Schoolhouse of Wonder

Durham, North Carolina

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details 40,000 - 45,000 annually

Schoolhouse of Wonder is looking for experienced and dedicated staff who are passionate about their work, who are committed to Schoolhouse’s mission and values, and who value diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Program Director is an important member of both our administrative and field teams and is responsible for the operational success of our programs. They take their experience, creativity, and vision and transform it into high-quality, nature-based outdoor programming. The Program Director, through supervision and mentorship of our Site Managers, is responsible for the successful delivery of programs in Orange, Durham, and Wake Counties. In collaboration with Site Managers, the Program Director ensures all programs are planned, staff are hired and trained, the parents are ready, and our park partners are happy. In collaboration with the Chief Operating Officer, the Program Director manages the budget, updates policy and procedures to reflect best practices, and strengthens community partnerships. This position combines program administration, staff management, and direct field work.

As the Program Director, you’ll be spending your time:

  • Supervising and supporting Site Managers to keep the logistics of camp running smoothly by keeping an organization-wide view of staff, supplies and inventory, activity schedules, budget, and program areas;
  • Supervising and assisting program staff to hire, train, and mentor camp staff including updating online and in-person training materials to reflect best practices;
  • Partnering with the CEO and COO to develop and oversee the annual program budget;
  • Coordinating with our administrative team on hiring, scholarship, and registration processes;
  • Developing and coordinating staff and program evaluation systems with an eye toward continual improvement;
  • Establishing trusted lines of communication with participants, their families, other Schoolhouse staff, and our park partners;
  • Providing excellent child-centered, empathy-based behavior management;
  • Ensuring consistent program quality and extraordinary customer service;
  • Safeguarding the physical and emotional safety of participants;

This is a year-round position beginning February 1st, 2022.

The Program Director is a mentor worth remembering and emulating for children, teens, and staff

A Program Director takes pride and joy in knowing the work that goes into creating a magical moment for a child. This individual can partner vision with action, mentorship with growth, and responsibility with fun.

General Responsibilities 

The Program Director is expected to:

  • Set the standard by modeling Schoolhouse’s values, methodologies, policies, and procedures, including creating a safe environment by following our COVID procedures. 
  • Manage staff through trainings, mentorship, giving and receiving feedback, modeling behavior, and creating a culture of individual and organizational growth. 
  • Ensure high-quality programming including the coordination of activity and staff schedules, budgets, community partnerships, inventory management, and evaluation across all counties and program areas.
  • Collaborate with core staff on marketing, advertising, online content creation, the Schoolhouse website, and registration software.
  • Represent Schoolhouse in community partnerships and events (e.g. outreach events, fundraising, etc.) as needed and serve as a key external face of Schoolhouse of Wonder.
  • Research, monitor, and present relevant data, trends, successes, and best practices in all areas of responsibilities including child development, industry practices, SEL, and related research.
  • Set an excellent example in teaching and behavior management methods, work ethic, and attitude.
  • Safeguard the physical, emotional, and intellectual safety of participants. Model Schoolhouse values like kindness, curiosity, and empathy. Patiently process conflict and disagreements.
  • Communicate with participants, their families, other Schoolhouse staff, and park partners. Create established lines of communication built on trust and empathy.
  • Participate in all aspects of programs using Schoolhouse methodologies. Actively engage participants and deliver consistent and exceptional supervision. Be a good example and role model at all times. Play the games, sing the songs, wade in the river, hide in the leaves, build forts, and enthusiastically join in on all aspects of our programs.
  • Be a leader. Support staff to run the games, tell the stories, and manage their groups. Use and model appropriate child-centered behavior management techniques. Stay on schedule and manage your time. Create a culture of physical and emotional safety.

You can find a description of the physical activities common in our field staff positions here.

Please Apply If You…

  • Are at least 18 years of age by your first day of work
  • Have a completed COVID-19 Vaccination or exception with verification
  • Are committed to Schoolhouse’s mission and values
  • Are committed to providing safe programming including following our COVID procedures
  • Have a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study (e.g. Environmental Studies, Child Development, Outdoor Education) or equivalent work experience (min 5 years)
  • Experience with program administration including budget management, program development and delivery, and program evaluation
  • Have experience with staff management including hiring, staff training and mentorship, and scheduling
  • Have experience working with children and teens in an outdoor setting and want to mentor them to find and be their best selves
  • Have an unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation
  • Have exceptional mentoring skills, including effective communication, enthusiasm, resourcefulness, positive attitude, and patience
  • Proficiency in computer use including Word and Excel, G Suite, and ability and interest in learning new programs
  • Have great written, verbal, interpersonal, and listening communication skills
  • Are kind, curious, and confident with a “can-do” attitude
  • Have a passion for and experience in outdoor programming and are comfortable working outdoors in all kinds of weather
  • Ability to thrive in a team setting as well as the ability to work independently, extraordinary attention to detail, ability to handle challenging situations with positivity and enthusiasm
  • Are able and willing to accept and effectively act on feedback and guidance
  • Take your work seriously but yourself, not so much

We require current pediatric and adult CPR and First Aid certification by the first day of work. We accept certifications from the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI).

Bonus points (or at least a high-five) if you have…

  • Experience working with diverse populations
  • Experience with project management software, WordPress, and/or Google Analytics
  • Experience with marketing, social media, or online content creation
  • Teaching experience including experiential or inquiry-based learning techniques
  • Knowledge and interest in environmental education, the cultural history of the Southeast, storytelling, behavior management, and/or child development
  • Experience or training in socio-emotional learning, trauma-informed care, or play-based learning
  • Skill-based training or certifications (Lifeguarding, EMT, WFR, etc.)
  • English/Spanish bilingual fluency


The Program Director reports to the COO and will receive feedback throughout the year with a formal evaluation annually.

Office Location, Hours, Travel

Our programming occurs on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary land of the Eno, Lumbee, Sappony, Shakori, Occaneechi, and Tuscarora peoples.

The work of the Program Director is typically performed both remotely and at our program sites.

  • West Point on the Eno, 5101 N. Roxboro, Durham, NC 
  • Umstead State Park, 2100 N. Harrison, Cary, NC 
  • Brumley Forest, 3223 New Hope Church Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 
  • Harris Lake County Park, 2112 County Park Dr, New Hill, NC

Hours are dependent on organizational needs, vary by season, typically total between 32 hours and 60 hours per week, depending on the season, and range from 7:30a – 6p Monday through Friday, with the occasional weekend, evening, and/or overnight work requirements. 

This is a full-time, exempt, “at will” position that reports to the COO.


The range for this position is between $40,000-$45,000 annually, commensurate with experience.  We also offer 100% paid health insurance, paid time off, and paid holidays.

Additional benefits include professional development opportunities, unlimited vitamin D, and a steady stream of (mostly funny) stories.

Relocation assistance is negotiable. 

Current certification in CPR and First Aid and a successful background check are required before work can begin. Schoolhouse will pursue both indicated and non-indicated references.

This is a full-time, exempt, “at will” position that reports to the COO. 

Qualified women, minorities, and bilingual candidates (English/Spanish) are encouraged to apply. We are fully invested in creating a supportive environment for all marginalized groups including women, people of color, and LGBT+ people by promoting community collaboration within our organization.

Schoolhouse of Wonder is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, disability, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.

About Schoolhouse of Wonder

Founded in 1989, Schoolhouse of Wonder’s mission is to create kind, curious, and confident kids through nature-based outdoor adventures. We seek to achieve this mission through year-round, outdoor day camps, curriculum-aligned field trips, and leadership training for teenagers.

These core values guide our behavior and help us make decisions:

  • We model and teach self-awareness and empathy
  • We celebrate individuality; Different is just different
  • Everyone deserves to be witnessed, heard and respected
  • In nature, we’re all students
  • Life should be filled with adventures and a sense of wonder
  • We send every kid home dirty, tired and happy

Application Instructions

The Program Director position is open until filled with priority given to applications received before December 13, 2021. Only complete applications will be reviewed.

Step 1

Complete the Applicant Info Form: 

Applicant Information Form

Step 2

Email the following to Schoolhouse of Wonder at 

  • A cover letter that explains your interest in working as a Program Director at Schoolhouse of Wonder (maximum one page)
  • Your resume (maximum one page). Do not include photos of yourself on your resume.
  • Please include your cover letter and resume as one document
When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.