Country Fun Nature Camp

Country Fun
Our in-person camp is not running in 2020 due to COVID-19. But stay tuned for ALTERNATIVE camp activities!

Updated: We have additional positions available for Virtual Nature Camp Programmers.

Job Opening: Country Fun Nature Camp

  • (Virtual) Nature Camp Coordinator
  • (Virtual) Nature Camp/Arts and Crafts Leader

About Tucker House:

Tucker House Renewal Centre is a registered charity and environmental learning organization with a mission to inspire sustainable living.  We put this into action by providing interactive cultural and ecological programs in both official languages for children, youth and adults at our historic cultural centre and 33 acres of biodiverse land in Rockland, Ontario (30 min east of Ottawa). We offer mobile and on-site educational programming including a children’s summer camp focused on environmental history, youth leadership programs, community festivals and a variety of natural history workshops.

About the job:

These are slightly unusual camp jobs! Originally envisioned as positions to develop and deliver our fun and educational camp programming (environmental education, nature crafts, outdoor activities, music/art/cultural arts, etc.,) they are now virtual. We are looking for dynamic, self-motivated, multi-talented individuals to help keep our Country Fun Nature Camp family engaged via online opportunities. The successful applicants will be motivated to help ensure kids spend time in nature, learn about how our actions affect nature, and consider how they can help preserve the environment. These positions will also work to raise awareness of our non-profit organization and camp through social media and online platforms, and help stay in touch with our donors, alumni, and campers.

Skills, knowledge, and talent you will need for either job include excellent time management, problem-solving, familiarity with current basic social media platforms, fantastic written and oral communication in English (French an asset), creativity, experience working with children, and knowledge of environmental issues.

Details: The Leader position pays $14.50/hour. We envisioned this as a full-time position of 30 hours per week for 6 weeks. We may be able to change this to part-time over a slightly longer period of time, into early fall, so long as it’s for the same total number of hours (180 hours, so for example, possibly 20 hours/week for 9 weeks, etc.) The Co-Ordinator position pays $19.00/hour,  for 35 hours/week for 8 weeks. It can also be somewhat adjusted to be a bit longer (eg 28 hrs/week for 10 weeks). If you are interested in discussing a position as part-time, please state this in your application.

Location: These jobs were meant to be worked in Ottawa South, at an office which is currently closed due to COVID-19, so much of the work would be telework instead. This could change. Some travel may be required if we run mini social-distanced events (within Ottawa neighbourhoods, and to Rockland, where our camp usually is, and where we have nature trails, organic gardens, etc.). Telework jobs must still be done with diligence and responsibly; we’ll be expecting self-motivation, reliability, and regular check-ins. Details and expectations will be discussed in a phone/video interview with top candidates.

Eligibility: Because this is funded by Canada Summer Jobs, applicants must be between the ages of 15-30* as of the start of employment, a Canadian citizen or holding refugee status, and legally allowed to work in Ontario.

* Note: We take Duty of Care seriously when working with the vulnerable sector, including our responsibility to our own staff team. Because of the unexpected and unavoidably virtual nature of these jobs and the fact that they  include video and social media outreach and likely leading virtual gatherings, there would need to be special conditions for applicants under 18. If you are a minor (under 18) we will ask for signed parent/guardian approval for this prior to participating in these aspects. All staff of any age will review online safety protocols and guidelines for appropriate interactions online.

Here’s how we envision the roles of virtual camp staff and what it would entail:

Virtual activity programming and communication

Review past camp programming, research other outdoor ed resources, find favourite themes and activities and take them online in an interactive way. Examples of how this can work: Facebook and other social media posts with past pictures and challenges for camp families to try (a nature craft how-to, maybe a neighbourhood nature walk, and post your own favourite nature picture!); mini e-mail newsletters with reflections from past camps, activities for this summer, and dreams for next year’s program; a blog of in-the-city-nature sightings. We will probably aim to have lots of ongoing smaller content and activity postings and then some form of actual virtual camp (with live and/or recorded activities) in mid/late August.

Recruit past camper families and staff/volunteer alumni to do online “cameo” appearances with their own outdoor activity ideas, favourite memories, songs, or challenges.

Virtual gatherings & challenges

Research and be clear on how to interact online (meaning being careful about what you say and how and where you film, and learning about duty of care and online security). If you are organizing any virtual gatherings (through zoom or other tools) make sure there is a second, approved co-host and that there are proper consent forms or other appropriate documentation if past campers or minors are joining in, and/or that there is a parent present with them. Consider what might work for our camp alumni (campers and staff): a virtual “bus ride” sing-a-long of camp songs? An evening virtual “campfire” (bring your tablet and your bugspray to your back yard)? Mini bio-blitz in your local park (with families in their own socially distanced area)?

Follow and stay up to date with public health recommendations if/when considering socially distanced mini-gatherings in a variety of neighbourhoods. Get ideas and feedback from past camp staff and families to see what might work for them. Are there nature apps that might help with connecting across distances (we have used some on-site before), or could you do a social distance scavenger hunt?

Stay connected with camp supporters to keep donors donating!

Even if we don’t have a physical camp this year, we don’t want to lose touch with our donors. Donations can be used to help us plan and budget for next year, hopefully offer honorariums to some other virtual volunteers, and help with fixed property costs (we need to maintain the site regardless). Be ready to make some phone calls, emails, Facebook posts, and possibly even send snail mail (that’s letters, on paper, in envelopes) to reach out to  people who love camp and whose donations keep us going every year.

Other duties: Add some planning time for next year’s camp and update our registration forms and basic info so it’s all ready to go for 2021. Set up some planned or scheduled social media posts to keep people engaged through the winter.

The Coordinator position will require helping to oversee logistics and decision making of the programming, more administration, and helping with logistics, like  – do we want people to register for programs? What platforms will we use, and how? It will also include more preparation and reporting to help work with past staff and read over previous programming, and also do some preparation and reports so that we can integrate this season with next year  in some form. If this position is stretched into early fall, it could involve organizing more mini-gatherings or socially distanced outings.

The leader position will focus more on programming development and delivery, and help with most tasks.

We have a couple of return staff to assist, who are familiar with our regular programming and who have already started work; they can help guide planning.

Although the way we will work has changed a lot, the goal is still the same: plan and lead activities that help children and youth engage with the natural world and learn about environmental practices at the same time. Through a combination of history and art, children will be challenged to think about how we can use our resources sustainably and reduce our environmental impact.

How to apply:  firstly, do so immediately!! Our funding was just announced so we’re keen to start right away.

Since we won’t be doing in-person interviews (and usually we ask you to bring some ideas or show a craft example or something fun), here’s our approach…

Send a proper resume to Diana Brushey at ecoprograms@maisontuckerhouse.ca with your name and the job title in the subject line.  Please have three references ready, including two people who have seen you work with kids, and at least one person who knows how you work independently. We’ll need to be able to get in touch with at least two, very quickly.

Include a cover letter that clearly shows that you understand what’s involved in the position, is a good example of your professional level of communication, and give some ideas of how you would make this work.

Include something fun or interesting that shows what you would try (your photo collage from your own backyard bio-blitz, or a sample blog or social media post you think would really engage campers and their parents).

Send a short video or multimedia application. It can be in mp4 format, and in a zip file (or if you want to share it another way, email me and we’ll arrange it).  Make it creative and relevant to this job in at least two ways. It could be you showing how you would lead a camp sing-a-long, or your video “how-to” demo for camp families of how to do a neat nature craft, you reading a story for kids, or something about history and nature – anything relevant to Tucker House, the camp, that gives us a good idea of the kind of activity programming and online content you would share.

Top candidates will be invited to participate in a brief phone or video interview.

We will not discriminate based on background, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. when going through the hiring process.

 

We will be back in 2021 for our regularly scheduled programming…. But stay tuned for ALTERNATIVE CAMP ACTIVITIES! We will be in touch!

Country Fun Nature Camp 2020! 

Country Fun Nature Camp is a unique ecumenical environmental day camp for children ages 5-13 that focuses on nurturing children’s love for our environment and everyone in it, in an inclusive faith-based outdoor setting.

Country Fun is held on the historic estate of Tucker House, where campers enjoy a week of outdoor fun and learning in 30 acres of parkland, forests, wetlands, and organic gardens. A typical day at Country fun includes theme based eco-activities and games, arts and crafts, sports, nature walks, stories, skits, and swimming in our in-ground swimming pool, supervised by a certified lifeguard. We have inclusive, faith-based Bible story time with a focus on themes of care for Creation and ecological stewardship. Campers also enjoy two nut-free snacks daily, including fresh vegetables from our organic gardens and home-made cookies.

Photos from week 1, 2019!

Photos from week 2, 2019!

Country Fun Summer 2020

Week One: July 6 – 10. Week Two: July 13– 17.

The camp fee is $180 per child per week. We provide bus transportation to and from camp at no extra charge, from designated pick-up points across Ottawa:

  • Bethany Baptist Church       Pick up 7:45am – Drop off 5:30pm
  • Connaught Public School    Pick up 8:00am – Drop off 5:10pm
  • St Laurent Mall                       Pick up 8:20am – Drop off 4:50pm
  • Place D’Orleans                     Pick up 8:30am – Drop off 4:30pm

Support Country Fun

Your donations directly support subsidies for campers in need, as well as helping to train and support an exceptional team of volunteers who are dedicated to caring for our environment and everyone in it.

Donate online and indicate Country Fun Nature Camp to support a long-standing program of faith, fun, and friendship. Country Fun also accepts gifts of time and gifts in-kind. Donations that are most needed are listed below.

DONATE TO SEND A KID TO CAMP

Country Fun Wish List

  • Lifejackets and PFDs in good condition
  • Walkie-talkies (battery-powered, 3-4)
  • Extra shelter (canopy, tent, etc.), large enough to fit a group of children
  • Giftcards to Terra 20, Canadian Tire, grocery stores
  • Compasses and binoculars – please ask us for specifications
  • Butterfly nets and dip-nets
  • Sprinklers, water buckets, and sponges
  • Rubber Boots

Leaders & LITs

Country Fun welcomes applications from youth and young adults ready to be   energetic and enthusiastic leaders and leaders-in-training! Our youth and young adult volunteers develop leadership skills and earn volunteer hours or an honorarium, while having a great experience as part of a well-trained, supportive team. Our youth come back year after year to be part of the Country Fun family. Our Leaders participate in intensive training and team-building to provide high quality outdoor education (and fun!), supervised by experienced environmental educators  and supported by our keen young Leaders-In-Training (14 yrs+).

Contact Country Fun

You can reach us at:

countryfun@maisontuckerhouse.ca
(613) 446-2117, ext. 6 (or 1)

Follow Country Fun Nature Camp on Facebook.

© 2017 Tucker House Renewal Centre

Website by Jacob Baker-Kretzmar