Work for Camp Widjiwagan
Work at Widjiwagan for a life-changing job that makes a positive impact in the lives of young people. You will:
- Build lifelong relationships
- Practice wilderness risk management
- Gain experience mentoring children and teens
- Live, work and play in a beautiful outdoor setting
- Learn group development and conflict mediation techniques
- Develop your leadership skills
- Be part of a passionate, committed, growth-oriented and supportive community
(Applications for the upcoming summer must be submitted between October 1 and December 31)
Kitchen Manager, Full-Time
Food is an integral part of Widjiwagan’s community and experiences. Widjiwagan’s Kitchen Manager position is a full-time non-exempt position based in Ely, MN. The Kitchen Manager ensures that high quality and nutritional food is provided to participants and staff throughout the year. The Outdoor Learning Program runs through the fall, winter, and spring seasons serving a variety of school groups and organizations. The Summer Wilderness Tripping Program runs from mid-May through the end of August serving campers, staff, and families. Meals are served in our beautiful Kirby Dining Lodge on the shores of Burntside Lake. Our Dining Lodge capacity can range from 5-200 guests.
Additional essential functions of the Kitchen Manager position include:
- Develops menu plans that support healthy, nutritious meals and comply with HEPA standards while providing menu options for a wide variety of dietary needs and restrictions.
- Maintains an appropriate inventory of food supplies while working with food providers to ensure quality of food supplies.
- Prepares or oversees the preparation and delivery of meals.
- Develops and enforces safety and cleanliness protocols.
- Hires, trains, schedules and supervises kitchen staff to meet kitchen needs.
- Maintains positive relationships with staff and volunteers which support the Y’s vision.
This position is non-exempt, full-time with benefits with minimum hourly rate of $20/hour, and based year round in Ely, MN
Environmental and Outdoor Education
Applications for Widjiwagan’s Outdoor Learning Program are accepted on a rolling basis. Please email Henry Hark (email@example.com) for more information.
Instructor Naturalists foster learning and development through a varied and exciting Environmental Education curriculum. Work with small groups and exercise your own creative style in developing a range of lesson plans for teens. Responsibilities may include leading a variety of instructional hikes focusing on local ecology and navigation, leading teambuilding exercises, giving larger group presentations, chaperoning a student cabin at night and assisting with the cleaning and upkeep of the facility.
Camp Instructor—Intern Naturalist
The intern's role is primarily that of a learner. The program allows interns to develop their own teaching style through observation and leading activities under the supervision of an Instructor Naturalist. Interns follow a teaching progression that allows them to have more and more teaching responsibilities every week.
The priority deadline for Summer 2023 Staff applications is January 6. Applications received after January 6 may be considered on a rolling basis. Please email Audrey Jerome, Summer Program Director, for more information.
Widjiwagan Trail Counselors are involved in all aspects of our summer wilderness tripping program. Their primary responsibility is to lead summer campers on wilderness canoe and backpack trips, ranging in length from 5 to 14 nights (for first-year staff). Widji intro and intermediate level canoe trips travel through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) and Quetico Provincial Park in Canada. Intro and intermediate backpacking trips travel all across the US including Isle Royale on Lake Superior, the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming and the Spanish Peaks in Montana. Widji offers a trip progression for campers and staff where the challenge, length and remoteness of our trips increases each successive summer. Senior staff who return for 5 to 6 years may have the opportunity to cap their Widji experience by leading a 40 day canoe trip through the Canadian tundra on the Dubawnt, Kazan and/or Thelon rivers or backpack through the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or the Brooks Range in Alaska. Widji Wilderness trips are generally solo led with the expectation of trips for our youngest campers. Participation in mealtime activities, light maintenance, completion of session paperwork and attending staff meetings are required. Other duties may also be assigned. Periodic involvement as a support staff member will be scheduled. Staff are compensated with a daily rate, room and board, subsidized Wilderness First Responder and Lifeguarding/Wilderness Water Safety Certifications as well as the opportunity to travel though some of the most beautiful places in the world, gain leadership skills and impact the lives of some awesome young people. Individuals interested in applying for this position need to complete an online application. Must be 19 years old before September to be considered.
Assistant Trail Counselor
This position is open to prospective staff ages 18 and over. Assistant Trail Guides will be employed from July 24, 2022 to August 26, 2022. This is a great opportunity to find out what leading trips at Widjiwagan is all about without making a full summer commitment. Assistant Trail Guides will start their experience with a 5-day training session. After completing their training, Assistant Trail Guides can expect to co-lead 1-2 overnight canoe or backpack trips for groups of 3-5 11–13-year-old campers. They will also be asked to assist in general camp maintenance between leading groups. In addition to a daily pay rate of $80/day, Assistant Trail Guides will receive lodging and food. They will also be paid for every day that they work whether they are leading a group of campers or working around Widji proper. The priority deadline for Assistant Trail Guide applications is February 1 with additional candidates reviewed on a rolling basis after this deadline. Applicants will be required to complete a First Aid and CPR certification prior to arrival.
Support Staff Positions
Widjiwagan also hires seasonal support staff for our summer season. These folks are the "grease" of our program machinery and truly make camp happen. We offer a variety of support staff positions. Our support staff work on everything from purchasing, repairing and distributing gear to cooking, maintaining our vehicle fleet and supporting our Health Professionals. Individuals need exposure to the general skills associated with their role but should expect a variety of responsibilities associated with supporting our campers and trail counselors as they prepare for and return from wilderness trips. Permanent housing and food are provided for on-site staff throughout the summer. Our support staff are also compensated with an hourly pay rate. Individuals interested in applying for these positions need to complete an online application. Candidates must be 18 to be considered.
- Trail Building Associate - apply as Camp Lead
- Office Staff - apply as Camp Lead
- Cook or Kitchen Assistant - apply as Camp Kitchen Staff
- Summer Maintenance Assistant - apply as Camp Maintenance Staff
Boy and Girls Outdoor Leadership Development Program (BOLD & GOLD) Wilderness Intern
The YMCA's BOLD & GOLD program, operating at YMCA Camp Widjiwagan, hires 16-18 year old Wilderness Interns. The Internship Program offers young leaders the opportunity to develop their wilderness, leadership, interpersonal and intercultural skills. Interns will participate in a 10 day training session where they will receive group management, experiential education and wilderness skills instruction. Following their training trip, Interns will spend a 12 day session working in conjunction with a Widji Trail Staff member to lead a 5-8 day long canoe trip for campers ages 12-15. Preference is given to BOLD & GOLD graduates but all are welcome to apply. Individuals interested in applying for this position need to complete an online application.
Applications must be received by March 19th. Please email Audrey Jerome, Summer Program Director, with questions.