Academic Program Leader, Headfirst Summer Camps: 2017-1737

The Position

Reporting to the Site Leader, the Academic Program Leader at Headfirst Summer Camps manages the staff and curriculum for our Connect. Create. Discover. (CCD) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs while ensuring the safety, enjoyment, and emotional well-being of every CCD and STEM camper. Our Program Leaders are dedicated professionals who lead with integrity, providing their staff with honest, respectful, and constructive assessments that enhance the camper experience and encourage professional development. The Academic Program Leader is a master of the CCD and STEM programs, faciliatating the implementation of the programs’ curricula with meticulous attention to detail and an emphasis on consistent and enriching instruction. The Academic Program Leader is a thoughtful, empathetic, and approachable manager who nevertheless holds their staff to the same high standards to which they hold themselves.  Finally, the Academic Program Leader is also a customer experience agent who finds innovative ways to provide Headfirst Summer Camps families with personalized feedback on their campers.

The Work

Pre-Camp Season

  • Attend leadership training in late spring and/or early summer.
  • Attend and help facilitate Counselors’ trainings in late May and/or early June.
  • Master the Headfirst Summer Camps CCD and STEM curricula and other materials, offering feedback and adjustments that will improve the program.
  • Participate in all required webinars and online trainings.
  • Vigorously review program curricula, schedules, and staff responsibilities and raise any questions to appointed HQ contact.
  • Submit all required paperwork on time.

Camp Season

  • Ensure staff are prepared and motivated to execute the CCD and STEM curricula, policies, and safety protocols with energy, integrity, and passion.
  • Build strong connections with staff and campers, taking personal responsibility for the well-being, enjoyment, and development of all program participants.
  • Serve as a role model for campers and staff in demonstrating positive attitudes, respectful communication, appropriate attire and grooming, and a diligent work ethic.
  • Lead staff morning meetings with the CCD and STEM Assistant Program Leaders to ensure that there is an open line of communication and each program has the necessary tools to succeed.
  • Coach all seasonal staff on how to execute activities and games, as well as various behavior management techniques and “tricks of the trade.” Teach and re-teach throughout the summer by hosting frequent morning trainings.
  • Work as part of a team to foster a safe, fun, and supportive camp environment grounded upon Headfirst Summer Camps’ mission and values.
  • Implement Headfirst Summer Camps’ traditions, games, policies, procedures, and safety protocols.
  • Maintain enthusiasm and focus throughout busy days during which you will supervise and participate in every aspect of programming including, but not limited to, recreational and instructional activities, art, science, team-building, and sports, as well as lunchtime and carpool.
  • Play a vital role in the efficiency and safety of AM/PM carpools.
  • Evaluate each team member’s performance and provide written and verbal feedback.
  • Lead large group meetings for both staff and campers daily.
  • Communicate respectfully, clearly, and kindly with all members of the Headfirst Summer Camps community, including HQ, fellow camp leadership, direct reports and other team members, campers, and campers' families.
  • Work in all weather conditions.
  • Take responsibility for campers’ belongings throughout camp day, holding items for safekeeping when necessary.
  • Meet and enforce Headfirst Summer Camps dress code and appearance requirements.
  • Keep an inventory of all-summer and week-specific supplies for your program and alert the appropriate point of contact when items are needed.
  • Call or meet with parents as requested to provide customer connection and relay important information on camper experience.
  • Participate in and help facilitate all required in-season trainings, webinars, and team meetings.
  • Attend all special events as assigned, interacting with families and assisting with set up/clean up.
  • Report any issue, question, or concern regarding the campers promptly to the Site Leader; notify appropriate on-site and/or HQ leadership immediately of any evidence of substance abuse, child abuse, child neglect, severe medical conditions, individuals appearing to be under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances around campers, or any other potentially dangerous conditions or situation.
  • Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior in working with campers, campers’ families, fellow team members, leadership, and facility partners while upholding the Headfirst Summer Camps core values at all times.
  • Adhere to state law, Headfirst Summer Camps policies and procedures, and contractual obligations.
  • Take on additional responsibilities as assigned by the Headfirst Summer Camps leadership team and not otherwise prohibited by law or regulation.

The Requirements

  • At least 21 years of age.
  • An associate’s degree or equivalent educational experience.
  • Minimum 2 years of experience teaching or working with children.
  • Minimum 1 year of experience supervising and developing direct reports.
  • CPR/First Aid Certification, or ability to obtain CPR/First Aid Certification before May 31, 2018.
  • Preferred: Completion or pursuit of a degree in an education-related field.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and respectfully, at all times and in all situations.
  • Ability to work well with a variety of age, interest, skill, and developmental levels.
  • Ability to exercise good judgement, follow instructions, and properly implement Headfirst processes and policies in order to ensure the safety and emotional well-being of campers and team members.
  • Ability to approach each day and its unique challenges with enthusiasm, patience, and a sense of humor.
  • Ability to successfully complete a background check subject to applicable law.
  • Ability to successfully perform all essential job functions (please note: this description reflects the current assessment of essential functions; it does not proscribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned). Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Please contact the Headfirst Summer Camps Talent Department for more information.

The Character

  • An impassioned enterpriser who shares The Headfirst Companies’ core mission and values, and believes in our ability to work together to make a difference in the lives of children and young adults.
  • A highly motivated self-starter who is autonomous and dependable.
  • A team player who approaches professional hurdles with a strong sense of individual responsibility and a sincere emphasis on team over self.
  • A consummate professional who has the ability to prioritize and multi-task, managing several projects concurrently, sometimes under pressure, and often with tight deadlines, while maintaining a positive attitude and professional demeanor.
  • A vocal, energetic, and enthusiastic leader who possesses the charisma, passion, and polish to serve as an ambassador of The Headfirst Companies.
  • A doer who has an entrepreneurial spirit and a focus on finishing the job every day.
  • A problem-solver who assumes responsibility beyond what is asked, and takes initiative.
  • A flexible, coachable, and down-to-earth teammate who has the desire and capacity to grow through self-reflection, and by both providing and receiving thoughtful, constructive performance feedback.
  • A patient individual with a stellar sense of humor.

The Headfirst Companies are proud to be Equal Opportunity Employers.


Meet Some of The Headfirst Companies's Employees

Joey G.

Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel

Joey guides The Headfirst Companies’ strategic vision by determining paths for improvement and balancing continual growth with increasingly personalized programs.

Abby H.

Associate, Product Marketing—Summer Camps

Abby communicates with parents to provide important information about camper success in summer programs, while also overseeing the company’s advertising campaigns and on-site staff training.


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