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Blacksmithing Instructor

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Forge Your Path This Summer

Blacksmithing Instructor Description

Blacksmiths will be instructing and forging at Falling Creek’s own shop on property, which has six forges and ten anvils, for ample workspace. Blacksmithing instruction is offered each weekday, and you’ll be teaching boys ages 10-16 years old with varying skill levels. Blacksmithing is offered as a daily “block” activity, where boys sign up to forge during all 3 morning activity periods, or all 3 afternoon activity periods.

You can learn more about the art and science of blacksmithing at Falling Creek in this blog.

Blacksmithing instructors teach safety and forging techniques according to our progression level system, and have the opportunity to guide and assist more advanced campers with more technical projects. We provide all the tools and equipment you need.

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What’s a Typical Day Like For This Position?

Male camp counselors live in a cabin with one other counselor and eight campers. In addition to their activity instruction, male counselors will have an assortment of responsibilities related to the management of their cabin. Female camp counselors also serve as activity staff, but don’t live in cabins with the campers, and are responsible instead for organizational tasks during the times that male staff are busy with their cabins.

Each day at camp begins with waking up as a cabin and gathering as a community at Morning Watch. Next we enjoy a hearty breakfast and an exciting Morning Assembly on the porch. Then it’s off to the first three activity periods of the day (your morning block), followed by a period of Free Choice before lunch. On a typical day, each counselor will be assigned a specific area to supervise during one Free Choice period, and have the other Free Choice period to themselves as their “Self-Care Time”. Rest Hour happens after lunch, before the three activity periods in the afternoon (your afternoon block). Then there is the second Free Choice period, dinner, and a fun Evening Program! A typical day ends with Milk and Cookies, followed by Evening Embers, a discussion time with your cabin mates to talk about the day’s adventures. Everyone is tired and happy by the time it’s Lights Out. On weekends, we take a break from our regular activity instruction, sleep in an extra hour, and play games as a whole camp community.

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At Falling Creek, campers are free to sign up for the activities they want on their daily schedule. Even though you might have 8 boys in your cabin who are the same age, you’ll be instructing a variety of ages and skill levels throughout the day in your 2.5 hour activity blocks. On a typical day in the blacksmithing shop, you’ll start by leading a safety clinic and begin teaching blacksmithing terminology and basic tool use. As campers return to the shop and progress, they’ll make arrowheads, iron leaves, J-hooks, candlestick holders, door handles, and more. Over time, you’ll be able to help campers create more technically challenging projects, or come up with ideas to forge something from their imagination.

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Our blacksmithing program has well established progressions, and many campers set their sights on the highest rank of Blacksmith Apprentice (the Warrior level). This is the only activity at camp with an age limit, and campers must be 10 years of age or older to participate. Both campers and staff are required to wear proper clothing and safety glasses at all times in the shop. Blue jeans (or other 100% natural fiber pants), non-synthetic shirts, and closed toe shoes are required in the blacksmith shop.

Need internship credit?

Many of our counselors who need internship credit to graduate don’t realize that they can earn that credit while working at camp! We can coordinate with your department to tailor a unique learning experience, and have set up internship credit across a wide variety of disciplines. Read more about the value of an internship at camp or how to translate your camp experience to your resume.

Working at camp isn’t just fun and rewarding, it’s also a great way to jumpstart your professional development. The skills critical for success in today’s world are developed and practiced at camp, including communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and contribution. You’ll make connections with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds, across the country and around the world. Being a Falling Creek alumni also connects you to a network of former staff and parents who are business owners, entrepreneurs, outdoor industry professionals, and employers. We are frequently asked to refer our most talented staff members.

Career Development & Resources
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Why Should You Be a Blacksmith at Summer Camp?

Each day at camp brings adventure, physical recreation, and endless opportunities for personal and professional growth. As a blacksmith and camp counselor, you’ll be a role model for the boys both in and out the shop, and will gain valuable experience in both teaching and creating art. Blacksmiths are able to teach boys a historic trade, while supporting creative expression, inventiveness, and building motor skills. If you’re majoring in art or education, being a summer camp blacksmith will give you helpful skills for your future career path. Even if your college major is unrelated to art or education, you’ll still be gaining leadership skills and networking connections that will give you a competitive edge in the job market, no matter where you’re headed next.

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We don’t start you at the bottom and give you busywork; you are directly involved in running camp and helping campers succeed. If you are a male counselor, you’ll be responsible for the eight campers in your cabin, as well as the campers you instruct in your activity(s). Instructing a group of campers will challenge you, but you’ll learn how to be a more engaging and encouraging teacher, better logistics manager, and help boys learn new skills that can easily lead to new passions. At the end of the summer your coaching and leadership skills will become more defined and polished.

What’s My Time-Off Like?

Each week you’ll receive a scheduled time-off period of 34 consecutive hours. In 2023 the time-off period began in the morning around breakfast on the first day, allowed you to be off throughout the reminder of that day and night, and required you to return the following day in late afternoon, around dinner. Staff are also able to take an hour of “self-care time” each day at camp, where you are free to read, workout, nap, or do anything you need to “recharge your batteries” daily. Everyone gets the same amount of time off; the schedule is based on your position and role at camp. Being well-rested and refreshed is a must! (During session changeover weeks, this schedule is altered slightly.)

What Benefits Do I Get?

We offer a competitive and progressive pay schedule that is determined based on your experience, age, education, certifications, and other factors. See the 2024 Estimated Pay Sheet here. Staff working the full summer (Orientation plus 4 sessions) will have a base pay of $4300, not including additional pay, experience, and bonuses.

In addition to housing, food, and pay, each day at camp brings adventure, physical recreation, and endless opportunities for personal and professional growth. You are welcome to use the camp facilities and participate in activities during your free time, so long as it does not take away from a class or camper.

Visit our “What You Get” page to read more about the value of an internship at camp, how to translate your camp experience to your resume, resources, networking, and certifications offered.

When Do I Need To Be Available?

While individual dates may differ based on your personal contract, our summer season is from mid May to mid August, and our preference is to hire for the full season. For the 2024 season, All-Staff Orientation begins on May 30th. Closing day is August 16th after the final session. Depending on your role at camp, you may need to arrive earlier in May for additional training (Lifeguard Training, the WFR Certification Course, Compass Horse Training, Adventure Staff Training, etc.) The WFR training for adventure staff will begin on May 18. You also have the option to extend your contract by joining us for Father/Son Weekends and/or Family Camp.

What Essential Skills Are Needed?

Completed At Least One Year of College and/or At Least 19 Years Old.

Our mission is existing to shepherd the journey of personal growth through love and adventure. Staff must be dedicated to live by the Falling Creek Code.

Patient. Flexible. Team Player. Genuinely Enthusiastic. Friendly. Eager to Grow. Open to Offer and Receive Feedback. Able to Think on Your Feet. Good Decision Maker. Hard Working. Get-It-Done Attitude.

See more on our staff FAQs page.