After reading the description below send an resume, cover letter and documentation of a sample of your work in a PDF format to

Tool box

Summer Camp Counselor - Collaborator

Popularized by our good friends at Tinkering School, the term collaborator gets to the heart of how we approach education. A collaborator is a teammate, not an omniscient leader. They join the kids as equals in all aspects of their project through conception, construction, revision and presentation. They vulnerably suggest new ideas and humbly admit when they don’t know the answer. Their investment in the project is authentic; they’re stoked when an idea works, frustrated when a technical challenge seems insurmountable, yet convicted to keep moving forward. Collaborators uphold our community values (patience, creativity, curiosity, grit, empathy) by modeling them themselves.  

Staff helping kids deconstruct a project

As leaders, collaborators keep an extra eye on their teammates’ engagement, safety and learning. They constantly ask how they can make this experience more approachable and empowering for the kids who are struggling and more challenging for the kids who are excelling.

We look for collaborators who self identify as kid or project specialists.  Maybe you are both! Women, people of color, and people of all gender identities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Kid Specialist

Kids Playing

You get kids and connect with them easily. Around you, they feel heard, seen and loved. You laugh when a nine year old makes a joke - not because you're supposed to, but because it’s freaking hilarious. You understand that being a powerful mentor and a good friend can often look similar, but you find holding appropriate boundaries intuitive. You're energetic, optimistic and empathic; when morale is waning, you know how to validate feelings and help get kids reinvigorated.

Though we will consider a variety of backgrounds, formal training in progressive education or other professional experience working with kids is a major plus.  

Project Specialist

Female Builder

Artist? Engineer? Carpenter? Whatever the medium, we’re looking for people with a passion for making. You make stuff professionally or for fun - probably both. The urge to create and learn new skills is a driving force in your life. While you know how to do it “the right way” you are open to experimentation and improv.

You love working on teams and have found sharing your knowledge with others both intuitive and fulfilling. You’ve worked with kids or novice adults on complicated projects and found you have that rare combination of confidence, competence and patience that lets learners feel safe and inspired.

What’s the job?

Staff helps with the circular saw

At its heart, your role will support the creation of an environment which meets kids right where they are. Where bombastic kids have opportunities to express themselves and shy kids feel safe enough - emotionally and physically - to fully participate in a collaborative large scale project. And lest it be forgotten, this is camp, not school; we plan to have a lot of fun. There are also some day to day realities. Here are some duties you'll be expected to participate in:

On-going expectations:

  • Co-develop curriculum and pick the summer's projects with the rest of staff (we co-design summer to make sure everyone has a project they are stoked about)
  • Attend up to two weekly meetings to discuss improving camp and meeting kids' needs

Participate in daily camp operations: 

  • Build large-scale, sophisticated projects with kids utilizing power tools
  • Facilitate group discussions and brainstorms
  • Identify teachable-moments and deliver mini-lessons
  • Play games outside
  • Set up and clean up camp each day and facilitate transitions

Maintain an emotionally and physically safe environment:

  • Uphold Project Ember’s tool use safety policies (to be covered in training)
  • Model and teach inclusivity
  • Facilitate meaningful collaboration and mediate conflict among campers
  • Bandage scrapped knees, have heart to hearts, and celebrate vulnerability

Basic Qualifications


  • You have started and completed a project of your own volition AND/OR You have experience working with children as a teacher, camp counselor, or mentor (informal experience welcome).
  • You are an excellent communicator.
  • You are swift to adapt to changing situations and have tolerance for uncertainty.
  • You are committed to safety and high quality program delivery.
  • You can pass a criminal background check.
  • You are first aid certified (you can get certification after hiring and before camp starts)

Additionally Sought After Skills - Do not hesitate to apply if you don’t have these skills.

  • The ability to understand and make oneself understood with Spanish speaking families
  • Formal training AND/OR real-world experience in progressive education.

Schedule, Location and Compensation

Day Camp Collaborator

  • Where: Synapse School, Menlo Park, CA
  • Dates: June 4th - July 11th
  • Camp Sessions: June 11th - July 6th
  • Training Week: June 4th - 8th
  • Clean up and Debrief: July 9th - 11th
  • Full Time
  • Compensation: Starting at $720/week, paid bi-weekly, including training and clean-up weeks

Overnight Camp Collaborator

  • Where: Sebastopol, CA
  • Dates: July 9th - August 15th
  • Camp Sessions: July 15th - August 11th
  • Training Week: June 11th - July 13th
  • Clean up and Debrief: August 12th - 15th
  • Compensation: $720/week, paid bi-weekly, including training and clean-up weeks
  • Room and Board included: Estimated value of $355/week

Please include a cover letter and résumé, along with a sample of your work (photos will do fine) in a PDF format in your application.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Members of Our Team


Children Icon by Gilad Fried and Female Contractor by Wilson Joseph from the Noun Project