Volunteers (now called Teacher Apprentices) spend a week of camp as a "teacher in training." Campers (who could be between the ages of 3-11) are divided into small group of campers and spend each day with our trained EE Staff where they learn about nature, play, explore and have fun! Volunteers assist the EE staff by helping the campers with tasks, playing games, reading stories, doing crafts and getting to know the campers. Our volunteers are great teen role models to the campers, and have a lot of energy for running, playing and hanging out with children. During the week of camp, volunteers will also be working directly with our leadership staff to debrief each day with the children. During the week, about three hours are spent discussing a specific topic related to the professional working world. This years topics are Communication, Professionalism and Goal-setting.
We've changed this program a little for 2015 - this year, you'll be called a Teacher Apprentice.
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 most weeks 
  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. ALL REGISTRATIONS MUST BE DONE OVER THE PHONE THROUGH THE EE OFFICE. Call Chrissy Larson 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
Schedule of Teacher Apprentice (NDC Volunteer) Weeks

Activity Code Volunteer Focus for the Week Dates Site
1023113 Goal-setting June 22-26 Hoyt Arboretum
1023083 Professionalism June 22-26 Mt Tabor Park
1023086 Communication June 29-July 2 Washington Park
1023097 Goal-setting June 29-July 2 Mt Tabor Park
1023108 Communication July 6-10 Sellwood/Oaks Bottom
1023092 Professionalism July 6-10 Hoyt Arboretum
1023080 Communication July 13-17 Hoyt Arboretum
1023084 Goal-setting July 13-17 Powell Butte Nature Park
1023109 Communication July 20-24 Mt Tabor Park
1023114 Professionalism July 20-24 Marshall Park
1023182 Goal-setting July 27-31 Hoyt Arboretum
1023076 Professionalism July 27-31 Columbia Children's Arb
1023189 Goal-setting August 3-7 Mt Tabor Park
1023191 Professionalism August 3-7 Hoyt Arboretum
1023192 Communication August 10-14 Hoyt Arboretum
1023187 Goal-setting August 10-14 Whitaker Ponds Natural Area
1023185 Professionalism August 17-21 Mt Tabor Park

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!