Program Assistant (Fall 2024) – Emerald Bay Outdoor Academy

Emerald Bay Outdoor Academy Program Assistant

The Emerald Bay Outdoor Academy is a youth science education program based at Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island and operated by the Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America. Our mission is to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards through overnight science programs and Educational Outreach Partnerships. Our students come from public, private, charter, and homeschool organizations. We serve students in grades 5th through 12th every Spring and Fall.


Job Dates:

·        This is a seasonal position.

o   Fall season is August 25 – November 9, 2024

o   An option to attend lifeguard training will be offered the week of August 18 – 24, 2024 if staff are not already lifeguard certified.

·        Average of 40 hours per week with opportunities for overtime.


All-Staff Responsibilities:

·        Provide exceptional customer service to all student and adult chaperone program participants.

·        Maintain professionalism in the workplace and around camp.

·        Attempt the American Red Cross Lifeguard certification. An option to complete the training is offered at Emerald Bay during the week prior to staff training week.

·        Instruct courses for students attending 3, 4, and 5-day overnight outdoor education programs.

·        Provide lifeguarding for Outdoor Academy and other Emerald Bay programs.

·        Provide basic first aid.

·        Clean and maintain camp equipment and course materials.

·        Assist with the general cleanup and cleaning of camp.

·        Participate in staff trainings.

·        Participate in weekly staff meetings.

·        Assist with meal serving when assigned.

·        Provide retail help in the Ship’s Store trading post when assigned.

·        Other duties as assigned in camp may include work projects, providing staff assistance for non-Academy groups such as YMCA weekend groups.


Program Assistant Specific Responsibilities:

·        Reports to the Program Director

·        Helps oversee the daily operations and acts as front-line support for staff leading courses

·        Provide exceptional customer service to school chaperones by answering questions and addressing needs or concerns.

·        Supervise student arrivals, orientations, and cabin assignments.

·        Help supervise student mealtime lineups and dining hall dismissals.

·        Assist with first aid and medical needs.

·        Assist staff with course set-up, tear-down, and ensuring course materials are prepared.

·        Provide instruction when needed for activities such as archery, paddleboarding, snorkeling, kayaking, and float tests.

·        Complete archery range training and assist ALGAE Instructors with range operations.

·        Instruct courses when needed and support Naturalists instructing courses for students attending 3, 4, or 5-day overnight outdoor education programs. Instruction includes course and material setup/cleanup, managing group dynamics, being knowledgeable in content and lesson plans, and managing group safety.

o   Course Training is provided. Courses include (but are not limited to):

§  Kelp Forest Exploration (classroom and activity component of kayak, paddleboard, or snorkel)

§  Environmental Stewardship

§  Island Biogeography

§  Astronomy

§  Nocturnal Wonderland

§  Science labs: Ichthyology (fish dissection), oil spills cleanup, plankton lab

§  Marine Invertebrates & Intertidal Zonation

§  Hiking

§  Archery

§  Team Building

·        Assist with curriculum development when needed.

·        Actively grow in knowledge of the relevant science and natural history of Catalina Island.

·        Help supervise staff for weekly cleaning tasks.

·        The Program Assistant may have the ability to be checked out on camp vehicles. Driver’s License and California Boater’s Card preferred.



·        Previous experience as a Resident Naturalist for the Emerald Bay Outdoor Academy preferred.

·        Applications from previous Outdoor Academy Resident Naturalists will be prioritized.

·        College degree in environmental or marine sciences, recreation, education, or related field.

·        21+

·        Demonstrated leadership ability.

·        Passion for outdoors and education.

·        American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification with Waterfront Skills additional certification.

o   If staff are not already lifeguard certified, an option to obtain American Red Cross certification will be available the week before staff training begins. Staff may opt to complete lifeguard training with another provider and reimbursement may be arranged with prior authorization from the Program Director.

·        Previous experience working with youth in an outdoor or STEM setting.

·        Flexibility as job demands can change quickly.

·        Ability to work long, physically and mentally demanding days which include a variety of land and water-based activities.

·        Self-starter, able to work independently and in a group.

·        Desire to learn and grow professionally and contribute to a growing program.

·        Ability to drive.

·        Ability to pass background check.

·        Authorized to work in the United States.



·        First and last boat ticket to and from Catalina Island are provided.

·        Hourly pay rate is $20/hour with opportunities for overtime.

·        Housing and meals in the dining hall are provided subject to a weekly salary deduction of $246.24.

o   Most staff reside in Bunk Cabins, with 3 staff per bunk room which is connected to another 3-person room via a shared bathroom and shower. Visit the facilities page for photos:

·        Two free staff t-shirts for new staff and one free staff shirt for returning staff in subsequent seasons.

·        Use of facilities and recreational equipment during off hours to explore the world class waterfront and the rugged West End of Catalina Island.

·        Training opportunities include American Red Cross with CPR/First Aid/Waterfront components and Catalina Naturalist.


Additional Job Information:

·        Staff must reside on-site at Camp Emerald Bay in staff housing.

·        Prior to employment all staff are responsible for completing livescan fingerprinting and passing a background check, completing California AB 506 Mandated Reporter Training, and passing a Tuberculosis (TB) screening test. Fingerprinting and TB testing fees are applicant responsibility.

·        Staff are responsible for completing a pre-camp physical to be completed using the Annual Health and Medical Record Part C requiring a physician signature.

·        Staff are employed by the Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America. A current BSA membership is required and can be completed in camp upon arrival and paid for in the Ship’s Store for $35.

·        Pets are not permitted in camp.

·        Paid leave is not provided however off-island travel for personal needs may be accommodated with advanced written notice.


To Apply:

·        Send the following to Program Director Margaret Whitlock at

o   Resume

o   Cover Letter

o   Three professional references


To apply for this job email your details to

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