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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+)

Paid Positions Available - Nature Day Camp
Naturalist I, Naturalist II, and 
Coordinator

Applications currently being accepted until 11:59pm on March 31, 2020
Click on the "How to Apply" section for information. 


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

We are looking for summer staff 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.
  • Summer Camps run June 22 - August 21 (Children are on site Monday through Friday from 9:00am-3:30pm).
  • 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 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 and decide which is the best fit for you.
  5. Make sure you are available for all required training days. 
  6. Complete your application! (Links are below)
  7. Contact three people who would be good character or employment references for you.
  8. Complete all pages of the application (including your three references and answers to all supplemental questions).

Links to all 2020 Applications (Due by 11:59pm, March 31, 2020)

NATURALIST I  --  Ages 16+, no experience necessary, but you SHOULD really like science, nature, children and be interested in teaching!
NATURALIST II  --  
Ages 18+, experience leading and facilitating groups, and at least two summers experience as an educator at Nature Day Camp or a similar program (working 30+ hrs/wk) 
Application for Naturalist I and Naturalist II
PRINT and FILL OUT   |    FILLABLE PDF (Save as "YOUR NAME - NATURALIST APPLICATION" and then email to our office)

NATURE DAY CAMP COORDINATOR  --  Ages 21+, experience leading and facilitating groups, and at least three summers experience at Nature Day Camp (working 30+ hrs/wk) or equivalent hours in a similar program. Driver's license and good driving record preferred.
Apply online with governmentjobs.com - Click HERE to get started. 
If applying online is a barrier, your application can also be filled out using our regular paper application - Click HERE for access to a FILLABLE PDF (Save as "YOUR NAME - COORDINATOR APPLICATION" and then email to our office)

RETURNING NATURALIST I and II  --  Ages 16+ and have been on staff before. If you were on staff at Nature Day Camp in 2018 or 2019 and are applying to be a Naturalist I or II for Summer 2020, fill out the Returning Naturalist Application. (If you are applying to be a Coordinator, you will need to fill out the Coordinator Application.) 
PRINT and FILL OUT   |    FILLABLE PDF (Save as "YOUR NAME - RETURNING NATURALIST APPLICATION" and then email to our office)

All summer camp employment applications must be filled out completely, including answers to all essay questions. 

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
  • EMAIL your application to enviroed@portlandoregon.gov
  • SHARE as a Google Doc with enviroed@portlandoregon.gov  

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Required  2020 Training Days - Make sure you are available! 

Coordinators Only: Monday-Friday, June 8-12, (8:00am-4:00pm) - Planning Days 

Returning Staff Only:
Thursday, June 11, 8:30am-4:30pm - Sellwood Park (Anyone returning from Summer 2018 or 2019)

All Staff Training: 

  • Monday, June 15, 8:30am-4:30pm - Mt Tabor Park
  • Tuesday, June 16, 8:30am-4:30pm - Hoyt Arboretum (for people who do not need CPR)
  • Wednesday, June 17, 8:30am-4:30pm - Sellwood Park/Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
  • Thursday, June 18, 8:30am-4:30pm - Hoyt Arboretum
  • Friday, June 19 (8:30-4:30am) - Mt Tabor Park

CPR/First Aid - June 16 (staff who need CPR will take it on this date instead of attending staff training)

Severe Allergic Reactions and Medication Administration - All coordinators and Naturalist II positions are asked to attend three additional hours of training. Times and dates are TBD, but training takes place in early June. 

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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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