Activity Head – Watercraft (qualifies for up to $500 Camp Chewonki 2021 Employment Sign-on Incentive)

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  • Activity Head – Watercraft (qualifies for up to $500 Camp Chewonki 2021 Employment Sign-on Incentive)

Camp Chewonki is a nature-based overnight camp and expedition-based youth leadership program for boys, girls, and non-binary children. Overnight campers are aged 8-15 and spend 10 days or 3 weeks at camp. The overnight camp program focuses on building cabin community, building skills and knowledge in a core curriculum, and learning about backcountry travel on multi-day remote cabin trips. Participants in our Leadership Expeditions are aged 14-18 and spend 3 weeks or 5 weeks learning leadership skills, remote travel, and a robust sense of self. 

Camp Chewonki’s activity program is designed to deliver the Chewonki Foundation’s mission through skill building, team development, self-reflection, and healthy risk taking. The Activity Heads are responsible for preparing and facilitating lessons, coordinating a team of discipline-specific instructors, and keeping activity equipment and areas safe and well-maintained. Each activity has discipline-specific skills and related requirements for the activity. While Activity Leader’s primary responsibility is instruction in their area of expertise, camp provides a dynamic workplace environment that requires creativity, flexibility, and a team player approach. Activity Leaders are expected to role model this approach to many hands make light work.

The focus of Watercraft instruction at Camp Chewonki is to teach campers the basic skills needed to venture out on canoe, sea kayak, and whitewater kayak trips with their cabins. The Watercraft activity will teach boat anatomy, basic safety and rescue techniques, and paddle strokes. The Watercraft Activity Head will primarily instruct canoeing as this is our most common trip discipline. Kayaking blocks will be supported by the cabin trip leaders for each trip. In addition to providing direct instruction, the Activity Head is responsible for training other staff to teach lessons and manage the logistics and supervision of multiple groups of boaters at the Waterfront.

The Watercraft Activity Head will also fill the role of supervising the Waterfront with responsibilities for overseeing activity staff, lifeguards, and all activities at the Waterfront – specifically afternoon General Swim and pre-breakfast Polar Bears. The Activity Head collaborates with the Activity Coordinator to plan and facilitate special camp events. As a member of the support staff, the Activity Head provides additional camper coverage as assigned.


Position Title: Activity Head – Watercraft
Employment Category: Category H/Seasonal
Permanent/Temporary:  Seasonal
Reports to: Camp Director & Activity Coordinator
Exempt/Non-exempt:  Exempt
Benefits Eligible: No



  • Uphold the Chewonki Foundation’s mission and values
    • Learn and uphold Chewonki Protocols as stated in Camp Chewonki Staff Handbook
  • Be an active member of the Chewonki community; e.g. participate in camp set up and take down 
  • Prepare and deliver an activity curriculum that promotes developmentally appropriate learning and fun in discipline-specific skills and abilities
  • Coordinate activity-specific staff training, feedback, and coverage for activity area with the support of Activity Coordinator
  • Hold responsibility for physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of participants; this includes:
    • Develop healthy and appropriate relationships with participants
    • Inspect activity area and equipment regularly to ensure it is safe and appropriate for age and location; ensure activity-specific safety and risk management protocols are followed
    • Manage risk and maintaining the safety of participants
    • Provide direct supervision of participants as assigned
  • Practice professional presentation and communication with participants and their families, co-workers, and the public
  • Complete all necessary paperwork, i.e. incident reports, camper reports, trip reports
  • Instill joy and enthusiasm into the daily life of camp


  • Be an active member of the Chewonki community; e.g. participate in camp set up and take down, facilitate meals with campers in the dining hall
  • Assist Activity Coordinator planning and facilitating special events (e.g. – evening events, weekly events, once a session events)
  • Track activity participation and achievement data to plan activity awards and recognition – report data to Activity Coordinator
  • Provide additional activity-specific support and instruction through free period and evening activity opportunities
  • Act as a “cabin cousin” to two cabin groups per session, providing additional support and coverage.

DESIRED SKILLS: The blend of these skills helps to determine the positions you are best suited for.

  • Risk Management: Having an understanding of how to effectively manage risk while teaching in an outdoor environment is essential for this role. Our educators are constantly managing risk to ensure the safety of campers. When leading activities at camp, Activity Heads must manage risks that are specific to outdoor settings and their activity area with campers of different ages.
  • Interpersonal: Effective communication with peers and participants is a critical skill in this role. We are looking for leaders in education who can give, receive, and integrate feedback, as well as provide engaging and inspiring learning experiences. Clear and concise communication is required to effectively train and orient activity staff who work alongside the Activity head.
  • Technical: Having experience in working from a written curriculum is key for this role. We are looking for educators who have the skills to work collaboratively using tools like Google Drive, and who are able to utilize curriculum development templates such as Understanding By Design. Being able to keep materials and lessons organized is essential.
  • Educational and Leadership: We are looking for leaders who have experience in education, whether in a formal academic setting, outdoor education, or other educational settings. We value leaders who embody enthusiasm, flexibility, patience, organization, and compassion. This role requires an educator who understands the balance of fun and hands-on learning we strive for at Camp Chewonki. Activity Heads are asked to embrace a place-based approach to teaching, and teach lessons that engage the whole child, mentally, physically, and emotionally.


    • American Canoe Association Instructor, preferred
    • Experience with waterfront or pool management, preferred
    • Current Red Cross Lifeguard Certification
    • Must Pass Background Criminal Check

If you have the skills and temperament required to take on this responsibility, we’d love to speak with you, answer your questions, and help you learn more about a summer at Chewonki.  Please follow the below link to apply for a activity head position at Camp Chewonki.


Position Start Date: Immediately
Position End Date: August 16, 2021




Job Features

Job Category

Camp Chewonki, Seasonal Positions

Please complete an online application for this activity head position.

Returning staff, please log into your CampInTouch account to complete an application for this activity head position.