Program Director – BE Day Camp
Founded in 2011, Boston Explorers (BE), is an urban day camp committed to high quality, out-of-school learning experiences for young people based on the belief that all children should have full and equitable access to our city and its rich history, culture, and commercial and natural resources. The camp typically serves 175 young people each summer, ages 6-14, primarily from Boston’s Dorchester, Roxbury, Hyde Park and Mattapan neighborhoods. Its mission is to help children develop a sense of autonomy, master skills and enrich their sense of curiosity using the city as their campground.
The organization is in transition as its Founder and long-time Director, Alphonse Litz, is retiring in 2023. As a consequence, Alphonse and the board of Boston Explorers are considering merging the program into Someone Else’s Child Foundation (SEC). Someone Else's Child is committed to providing opportunity for children and youth from under-resourced communities by supporting and partnering with programs that focus on education, the arts, youth with disabilities, and economic justice. The organization has been a long-time contributor and supporter of Boston Explorers. It’s Board President, Michael Christian, has been a board member of Boston Explorers for several years and is very familiar with the substantial value that BE brings to the community and the youth it serves.
In tandem with the leadership of SEC, we are seeking a visionary Program Director for the BE day camp to build upon our existing programming, while bringing their own innovative ideas, fresh perspective and new partnerships that will help shepherd the organization through the transition of its current Director to continued innovation, growth and development.
The Program Director will work in close partnership with the SEC Executive Director, the SEC team and the BE staff to carry out the mission of Boston Explorers, executing the program’s guiding principles of city-wide exploration, creativity, hands-on learning, autonomy, spontaneous play, exercise, kindness, character-building and civic engagement.
Stewardship of Boston Explorers’ Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles
- Communicate and demonstrate mission, vision and guiding principles in all aspects of work and with all key stakeholders.
- Plan and deliver an engaging, fun, youth-centered summer day camp experience for campers that embodies the mission, vision and guiding principles of Boston Explorers.
- Regularly evaluate program components, measuring successes that can be effectively communicated to families, staff, the board, funders and other stakeholders.
- Engage and communicate with the SEC team to ensure a coordinated, seamless approach to serving the youth of Boston.
Staffing & Training
- In collaboration with the Executive Director and SEC team, recruit, hire, and train a skilled and engaged counseling staff that best defines and reflects the mission of Boston Explorers.
- Lead staff orientation to ensure that counselors and teen leaders know the safety protocols, the camp activities, and other required procedures of the camp program.
- Lead, mentor and evaluate each member of the counseling staff, providing regular feedback regarding performance and setting goals for personal and professional growth.
- Facilitate the daily staff morning huddle and afternoon debrief sessions.
- Assign counselors to activities and explorations so there is sufficient supervision of campers where the needs of the youth are prioritized over those of staff.
- Provide protocols for the staff use and care camp equipment and supplies.
- Set up the “Facilitator of the Day” rotation in collaboration with the staff.
- Add to the Boston area explorations and activities in the schedule that align with the BE mission and vision.
- Create a daily/session schedule of program activities and explorations that align with the BE mission and meet the needs of campers, ages 7-14.
- Regularly communicate and coordinate with the Executive Director/SEC team and program partners to ensure the successful execution of the program.
- Ensure campers and staff follow safety procedures in all program areas and on explorations.
- Assist in the management and care of the physical facilities and equipment in all program areas.
Site & Licensure
- In concert with the SEC team, remain current on regulations for Massachusetts recreational camps, including licensure, food safety and inspection management.
- Ensure that the daily camp program is in compliance with the licensing requirements of the City of Boston’s Inspectional Services Department Day camp permit.
Communications, Feedback, Budget
- Be the point of contact for families during program weeks
- With the support of SEC, draft, approve and monitor all communications between Boston Explorers and camp families and community partners.
- Provide written documentation when needed for any camp-related incident.
- Meet and consult regularly with the ED, the SEC team, and select board members for coaching, feedback, and support.
- Collaborate with the ED to set/update an annual budget, including staff pay levels.
- Demonstrated collaborative, compassionate leadership in a youth-serving nonprofit organization.
- Demonstrated understanding of the complexity and challenges of race, class and culture facing Boston’s youth.
- Proven commitment to equity, justice and inclusion in organizational decision-making from a strategic and operational perspective.
- Strong oral and written skills: Aptitude for clear, persuasive and passionate communication to effectively convey the organization’s mission to diverse stakeholders.
- Highly organized, decisive, and the capacity to exhibit calm under pressure.
- Fluency in Spanish a plus.
- College degree or equivalent experience.
- Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to Christine Dixon, Executive Director of Someone Else’s Child, firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for receipt of applications is February 17, 2023.
- Boston Explorers/Someone Else’s Child does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, veteran status or any other protected category by law.
- Flexible schedule with remote work opportunities (outside of camp session dates). Given the seasonal nature of Boston Explorers’ camp experience (mid-May through August; potentially Winter and Spring school breaks) and the envisioned support of SEC, the position can conceivably be structured as full-time in the summer/school breaks and part-time during other times of the year. As an alternative, the position can be year-round full-time with some responsibilities falling outside of the BE role, supporting SEC’s broader mission. To be discussed.
- Paid sick, holiday and vacation time.
- Health insurance and retirement benefits.
- Starting salary will be competitive with the market, commensurate with experience, and dependent on the agreed work schedule as described above.