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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Nature Day Camp Employment (ages 16+)

Checking out some cool stuff with the campers!


Paid Positions - see application for details on each position

  • Naturalist I (Ages 16+, no experience necessary, but you SHOULD really like science, nature, children and be interested in teaching!) 
  • Naturalist II  (Ages 19+, experience leading and facilitating groups, and more than 800 hrs experience as an educator at Nature Day Camp or an equivalent program)
  • Support Positions - Summer Coordinator (Ages 21+, a valid driver's license, experience leading and facilitating groups, and more than 1200 hrs experience as an educator at Nature Day Camp or an equivalent program)

Quick links to information

Spend your summer as a paid naturalist at PP&R's Nature Day Camps!

We are looking for summer naturalists who have these qualities:

  • Hardworking, responsible, confident
  • Curious about nature, ecology, and science
  • Silly, creative, patient
  • Genuinely enjoy being with children
  • Have an interest in teaching 
  • Want to make an impact in the lives of younger children and youth

Camp Details

  • Our summer camp staff is comprised of teens and young adults rich in culture, language, backgrounds, and skills.
  • Camps run June 24 - August 23 (Monday through Friday from 9:00am-4:00pm).
  • We are outside all summer, leading camps in a different park each week (we spend time at Mt. Tabor Park, Hoyt Arboretum, and Sellwood Park-Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge).
  • Campers are 4-12 years old and are divided into small traveling groups according to age.
  • Each day of camp starts and ends with large-group activities, and the middle of the day is spent in unstructured time in nature as a small group.
  • Our summer naturalists act as mentors to our Jr Naturalist volunteers (ages 13-17) and work closely with parents to make camp a safe, fun, educational, and silly place! 

Whether you have years of experience as an environmental educator or simply love children and nature, we have a position tailored to you! 

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How to Apply

Before you apply, make sure to read about our program so you know what what is expected of you during the summer.

  1. Click here to read general information about Nature Day Camp (It's the same stuff parents look at to learn about camp!)
  2. Click here to read the weekly schedule and daily rhythm of camp (If you worked at camp in the past, this will be NEW for you. Please read it carefully.)
  3. Click here to read this summer's nature themes (Each week has a unique nature theme and the structured activities are built using the objectives listed.)
  4. Read the job qualifications for the different positions.
  5. Open the application and SAVE IT to your desktop! 
  6. Contact three people who would be good character or employment references for you.
  7. Complete all pages of the application (including your three references), and then write your responses to all essay and short answer questions.
  8. If you are applying for a coordinator position, you must also send an updated resume along with your complete application. 

2019 Applications

All summer camp employment applications must be filled out completely, including answers to all essay questions. 
**Coordinator positions must also provide a current resume.

Submit your application one of the following ways:

  • FAX your application to 503-865-3251. Please call or text 503-823-1149 to make sure we got it!
  • MAIL your application to Attention: EE Nature Day Camps, 2909 SW 2nd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97201
  • SCAN AND EMAIL your application to
  • SHARE as a Google Doc with  

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Required Training Days - Make sure you are available! 

  • Monday, June 10, Tuesday, June 11, and Wednesday June 12, and Friday, June 14, (times TBD) - Coordinator Positions only
  • Thursday, June 13, 8:30am-4:30pm - Naturalist II and Coordinator Positions only
  • Monday, June 17, 8:30am-4:30pm - All positions
  • Tuesday, June 18, 8:30am-4:30pm - All positions
  • Wednesday, June 19, 8:30am-4:30pm - All positions
  • Thursday, June 20, 8:30am-4:30pm - All positions
  • Friday, June 21 (8:30-10:30am) - All positions + CPR and First Aid training for any staff who need it 10:30-4:30

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Volunteer positions

Volunteer Jr Naturalist Program (Ages 13-17, no experience necessary but you should like science, nature, and children!).
See the Jr Naturalist page for all details!

Portland Parks & Recreation offers many other summer job opportunities, too! If you are looking for information about summer jobs with aquatics, community center camps, plus Adaptive & Inclusive recreation, find information about those jobs here!

A group of campers and staff hang out on the Willamette River!

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