Title: Summer Camp Counselor

Type: Seasonal/Full Time Hours

Department: Sanibel Sea School

Reports to: Director, Shannon Rivard

Location: Sanibel, Captiva, and Fort Myers

Position Dates: May 13 – August 23, 2024



Sanibel Sea School is part of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) family. The mission of SCCF is to protect and care for Southwest Florida's coastal ecosystems. Reinforcing this organizational purpose is the mission of Sanibel Sea School: to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time. We are one organization with the united mission of improving, protecting, and caring for nature.


Our campus is located on the east end of Sanibel Island, on the southwest coast of Florida. Experiential educational offerings include day classes, non-residential summer and winter camps, paddling and outdoor education activities, after-school, homeschooling, private excursions, and outreach programs for the local community. Sanibel Sea School works with all ages, but the primary audience is 6 to 13.


We are a small staff, extremely passionate about the ocean and our work; we strive to offer exceptional customer service and education to each client. We are dedicated to the growth of our students and strongly believe in the value of experiential education in nature. Learning outdoors builds self-confidence, encourages trust, and ignites curiosity and wonder. Our goal is simple: through exploration and discovery, we want to help children fall in love with the ocean and become lifelong advocates for the environment. We are also committed to a diverse workplace and strongly encourage applications from underrepresented groups in marine and environmental sciences.

As a camp counselor, you will play a crucial role in creating a positive and engaging summer camp experience for children. Your responsibilities will include leading activities, fostering a safe and inclusive environment, and serving as a positive role model for campers. You can read more about our summer camps here and see photos from past years here.



Note: This job description is intended to outline the primary duties and responsibilities of the Marine Science Educator. It is not in order of priority or an exhaustive list. Other duties may be assigned as required.

  • Oversee the logistical aspects of their groups: following the day’s schedule, gathering supplies, setting up activities, coordinating transportation, and carrying all necessary paperwork.
  • Share your knowledge of marine science and passion for the natural environment to captivate and engage campers.
  • Foster an appreciation for marine ecosystems and instill good ocean stewardship practices, setting an example for the camp.
  • Act as a representative of Sanibel Sea School, promoting our programs within the local, regional, and national communities.
  • Foster a positive and inclusive atmosphere, encouraging camper participation and teamwork.
  • Demonstrate a positive and professional attitude as a role model for campers.
  • Uphold camp values and promote positive character development among campers.
  • Provide support for various Sanibel Sea School projects as needed.



Supervision & Safety

  • Supervise children (ages 4 -18) in various challenging outdoor and marine environments. Instruct and monitor campers during various activities, including outdoor games, arts and crafts, and field trips.
  • Ensure the safety and well-being of camp participants at all times.
  • Assist with the upkeep of facilities and equipment and conduct regular safety checks to ensure a safe and efficient learning environment.
  • Ensure that the Camp Coordinator knows of any changes to your group’s schedule and intended locations so that they have up-to-date information for your group.
  • Follow safety protocols and emergency procedures to ensure the well-being of clients and staff. Review safety training independently to stay confident in your life-saving skills.
  • Set clear expectations for camper behavior and enforce camp rules consistently.
  • Address and manage behavioral issues with patience and effective communication.

Activities & Facilitation

  • Maintain a high standard of academic quality and excellence while executing the activities provided by Sanibel Sea School.
  • Stay informed about the summer’s topics (themes and areas of focus), local biota, and significant developments in marine science focusing on Southwest Florida.
  • Collaborate with the Camp Coordinator to design and develop activities that align with our mission, values, and age groups.
  • Ensure all activities are educational, fun, and inclusive to cater to diverse interests and abilities.
  • Reflect on each activity led to evaluate its success and identify improvement areas. Use campers, CITs, and staff feedback to continuously enhance the experience.
  • Engage campers in recreational and educational activities to promote physical, social, and intellectual development, especially during free times and transitions.

Team Collaboration

  • Communicate incidents, altercations, or other work-related issues effectively with the Camp Coordinator or Director of Youth Education. 
  • Work collaboratively with fellow camp counselors and staff to ensure a cohesive and supportive camp community.
  • Attend regular staff meetings and training sessions to enhance skills and knowledge.
  • Communicate effectively with camp leadership and parents regarding camper progress and any concerns.


Note: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements below represent the required knowledge, skill, and/or ability. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions of the job.



  • An appreciation and enthusiasm for SCCFs and Sanibel Sea School’s missions.
  • Be an example of sustainability and mindful choices to staff and clients. Single-use plastics are not allowed on Sanibel Sea School’s campuses.  
  • Learn, respect, and facilitate Sanibel Sea School camp traditions. Summer Camp Counselors will embody the spirit of Sanibel Sea School and continuously relate camp activities to its mission.
  • Currently enrolled as an undergraduate student or a recent college graduate with a background in Early Childhood Education, Elementary/ Secondary Education, Environmental Education, Biology, Marine Biology, or a similar field.
  • Experience working with children and/or a strong desire to, especially in a camp setting
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal abilities to work effectively with campers, CITs, staff, and parents/guardians.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills.
  • Ability to act as part of a safety team and respond effectively during emergencies.
  • High energy, creativity, and a passion for connecting children to nature.


  • Certifications (or be capable of obtaining certifications) in CPR, First Aid, and Lifeguarding.
  • A valid US driver’s license.
  • Preferred completion of (or willingness to complete) the following training:
    • Child Abuse Prevention.
    • Bullying Prevention.
    • Camp Counselor Professional Development.


  • The role requires physical activity, including walking, standing, swimming, surfing, and participating in camp activities.
  • Reaching above shoulder heights, below the waist, or lifting to forty (40) pounds, as required throughout the work day; proper lifting techniques are required.
  • Strong and competent swimmer in fresh and salt water.
  • Comfortable in outdoor settings and physically capable of leading groups of children in a variety of natural environments


  • SCCF is a drug-free workplace, and the successful applicant will pass a drug screening test within two weeks of starting the position.
  • Ability to pass a level 2 federal background check and submit fingerprints to a national database.
  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and procedural manuals.
  • Strong problem-solving skills, especially under pressure.
  • Introductory knowledge of boating, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Some experience leading groups on the water is preferred. 
  • Experience camping in tents in remote environments, especially while leading groups, preferred.


  • Summer Camp Counselors must be able to work outdoors in the sub-tropical conditions of SW Florida.
  • The role is entirely field-based.


  • Some travel between field locations, satellite campuses, main campus, and SCCF offices is required.
  • This is a seasonal position during the summer months, with a commitment to the entire duration of the camp program.
  • This position primarily works a Monday to Friday schedule, but Summer Camp Counselors must be available to work some evenings and weekends.


A cover letter, resume/CV, and three references we may contact are required.