The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) is once again recruiting teenagers with a passion for the environment and education to be Junior Naturalists. Junior Naturalists help teach and supervise campers during Nature Camps. The program helps broaden teens’ leadership and communication skills.
“The Junior Naturalist program provides an excellent experience to include on a resume or college application,” said Education and Community Relations Director Lori Whalen. “Each year I watch proudly as teenagers with whom I’ve worked are accepted into prestigious universities. I am always thrilled to be asked to write a letter of recommendation for a college or internship application.”
The Junior Naturalist program was established in 1977. About 80 Junior Naturalists work at the ENC each year, volunteering a combined 2800 hours.
“I was a Junior Naturalist last year and absolutely loved it,” said Junior Naturalist Arya Jemal. “Seeing the impact you can have on one person’s life just by being a role model is amazing and personally satisfying. Working with kids helps you be the change you wish to see in the world.”
The ENC specifically seeks out teens that will help create a positive environment for campers by being good role models.
“They are our eyes and ears,” said Museum Collection Manager and Naturalist, Leslie Helliwell. “Without Junior Naturalists we could not run camps. Junior Naturalists help keep the campers engaged and interested.”
Before becoming a Junior Naturalist students must fill out an application and an adult (who is not a family member) must submit a reference form. Once the ENC receives an application and a reference form, a staff person contacts the prospective Junior Naturalist to schedule an interview.
Junior Naturalists also must attend a training session before each camp, so they are well prepared.
“We look for responsible teenagers who love to work with kids,” said Community Outreach Coordinator Sama Wareh. “They must take the initiative and be ready to work.”
For more info or to apply for the Junior Naturalist position, visit our website. Students, not parents, are responsible for communicating with ENC staff regarding the Junior Naturalist opportunity.
– Kayla Bernard, ENC Intern