Day Camp Collaborator and Assistant Collaborator- Summer 2019
Tinkering School Day Camp is looking for a rare breed of collaborator/maker/builder/listener/explorer to join us as a Counselor (We call them Collaborators - as we collaborate in building and fun). Our Collaborators are people who are as comfortable with a chop saw as they are with cleaning skinned knees. As handy with a hot glue gun as they are with navigating the social emotional needs of six-year-olds. As deft with developmental, social and play-based needs of a ten-year-old as they are with an impact driver or sewing needle. Our Collaborators can curate and shape an environment that tilts us all towards engagement, but follows a child’s lead as they explore that environment. We are willing to go into that uncomfortable place where learning happens with the children, not just pushing or pulling from the comfortable, known world at the finish line.
We are looking for candidates with experience in open-ended learning environments and the challenges they present. Kids across ages hang out all day and during every activity. Ideally you can hold space for a five-year-old’s unbelievably fascinating tangential story and talk to an eleven-year-old with the adult tone they crave and deserve. We can teach you how to use tools and you can learn to build along side the kids, but it is essential that you firmly believe children are already whole people with important things to say. Are you ready to admit you don't know what to do, then ask questions and do what a seven year old suggests? Does the mystery of a project soon-to-be designed by kids excite you!?
We are as eager to talk to bombastic college students as we are to talk to educators with 35 years of experience. We are as eager to talk to master storytellers that can handle a crowd as we are to talk to quiet listeners that will take the time to hear the tiniest voice of the shyest camper. We seek to create a well-rounded group full of adults that children of all inclinations can relate to, build relationships with, and trust. What really matters is a focus on the kids.
Apply to join our team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your resume, a cover letter, and samples (photos are fine) of some cool project you’ve worked on. Applications accepted on a rolling basis (sooner is better) Submit your application in PDF format only, please.
Roles We are Filling
Collaborators are folks who are generally over age 18 who have been adequately trained on shop safety, social and emotional support, and overall project management.
Assistant Collaborators are folks who are generally younger than 18 who have been Tinkering School alumni or interns and are anticipating growing into the role of a Collaborator.
Who We Are Looking For
Candidates will say "That's me!" to any combination of the following skills:
- A five-year-old kid expert. The flow of their day is different. We need someone on the lookout for their specific needs, gifts, and opportunities to shine.
- A six and seven-year-old kid expert. Balls of energy discovering their own competence and dexterity.
- An eight and nine-year-old kid expert. Dreamers playing at the edge of possibility.
- A ten to fourteen-year-old kid expert. Our oldest bunch this year, with a lot to share and a deep urge to be heard and seen.
- A tool master who can handle a drill press and is comfortable guiding a five-year-old through the use of our chop saw.
- A big games ring-leader, with ideas about games that can engage five- to eleven-year-olds side by side on a giant open field. Nothing builds bonds quite as fast as big games played with great sportsmanship.
- A storyteller. Starting the day, over lunch, end of day. Stories bring us together. Stories help kids focus long enough to eat their lunch. Stories teach and set examples. Stories make us a tribe.
- A provocations crafter. The good projects tell us what they look like at the end, But the very best projects simply get us excited to start.
- A listener. Some kids are shy and don’t usually get a lot of attention. You know how to find those kids, figure out what makes them tick, and can get them engaged.
- Punctual and Reliable.
- Incredibly flexible. Every plan is a starting place and subject to change.
- Experience working with kids ages five to eleven - please specify your sweet spot.
- Excellent communication - practice with non-violent communication a plus.
- Experience with or a desire to teach in a setting that honors the free will and independence of children.
- Initiative! We are people who jump in when they see things that need to get done. When we have ideas we try them - instead of just talking about them.
- Additional experience with project-based curriculum design, working with gifted children, knowledge of inclusive special education theory and practice, fine arts, applied arts or any other personal superpowers are welcomed.
While we welcome out-of-town applicants, we are unable to reimburse the cost of any travel associated with the hiring process or summer housing.
Work Hours and Dates
Camp work day runs from 8:30am-5pm. You will only work 8 hours of that day, but for scheduling flexibility you must be available for these hours during the weeks listed below. We have weekly staff meetings that keeps us on the same page and creates space for stories and new ideas.
The Summer Schedule by week:
Set up week - June 10-14
Training week - June 17-21
Session 1 - June 24-28
Session 2 - July 1-5
Session 3 - July 8-12
Session 4 - July 15-19
Session 5 - July 22-26
Session 6 - July 29 - August 2
Session 7 - August 5-9
Session 8 - August 12-16
Decompression/Cleaning Partial week - August 19-21
Is based on experience and ranges from $15-20/hr.