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F.A.R.M. Instructor

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Ready, set, grow!

F.A.R.M. Instructor Description

F.A.R.M. stands for Food, Animals, Repurposing, and Manpower - all things that we learn about and use in the program. As a camp counselor and instructor at Falling Creek, you will care for the chickens, teach campers about composting and repurposing materials to reduce waste, use manpower instead of machinery, and grow different kinds of food in our eight raised beds. If you are a male counselor, you’ll also take care of the boys in your cabin. As a F.A.R.M. instructor, not only will you be helping plants and animals grow, you’ll be supporting the growth of campers as well.

Learn more about Falling Creek’s efforts as a “Green Camp” here

Throughout the summer you’ll teach skills associated with homesteading and gardening, including how to germinate seeds, care for plants, harvest and cook fruits and vegetables, and care for our flock of chickens. You’ll be teaching a wide range of ages and skill levels, and helping to foster a love of nature and animals in the next generation. Just like other activities at camp, boys have the opportunity to work on the five different progression levels in the F.A.R.M. program, culminating with the achievement of “Warrior”. We provide all the supplies and gear you’ll need for gardening and caring for animals.

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What’s a Typical Day Like For This Position?

This blog shares a glimpse into a day at the F.A.R.M.!

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 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 activities of the day, 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. 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 choose the 6 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 50 minute long activity periods. On a typical day at the F.A.R.M, you might give a lesson on measuring soil pH, till a garden bed to prepare it for planting, work with the campers to clean the chicken coop, or cook omelets using fresh eggs and vegetables that you grew together. You and your fellow F.A.R.M. instructors will have lesson plans (that you can help build!) that will be tailored to cover all the different parts of gardening and homesteading.

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 F.A.R.M. Instructor?

As a F.A.R.M. instructor, you’ll play an important role in helping boys gain a better understanding of their footprint, as well as the importance of their influence on the environment.

Under your guidance, boys can experience a sample of this sustainable living culture during these activity periods. You’ll help them learn transferable skills that can be used in their everyday lives back home. Through the F.A.R.M., our goal is to strengthen the connection boys have with food and nature.

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As a camp counselor, you’ll be a role model for the boys both in and out of your activity, helping them gain both strength and confidence in a new skill. If you’re majoring in agriculture, outdoor education, or teaching, being a summer camp F.A.R.M. instructor will be a rewarding experience that will give you helpful skills for your future career path. Even if your college major is unrelated to farming or the outdoors, 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.

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.

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