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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

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

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

Spend Your Summer Designing and Building One of a Kind Creations with the Team at Project Ember

Calling all ambitious educators, artists, engineers - empaths and creatives of all kinds! Come spend your summer teaching kids to use power tools, saying yes to wild and imaginative designs, and creating a community where campers feel seen, heard, and valued.

Creativity thrives in spaces where everyone feels a sense of belonging; we are committed to creating an inclusive workplace for all employees, in celebration of all identities.

About Project Ember
Project Ember is an artistic engineering camp where kids collaboratively design and build interactive projects at a scale you have to see to believe. Every week of camp has a surprise theme, but beyond some guiding constraints, our campers have the creative freedom to design their very own projects. Without blueprints or kits, our campers and Collaborators (counselors) spend the week designing, prototyping, testing, iterating, and refining a project. And then we celebrate what we've made with a huge demonstration day. The magic of Project Ember lives at the intersection of daring creativity and inclusive collaboration. Kids are challenged to take big creative risks without guaranteed success and to work together to accomplish something bigger than they could imagine doing on their own. Vulnerability is an essential piece of meaningful creative output, personal growth, and teamwork, so we work tirelessly to create an environment where all campers feel a sense of belonging.

What's a Collaborator?
A collaborator is a teammate, not an omniscient leader. They join the kids as equals in all aspects of their project through conception, construction, revision, and presentation. They vulnerably suggest new ideas and humbly admit when they don’t know the answer. Their investment in the project is authentic; they’re stoked when an idea works, frustrated when a technical challenge seems insurmountable, yet convicted to keep moving forward. Collaborators uphold our community values (inclusivity, patience, creativity, curiosity, grit, empathy, and gratitude) by modeling them themselves.As leaders, collaborators keep an extra eye on their teammates’ engagement, safety, and learning. They constantly ask how they can make this experience more approachable and empowering for the kids who are struggling and more challenging for the kids who are excelling.

Program Responsibilities and Expectations

  • Build large-scale projects with kids utilizing power tools (we will teach you how!)
  • Facilitate daily design sessions, establishing the scope of the project and the daily goals
  • Uphold Project Ember’s tool use and risk management policies
  • Maintain an emotionally and physically safe environment​
      Model and teach inclusivity
      Facilitate meaningful collaboration and mediate conflict among campers
      Bandage scrapped knees, have heart to hearts, and celebrate vulnerability
  • Host games and program transitions
  • Share stories with families about their children
  • Co-develop curriculum and pick the summer's project themes with the rest of staff
  • Attend regular meetings focused on skills development and specific camper needs
  • Keep the site clean, orderly, and safe
  • Supervise before care, aftercare, snack, lunch and park time (though never all of them in a single day)
  • 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 were apart of)

Basic Qualifications

  • You have started and completed a significant project of your own volition
    You have experience working with children as a teacher, camp counselor, or mentor (informal experience welcome)
  • You care deeply for the well-being of young people and know how to take care of yourself so that you are able to meet their needs during program hours
  • You are an excellent communicator and are comfortable giving and receiving feedback
  • You are swift to adapt to changing situations and have a high tolerance for uncertainty.
  • You are committed to safety and high-quality program delivery
  • You can pass a criminal background check
  • You are 18+

Preferred Skills

  • The ability to understand and make oneself understood with Spanish speaking families
  • Formal training AND/OR real-world experience in progressive education.
  • First Aid, Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder or equivalent training (certification can take place after hiring)


  • Location: Synapse School, Menlo Park, CA
  • Employment: This is a full-time, seasonal job without benefits or paid vacation time
  • Compensation: $17 - $22 per hour depending on skills and experience
  • Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 - 4:30 or 9:15 - 5:15 (40 hour work week with occasional overtime opportunities)
  • Dates:
    Mandatory Staff Training June 17th - 21st
    Programs Dates: June 24th - August 2nd
    Debrief and Cleanup: August 5th - 8th - Please expect to work full days on August 7th and 8th


  • Occasional Lifting up to 50lb
  • 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)
  • Sitting on the floor or standing for long periods of time

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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