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Teach Kids How To Use Power-Tools & Build Huge Art
Project Ember

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Teach Kids How To Use Power-Tools & Build Huge Art
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Project Ember

Job Summary

$18-20 per hour
Job Type
Full-time, Summer
Job Last Posted
Job posted 4 days ago
Job Role
Camp Counselor
Employer's Industry
Arts & Entertainment, Education
Job Schedule

Job Description

Teach Kids How To Use Power-Tools & Build Huge Art!

After reading the description below please apply by filling out this form and submit a resume, cover letter, and any documentation of a project you’d like to share with us. If you have any questions, you can reach out to  

Project Ember is an artistic engineering camp where kids come together to tackle outrageous challenges and create their own larger than life solutions. Every week we build something we’ve never seen before, collaborate with friends to design and create epic project and celebrate every success and failure along the way. You can learn more by watching our new video. Join us as a collaborator (camp counselor) and help create an amazing space where kids create amazing things. Read more about working with us on our website. 


Menlo Park, CA 94025 | June 17th - August 8th | Full Time | Seasonal - Summer 2019 

Work with kids ages 8-14 to engineer larger than life art, sculpture, structures, puppets, vehicles, mechanisms and more. Create a community of learners who celebrate mistakes, honor sincerity, and value the power of both the individual and the team. Use a huge range of supplies and tools from standard arts and crafts, to power tools and dimensional lumber. Don’t worry, no previous tool-use skills required! Your primary role will be supporting and guiding kids through the complex process of working on a team to make something bigger than themselves (figuratively and literally). You will be a teammate, doing the work right along side the kids (read more about what is a collaborator ?). You will be a facilitator, making sure every voice is heard and guiding the kids through compromise and towards consensus. You will be a leader tilting the environment towards engagement, and the project towards completion. At other times you will have to hold firm boundaries that keep kids physically and emotionally safe. Above all else, you will help create a space where kids at our camp feel seen, heard and loved. 

Program Responsibilities and Expectations  

  • Co-develop curriculum and pick the summer’s projects with the rest of staff (we co-design summer to make sure everyone has a project they are stoked about)
  • Attend weekly and daily meetings to discuss improving camp and meeting kids’ needs
  • Build large-scale projects with kids utilizing power tools (we will teach you how!)
  • Facilitate group discussions and brainstorms
  • Play games inside and outside
  • Regularly assess the needs of the group and the individuals within.
  • Improvise on-the-fly responses to unexpected challenges
  • Facilitate transitions between activities

Maintain an emotionally and physically safe environment:  

  • Uphold Project Ember’s tool use safety policies (to be covered in training)
  • Model and teach inclusivity
  • Facilitate meaningful collaboration and mediate conflict among campers
  • Bandage scrapped knees, have heart to hearts, and celebrate vulnerability

Non-Programatic Responsibilities and Expectations  

  • Keep the site clean, orderly, and safe
  • Potentially supervise before care, aftercare, snack, lunch and park time (though never all of them in a single day)
  • Stay late on the last day of summer to make sure the site is left better than we found it (overtime will be paid as is appropriate)
  • Give and receive specific feedback to and from a supervisor
  • Regularly submit camper notes (these help us maintain multi-year relationships with alumni and track things like projects they worked on and delightful moments they where apart of)

Physical Demands  

  • Occasional Lifting up to 50lbs 
  • Computer use (typing, reading)
  • Speaking to communicate both up close and over large distances
  • Seeing to maintain line-of-sight with campers
  • Kneeling, leaning, and/or squatting (primarily to interact with kids and projects)
  • Siting on the floor or standing for long periods of time


  • You have started and completed a project of your own volition AND/OR You have experience working with children as a teacher, camp counselor, or mentor (informal experience welcome).
  • You enjoy spending time with kids.
  • You are an excellent communicator.
  • You are swift to adapt to changing situations and have high tolerance for uncertainty.
  • You are committed to safety and high quality program delivery.
  • You can pass a criminal background check.
  • You are first aid certified (you can get certification after hiring and before camp starts)


  • The ability to understand and make oneself understood with Spanish speaking families
  • Formal training AND/OR real-world experience in progressive education.


  • Location: Synapse School, Menlo Park, CA
  • Type:Full Time, Seasonal, Hourly
  • Compensation: $17 - $21 per hour depending on skills and experience.
  • Hours:40 hour weeks. 8 hour days. Occasional but expected 9 to 10 hour days (with overtime pay as is appropriate). Shifts are between 8am and 6pm (eg 8am-4pm or 10am-6pm), and may fluctuate week-to-week.
  • Dates: June 17th - August 8th - Please expect to work late on August 7th and 8th. We will avoid it if possible, but we must leave our host site better than we found it.


Please submit a cover letter and résumé, along with a sample of your work (photos will do fine) to the linked form. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Business Overview

Our Story


We make large scale projects because they captivate and unleash the imagination. We might challenge our kids to conceive of a mechanism that allows the smallest member of their team to safely lift the rest off the ground, a sophisticated engineering feat. But our prompts go beyond the technical into the artistic terrain of world-building. Why are they being lifted? Who's lifting them? Where does the scene take place? By asking kids to contextualize their design within a world, they are challenged to think holistically, projects offer more avenues for connection, and most importantly, we stretch the imagination to its limits. The complexity and scale of our design challenges also create authentic motivation for collaboration; it's near impossible (and a lot less fun) to bring these worlds to life without teamwork and solid communication.

No kits. No blueprints. No guarantees it will work. Just a challenge, curious minds, a cooperative environment, and a whole lot of screws.  


Yup, practice. We think of creativity like any muscle that must be warmed up, stretched, challenged, nourished, rested then worked again. At Project Ember, we obsess over creating an environment that supports the formation of a creative habit. We say yes to crazy ideas. To create stability and restore energy amidst the uncertainty and challenges of a complex project, we use both ritual and play. We celebrate mistakes, and plan our project time so we can investigate and make revisions when things go wrong.


Curiosity is at the heart of an engaging and rewarding life. It allows us to see the things we don't yet know as opportunities rather than an obstacles. When we value the ability to ask good questions over information recall, it makes kids both better listeners and doers. This approach closes the gap between novice and expert, creating less intimidating environments for collaboration. A curious mind is humble and observant and its joy is infectious. It infuses learning with wonder and drives exploration of new terrain. To develop a curious mind is to invite a child to a lifelong practice of self-motivated learning.  


We ask kids to dream big and work hard. Our projects are ambitious; creative thinking and curiosity alone won't see us to the finish line. We need elbow grease and resilience to get it done. We need grit.

Grit separates brilliant ideas from brilliant creations. Thinking is easy, starting is hard, and finishing can seem nearly impossible. Grit get us to the other side of the hurdles that stand between us and successfully bringing our ideas to life. 

Why Work With Us?

Join a summer camp where we see each camper as a whole person who we want to get to know. Work for a place that supports kids’ vulnerability and creativity, empowers them with trust (and power tools), and celebrates sincerity.

Team Size

1-10 team members


Culture & Perks

Women Owned
Casual Dress
Happy Hours
Community Oriented
Mission Driven
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