Tamarack Adventure and Retreat Center - Director
The Fresh Air Society, d/b/a Tamarack Camps, was founded in 1902 – initially organized as a camp for immigrant mothers and children (located on Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan). From its humble beginnings over a century ago which started with 2 women providing a handful of children an opportunity to experience the “fresh air,” today, Tamarack Camps has grown to serve over 13,000 individuals, annually.
Our main campus in Ortonville, Michigan (Oakland County) is a 1200-acre reserve nestled a short distance from the urban bustle of Metropolitan Detroit — yet feels like a different world. This landscape provides a foundation, the canvas upon which Tamarack Camps has the potential to build, engage, connect, and educate countless individuals.
Annually, through its residential camping program at Camp Maas, Agree Outpost Camp (Ontario, Canada), Camp Kennedy (Munising, Michigan), three (and sometimes four) Western Trips, two Alaska experiences, and an excursion to Israel, Tamarack Camps is home to approximately 1,250 Detroit-area Jewish children and teens, as well as 90 Israeli campers. In addition to its camper population, Tamarack Camps summer programming engages and trains a staff of 400 (approximately) college-age young adults from the Metro Detroit area and from around the world. Further, throughout the year, Tamarack Camps also provides extensive family camp opportunities for 1,300 (approximately) additional participants (children and parents and/or grandparents).
Beyond the resident summer camp, teen and family camp programs, Tamarack Camps, through the Tamarack Adventure and Retreat Center (“TARC”), provides year-round activities for the general community, and, annually, serves more than 10,000 participants e.g., fifth grade camp, band camps, and other secular and non-secular groups. TARC staff are experts in expanding participants comfort zones and strengthening individual and group dynamics.
Authority and Accountability
The Director for Tamarack Adventure and Retreat Center (TARC) oversees, provides leadership, and responsibility for achieving success for the outdoor education programs. Develop relationships and connections within the community, oversee booking of groups, ensure quality programming and manage all client and staff needs at camp. This year-round position also includes summer assignments with Camp Maas. The Director of TARC reports directly to the Chief Executive Office and works closely with the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Camp Maas.
Experience & qualifications: Bachelors degree or higher (or active candidate for same) plus three years experience working in an outdoor education environment or related field. Strong computer skills including Microsoft office suite and familiarity with camp data base management. American Red Cross Lifeguard, CPR, and First Aid certified or willingness to achieve. Multi-task oriented; is flexible and self-starter and is able to directly oversee up to 30 seasonal employees. Has the desire to continuously train and educate both self and others. Demonstrates knowledge of the experiential learning cycle. Has familiarity with current Michigan Grade Level Expectations Content, and National Education Standards (Common Core). Candidate must be comfortable observing and providing quality feedback to staff regarding teaching and program facilitation strategies. Familiarity and willingness to care for animals housed onsite. World class customer service and communication skills. Must be adept at balancing a $1 million budget.
Supplementary but not required: ACCT certified practitioner. ACCT/PRCA/ACA/AEE membership(s), Project Wild / Project Learning Tree, MI CDL license with passenger endorsement, American Red Cross lifeguard instructor certification, WFA certification. Familiarity with challenge course programming and standards with both high and low elements is desirable.
Areas of responsibility:
The Director will directly oversee the Operations Coordinator, Program Coordinator, as well as the Farber Farmer and farm staff. The major areas of responsibility include, but are not limited to:
- Provide leadership, management, and execution of top-quality outdoor and experiential education programming for a wide variety of audiences
- Oversee customer experiences for all Outdoor Education and Butzel Retreat Center groups
- Directly supervise all full-time Outdoor Education and farm staff. And up to 30 part-time, seasonal staff
- Ensure Operations Coordinator is in communication with every group prior to, during, and after their trip
- Track metrics on activities occurring at camp and identify trends
- Work closely with CFO to determine budgetary needs, track spending, produce yearly projections, determine staffing salary needs, and ensure that the financial trajectory of the TARC program is stable or favorable. The budget must be balanced in any fiscal year
- Consistently monitor and update outdoor education programs to align with current Michigan State Standards, Common Core, and best practices in outdoor and experiential education
- Work closely with TARC leadership team to disseminate teaching strategies and best practices in education to be passed to seasonal staff
- Ensure the Program Coordinator is maintaining federal and state permit requirements for all federally and state-permitted animals in the nature center (all migratory birds and mammals)
- Produce trip quotes in collaboration with the Operations Coordinator
- Demonstrate excellence in communication and customer service
- Oversee bookings and master group schedules for all rental groups at Butzel Retreat Center and Camp Maas. Ensure that logistics coordination is occurring between TARC, food service, housekeeping, and maintenance
- Conduct weekly standing meetings with housekeeping, food service, TARC leadership team, management team, and direct supervisor
- Responsible for identifying new sales targets and closing the sales. Responsible for attracting a minimum of $100 000 in new business annually
- Identify previous TARC groups that are likely to come back and rebook them
- Conduct selective pre-camp parent meetings at schools for visiting groups
- Participate in annual training and recertification programs
- Participate in local community events, i.e., chamber of commerce, to maintain goodwill and promote networking
- Remain active with ANCA (Association for Nature Center Administrators)
- Manage and support the Farber farmer
- Provide oversight and final decisions when needed for hiring and training of seasonal residential and hourly staff for all program areas
- When on duty, act as the primary contact and customer service representative for all visiting groups to ensure groups’ needs are meet from arrival to departure (typically one week per month)
- Provide constant and continual feedback to new and returning staff to promote excellence in the field
- Member of the Management Team
- Encourage collaboration between TARC staff and the rest of the agency with special regard to staffing, training, and development of programmatic areas.
- Be available on evenings and weekends as assigned
- This is a residential position, must be able to live on camp during assigned periods (accommodations provided)
- During the summer months, have a senior leadership role for the Camp Maas program
- Oversee and be responsible for check-in and check-outs for all groups
Full-time to begin on or about January 2023
To Apply send cover letter and resume to [email protected]