High School Students – Be a Junior Garden Guide this Summer

June 21st, 2012 by Sarah Heller, Community Programs Coordinator & Fiddleheads Forest School Director

Ever wanted to learn how to engage kids in nature? Did you love playing outside as a kid? Do you like hanging out with kids? Do you want service/volunteer hours? The Arboretum Summer Camps still need Junior Garden Guides to assist during our camp program. High school volunteers will pair up with one of our staff to lead a group of up to 12 students on adventures, hikes and nature-based activities in the Arboretum. The commitment is one day of training and a minimum of two weeks of camp. What better way to spend your summer than outside in one of Seattle’s most stunning parks playing with kids and exploring the Arboretum!

Here is the position description:

Job Description:  2-5 weeks of camp and one day of camp training (must commit to at least 2 weeks of camp + 1 day of training)

Dates and Times: July 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th (pick one to come in for training), July 9-13, 16-20, 23-27, July 30-August 3, and August 6-10. 8:30am-3:30pm each day.

Camp Overview: Our day-camp curriculums are designed in support of our mission:  to promote environmental conservation through education and recreation.  To achieve this we focus on hands-on exploration, play and the concept of “learning by doing”.  Depending on the weekly theme, campers may become ethnobotanists, urban farmers or field biologists all while learning about the importance of teamwork and sustainability.

General Duties: This position is ideal for high school students interested in working with children outside in nature. No experience is necessary, just enthusiasm for kids, playing outside and gaining leadership skills. Junior Summer Camp Guides will assist Summer Garden Guides to plan and provide an exceptional day camp experience. Each Summer Garden Guide will be paired with a Junior Summer Camp Guide and together they will be responsible for a group of up to 12 campers. Junior summer camp guides will collaborate with their Summer Garden Guide to determine their role and responsibilities within the group.

Junior Summer Camp Guides will have the opportunity to lead games and activities with the guidance of their Summer Garden Guide. This position is designed to provide experience and skills in teaching and working with children, expand environmental knowledge and guide teens in developing leadership skills.

Essential Tasks:

  • Assist Summer Garden Guides
  • Engage, interact and play with campers
  • Attend training
  • Perform related duties as required


  • Requirements:

–          Must be 16 years old at start of camp (exceptions might be made for mature students)

–          Strong work ethic, punctual, and dependable

–          Excellent interpersonal skills with staff, children, and parents

–          Must be able to comply with and maintain a smoke-free and drug-free work environment


–          Ability to work outdoors in all types of weather

–          Interest in working with children

–          Some background in ecology, botany, biology, environmental education or related areas

–          Flexible and open to new experiences

–          Exhibits patience and responsibility

–          Can role model mature behavior

–          Ability to work as a team member


–          Fulfillment of high school volunteer or service-learning requirements (up to 185 hours)

–          Letter of recommendation upon request following a successful completion of the internship


Department Contact: 

Interested? Contact Sarah Heller, sshort@uw.edu or call (206) 221-6427 with questions or to request an application.