Camp Counselor – Temporary, Seattle Aquarium (Seattle, WA)

Active job listing and application (only open until filled) at: 

Seattle Aquarium – Camp Counselor – Temporary

Position details provided below as reference only.

Camp Counselor – Temporary

Seattle, WA, US

Posted: Open to internal and external applicants

Reports to: Public programs coordinator

Status: Full-time, hourly, temporary position

Hours of work: Standard Monday–Friday workweek, either 7:45am–4:45pm or 8:30am–5:30pm, depending on your shift. Occasional need for extended hours as related to field trips.

Date needed: June 15, 2020

Posting expires: Open until filled

About the organization:

The Seattle Aquarium is a respected authority on Puget Sound, the Salish Sea and the world’s one ocean. Our passionate staff increases awareness and drives the change needed to preserve and protect our marine environment through a variety of channels, including a compelling exhibit experience and engaging daytime and evening events; conservation education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds; community outreach to underserved populations; research that advances understanding of animals in our care and their counterparts in the wild; advocacy and policy work; an award-winning volunteer program; strong and consistent marketing efforts; and more.

We’re noted for our collaborative, communicative and team-oriented working environment. Our values, developed in conjunction with our staff, include commitments to adopting and promoting sustainable practices; creating awe-inspiring experiences; constantly learning and improving; fostering an inclusive community; maintaining scientific credibility through evidence-based practices; and honoring our unique place by using our location and history as a lens for larger understanding.

Proudly accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, we’re the eighth-largest aquarium in the U.S. by attendance and we welcome over 850,000 people through our front doors each year. Guided by our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, we’ve developed a master plan to substantially increase in size and impact by opening a new exhibit building, the Ocean Pavilion. Our current annual budget is $18 million.

Position description:

The Seattle Aquarium is hiring four camp counselors (CCs) to join the summer camp team! CCs carry out the daily procedures of camp while occasionally supporting the lead instructor in administrative tasks. They act as role models and mentors in marine science, conservation and empathy. CCs work with all ages of campers while leading groups of up to 11 (usually 10).

Marine summer camps fulfill the Seattle Aquarium’s mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment through engaging, inclusive and fun educational experiences. Campers range in age from 4 to 14 years and are grouped by age for a total of 20 campers per session. Each session is led by one camp lead instructor and two CCs, with youth volunteers and admin staff as support. Activities take place at Seattle Aquarium and various off-site locations. The camp day runs 9am–4pm with before and after-care options.

Hours of work: CCs must be committed to all set dates/times:

  • Pre-camp season:
  • Camp sessions:
    • June 29–Aug. 28 (Fri., July 3 off)
    • Shift times: Mon.–Fri., 7:45am–4:45pm or 8:30am–5:30pm
  • Post-camp season:
    • Aug. 31–Sept. 1, 9am–5pm: Season debrief, evaluation and cleaning

Essential functions:

  • Support camp lead instructor in implementation of camp program.
  • Support camp lead instructor in child management and ensure safety of all campers.
  • Promote appropriate behavior among all participants and serve as a role model. When appropriate, encourage all campers to participate, observe, discover and appreciate the marine environment while being respectful of their surroundings on and off site.
  • Lead small groups of campers of up to 11 kids (ages vary from 4 to 14 years old) each week in activities such as marine science lessons, games, exhibit and behind-the-scenes tours, and field trips.
  • Responsible for keeping track of all camper information (medical, general and authorizations) as written on release forms. Responsible for ensuring all such information is respected and referenced appropriately and remains confidential.
  • Lead scheduled activities on time for your group.
  • Positively support an inclusive environment.
  • Establish and build positive relationships with all camp staff, volunteers, campers and their families, and our camp partner organizations.
  • Assist with all aspects of maintenance, preparation, setup and cleanup of all program-related activities on and off site.
  • Assist with all logistical aspects of the program including but not limited to camper sign-in/out, light administrative tasks, communicating with external partners, etc.
  • Act as the communication link between the camp lead instructor and youth volunteer camp assistants to help guide them in fulfilling their roles.

Additional responsibilities:

  • May be required to drive Aquarium 15-passenger transit van, or rented transit vans, to transport campers for field trips.
  • Other camp program-related duties as assigned.

Required skills, abilities:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Commitment to teamwork and collaboration.
  • Strong organizational and communication skills.
  • Demonstrated reliability, responsibility and enthusiasm.
  • Basic knowledge of group activities, games, team-building initiatives or other environmental/experiential-education-related programming.
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as a team player.
  • Ability to be flexible in a rapidly changing work environment.
  • Some knowledge of and/or interest in marine science and conservation.
  • Comfort handling adult, child and infant first aid and CPR/AED. Anaphylaxis and epinephrine auto-injector training. Certification proof required by first day of paid work. Red Cross online courses are not accepted. If this is a financial barrier, the Aquarium will provide assistance.
  • Familiarity with MS Office programs: Word, Excel, Outlook, OneDrive and other basic computer skills.

Experience, education and certifications: We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education in order to meet minimum requirements.


  • Minimum of one year of experience working with youth in a formal or informal education setting.
  • High school plus some college or equivalent experience; must be 18 years of age or older.


  • Minimum of six months of experience working or volunteering in an aquarium, zoo, environmental education center or similar institution.
  • Courses in education, child development, recreation, environmental science, biology or related field.
  • Experience working with diverse racial and socio-economic audiences.

Working conditions:

  • Ability to commit to the set hours/dates of work.
  • Must be able to spend long periods of times outdoors during all weather conditions (rain or shine).
  • Must be able to sit, stand, walk and/or run for varied and extended periods of time while interacting with youth.
  • Heavy to moderate vocal demands to project talks and announcements to direct a large audience in loud areas during heavy foot and vehicle traffic.
  • Ability to lift at least 30 pounds and carry gear at field sites on uneven terrain.
  • Must be comfortable in and around water. Camp staff will be scheduled to go on select field trips which include low-tide beach walks and may include small watercraft like kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. Some comfort with swimming and treading water is recommended.

Salary and benefits: 

$15.75/hour + $0.75/hour for transportation assistance. Temporary staff are not eligible for benefits but accrue paid sick time and receive financial help with transportation costs.

How to apply:

The Seattle Aquarium is a progressive, equal opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce. All candidates are encouraged to apply by uploading a résumé and one-page letter detailing interest and relevant experience in our online application.

Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for this job.

Note: Must pass a background check, upon job offer, to be eligible for this position.