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Turtle Back Zoo

Summer Camp Counselor

Essex County Turtle Back Zoo is currently recruiting for 2017 TBZ Summer Camp Counselors.  Camp counselors are responsible for teaching and supervising campers ages 5 to 14, as well as leading and evaluating the VolunTeen assistants.  Summer Camp activities include discovery activities, science lessons and experiments, games and crafts, outings into the Zoo and behind the scenes tours, supervised lunches and snacks, and extended care.


  • complete camp training
  • demonstrate and foster respect for all TBZ animals
  • support the mission of our Zoo and Education Department
  • engage campers in all activities
  • have fun, be part of a great camp memory
  • ensure inclusive environment for all campers
  • build good relationships with campers and their families
  • set and maintain/reinforce expectations of learning and behavior
  • follow the camp curriculum and schedule
  • ensure safety of all campers during all camp activities; provide responsible emergency care if needed
  • work well with camp supervisors, fellow counselors, and VolunTeen assistants
  • maintain clean and tidy classrooms
  • assist with live animal presentations

Work Schedule and Requirements:

  • mandatory training for all counselors from Wednesday, June 14 to Friday, June 23 (weekdays only) 8:30am to 4pm
  • daily schedule is Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4pm (includes ½ hour paid lunch), or 8am to 5pm (includes ½ hour paid lunch plus ½ hour overtime) for extended care
  • camp weeks are from the week of June 26th (week 1) to the week of August 28th (week 10)
  • counselors must be available for 8 out of the 10 weeks of summer camp that we offer, and be available to work at least 2 weeks of the extended care schedule
  • counselors must be able to walk the whole of the Zoo at least twice per day during all summer weather conditions

Experience Required

Experience and Education Requirements: • pursuit or completion of a BA/BS degree in Education, Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Zoology, Animal Science, or related field from an accredited college or university • minimum of 1 year supervisory and leadership experience with children ages 5 to 14 • experience with informal environmental education highly recommended

Further Comments

Further Information: • general background in Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Zoology, Animal Science is necessary • must be able to communicate effectively with campers, other staff, and camp families • adaptable to schedule changes, responsible in emergencies, quick learner • must demonstrate a high level of patience • must be at least 18 years old • pay is $10/hour with Seasonal Employee status

How to Apply

Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to or can join us at our job fair on Saturday, February 25th. Call #973-731-5800 ex. 103 for more information. Appropriate candidates will be contacted to schedule an in-person interview and teach a short lesson. Successful candidates will need to complete an Essex County Application with background check in order to secure employment.

Turtle Back Zoo
560 Northfield Ave.
West Orange, NJ 07052
Phone: (973) 731-5800

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