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Ornithology Exchange

  • Erin Crofton
    • Employer: Dunes Learning Center
      Location: Chesterton, IN
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 05/31/2020
      Open Until Filled: No



    With a mission to inspire lasting curiosity and stewardship with nature, Dunes Learning Center is the nonprofit education partner of Indiana Dunes National Park. Since 1998, more than 144,000 students from diverse communities and backgrounds have participated in our programs to discover, learn, explore, and reflect on the science and wonder of nature. For many, Dunes Learning Center is the gateway to Indiana Dunes National Park and the beginning of their environmental science education. These experiences support students on the pathway to science-based careers, inspiring the next generation of scientists, environmental advocates, and educators. 


    Looking back on 20+ years of exploration and investigation in nature’s classroom, Dunes Learning Center is proud to be at the forefront of environmental education in the Indiana Dunes. We serve a diverse community and seek a diverse workforce. Dunes Learning Center is an equal opportunity provider and does not discriminate. 




    Dunes Learning Center is proud to carry on a tradition of learning in the dunes that dates back more than 100 years ago by the “Father of Ecology in North America,” Dr. Henry Chandler Cowles. Our residential programs provide a critical and beneficial connection to nature for learners of all ages—inspiring curiosity, scientific literacy, and environmental stewardship. Our internship program offers training and professional development to set you up for success. Communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity are developed and practiced at camp. Supervising campers, engaging in decision-making, managing behavior, and being a role model are all necessary skills for strong leaders. 


    Cabin Leaders are key members of the Dunes Learning Center team and are responsible for providing meaningful experiences for campers during summer camp. They help students create connections, build confidence, and develop a sense of place by providing opportunities to explore, ask questions, reflect, and work together as a team. They facilitate the evening programs (campfire, group games, night hike, ice cream social, etc), lead meal and flag raising activities, and provide overnight supervision of campers throughout the week. 



    • Prepare for and lead evening programming for a diverse community of campers; ages 8-17. 
    • Supervise and be responsible for campers overnight in modern cabins as well as tent camping (1 night per week). 
    • Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude and serve as a role model for responsible environmental behavior and literacy. 
    • Ensure safety and well-being of campers using sound judgement and applying appropriate decisions by following safety protocol and reporting incidents, near misses, or possible hazards. 
    • Attend program staff training workshops and regularly scheduled staff meetings.
    • Assist in the maintenance of all program supplies, equipment, and facilities.
    • Actively participate to support fundraising efforts. 
    • Comply with all Dunes Learning Center policies and represent DLC in a professional manner at all times. 
    • Perform all assigned duties critical to the operation of the Dunes Learning Center. 
    • Assist with other duties as assigned. 



    To qualify for the Cabin Leader Internship program, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty. Dunes Learning Center aims to make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions. All Dunes Learning Center employees must submit to a background check and possible drug screening. 



    • Must be at least 18 years old 
    • Enrolled in an Associate or BA/BS academic program for the 2020-2021 school year 
    • Enthusiastic about working with children in an outdoor setting 
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills 
    • Commitment to equity and inclusion 
    • Physically able to perform duties outdoors in all weather conditions 
    • A willingness to be coached and to receive feedback 
    • Ability to work independently as well as on a team 
    • Official government identification 


    • Prior experience in outdoor education, residential camp setting, nature centers, or day camps 
    • Ability to speak Spanish 
    • Participation in leadership programs at school/ in your community 



    Cabin Leaders are required to regularly stand for long periods of time and be active and engaging with campers with hikes, games, and campfires. Cabin Leaders are responsible for campers overnight and must be able to respond to their needs at all hours of the night. Cabin Leaders must be able to verbally communicate and have visual abilities that allow them to deliver programs safely. 



    • $290 weekly stipend (average 40 hours per week) 
    • Housing in cabins on campus for the duration of the internship (shared with campers Monday-Friday) 
    • Professional development opportunities 
    • Meals and weekly s’mores while camp is in session 


    To apply send a cover letter, resume, and 3 references to Erin Crofton, Education Director, at employment@duneslearningcenter.org.

    Edited by Erin Crofton

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