Nature Area Head Educator

Hiring Organization: Camp Echo - YMCA
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Fremont, MI
Application Deadline: May 31, 2017

I have been associated with Camp Echo for 51 years. It is simply a place for many of us to return to--often. The camp consists of 620 acres and the main camp area is 47 acres located on a peninsula of Long Lake in Fremont, Michigan. Fremont is on the edge of the Manistee National Forest and close to the North Country Trail, about 45 minutes north of Grand Rapids. It is the home of Gerber Baby Food. 

The Camp: 

The camp’s property was originally owned by the Ryerson Logging Company and supplied timber for faraway places such as Chicago, after the Great Fire. The camp includes forest, several pine stands, prairie, an orchard, marshland, farmed fields, vernal ponds, and freshwater streams. Here is a link to a stewardship plan that we completed recently, which underscores camp’s commitment to the property:  

Many Echo alumni have pursued careers that keep their hands in the soil, including organic farming, food science, forestry, gardening, earth sciences education, conservation, and orcharding. 

Several years ago the Camp built a nature center as a home for its nature education activities, where campers have an opportunity to engage in all aspects of the camp’s ecological offerings. 

The opportunity: 

The Nature Area Head is the camp’s nature educator. Questions about geology, woodlands, wildlife, soils, stewardship are often on the minds of inquisitive campers and this particular area head is a vital resource to inviting kids to experience and learn about the great outdoors. While the Nature Area Head may not have expertise in all of these areas, helping campers to find answers is important. Nature walks, classroom activities, orchard visits, forest education, conservation activities, and organic techniques just scratch the surface of the possibilities for projects. 

The Nature Area Head is a member of a carefully chosen camp staff which aligns around the camp values of honesty, caring, responsibility, respect. Staff members are actively recruited from the US and Europe, and include people of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities. 

The Nature Area Head is also a cabin counselor, who along with their co-counselor are responsible for 10 campers. Camp counselors serve as role models and mentors for campers. 

I would be happy to talk with applicants about the Orchard. Tom Hodgman, a fellow alumnus and executive with the Nature Conservancy, or Scott Tyink, the property manager, are knowledgeable about the property. Sarah Cort is the camp director and she will make the hiring decision. 

In 2017 we plan to concentrate on compost—compost tea, effective microbes, vermicomposting, bokashi and numerous project involving compost. 


Chuck Heisinger