Frequently Asked Questions for Prospective Staff
Where is the Kalamazoo Nature Center?
We are located 5 miles north of downtown Kalamazoo on North Westnedge Avenue. Please visit the Kalamazoo Nature Center's home page to to get directions to Camp.
Where is the Camp area?
The Adventure House is the first driveway on the right hand side once you pass through the main gate. This is where we begin and end our days. The camp area is surrounded by a privacy fence, but campers and staff explore the entire KNC property.
Where do I park?
During the summer, parent and bus drop-off is in front of the Adventure House. Parents will also be free to park across from the Adventure House in the north east field parking area. Staff are asked to park at the Service Center, adjacent to camp. We will show you where this is during Orientation.
In the off-season, the camp office is located at the Interpretive Center. When visiting, please park in the parking area at the end of the main drive.
Who will I be working with?
Nature Up Close Camp Staff consists of the Camp Director, Assistant Director, Senior Educators, Junior Educators and the other permanent members of the KNC Staff. Please see the “Employment” page to view specific job descriptions.
Typical ages of Camp Educators are 16-17 for Junior Educators, 18+ for Senior Educators and 21+ for Assistant Directors. Staff come from various locations throughout Michigan and the country, but they all come to learn more about nature, working with children and to develop their skills.
Is there staff training?
All staff will participate in a comprehensive pre-camp orientation that will cover safety procedures, rules and policies, environmental education, program techniques, child development, behavior management, waterfront safety and much more.
When is camp and when do I work?
Summer Camp 2011 begins Monday, June 20 and ends Friday, August 19. Each staff member is required to attend Pre-Camp Orientation, which will be June 14-17 for Senior Educators and June 16-17 for Junior Educators.
Campers are on site from 9 am to 5 pm. You are required to be here between 8:30 am and 5:15 pm. If your camp session involves an overnight campout, you and your co-counselor will be staying overnight with the campers as well. Campouts are typically on Thursday nights.
Is every day the same?
NO! Every day is different. In addition to the differences in programming throughout the week, like Wednesday swimming or the many day trips and special guests, camp provides new experiences and challenges every day. Working with children in the out-of-doors is never the “same old thing!”
When and how much will I get paid?
Camp Staff are paid every two weeks You will receive a schedule at orientation. Pay scales by position are posted in the job descriptions on the “How to Apply” page. Staff who lead the travel camp sessions will receive extra compensation for remaining on property for multiple nights.
Is there somewhere for me to stay if I am from out of town?
There is limited housing available on-site for out of town staff. Rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the Camp Director for more details if you need housing.
Email the Camp Director
Do I need to bring a lunch?
Yes, campers and staff eat a picnic-style brown-bag (or even better, a reusable lunchbox!) lunch.
What is the work environment like?
The Kalamazoo Nature Center is committed to providing a supportive and positive work environment. You will have the opportunity to work with many different types of people over the summer and expand your knowledge and skills. Team leaders are dedicated to providing support for the staff throughout the summer. We value the role that Camp Staff play in providing a safe and supportive environment for each camper.
Kalamazoo Nature Center
7000 North Westnedge Avenue • Kalamazoo, MI 49009-6309 • Phone: 269-381-1574 • Fax: 269-381-2557