Island Steward


Type/Department: Direct Care/Island Staff

Reporting: Reports to Camp Director & Director of Operations


Penikese Island School hosts a series of week-long residential Science + Nature Camps for middle-school girls on Penikese Island’s 75-acre preserve. Camp sessions will run from July 11 - August 20. The goal of these camp sessions is to empower girls in the sciences by providing them with role models of women in STEM in an effort to help end gender imbalance in the sciences. Campers will learn about the ecology and natural history of the Elizabeth Islands, and the varied history of Penikese Island. The cornerstone of this experience is the opportunity to engage with female scientists from nearby, world-renowned Woods Hole scientific institutions. Each week visiting scientists and artists will share hands-on activities and artistic endeavors with campers. 

Each 6-day/5-night session (Monday - Saturday) is focused on STEAM activities and outdoor educational programming for 12 middle school-aged girls. Campers and staff reside together on a remotely located island/wildlife sanctuary 15 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. During camp sessions, the Island Steward, Camp Coordinator, and 3 Camp Counselors live together with 12 female campers in rustic accommodations on Penikese Island.

The Island Steward plans and prepares all meals and snacks and manages the general housekeeping tasks and chores. The Island Steward will serve as a mentor and role model for campers as well as the three Counselors. The Island Steward will also be responsible for keeping an eye on the systems and facilities, communicating with shore-based staff if any issues arise.

We seek an Island Steward who is fun, creative, and energetic, with a passion for the outdoors and for remote, “off-the-grid” living. Our ideal candidate has experience with camping, sailing, or other outdoor programs of a residential and rustic nature. Previous experience preparing meals for a group is desirable.


  • Carry out all policies and procedures related to the overall care of the campers, camp program, the island and its facilities. 

  • Prepare 3 meals and 2 snacks daily.

  • Create a weekly inventory of food, household items, and other things that will need to be ordered/procured for the upcoming week of camp.

  • Supervise dishwashing for all meals and snacks.

  • General housekeeping and tidying of common spaces. 

  • Supervise campers with daily household chores. 

  • Monitor and replace propane as needed.

  • Monitor and refill kerosene as needed.

  • Monitor the electrical system.

  • Monitor the water system.

  • Test emergency communication systems weekly.

  • Monitor general property maintenance, with some potential lawn and path mowing as needed.

  • Interact personally with each camper and counselor every day. 

  • Collaborate closely throughout the day with Camp Coordinator.

  • Communicate regularly with shore-staff about the status of systems and supplies.

  • Participate in the daily staff “check-in” meetings with Camp Coordinator and Counselors.

  • Awake overnight duty may be required. 

  • Complete all mandated training sessions prior to the start of camp. 

  • Be knowledgeable about camp policies and procedures, particularly emergency situations, health and safety matters. 

  • Be knowledgeable about policies and procedures described in the Employee Handbook and Camper/Parent Handbook. 

  • Be knowledgeable about the broad mission of the Penikese Island School. 

  • Model exemplary behavior and attitudes consistent with the philosophy and integrity of Penikese Island School. 


Our summer residential camp is located off-shore on 75-acre Penikese Island, an undeveloped “off-the-grid” environment featuring rocky, uneven terrain and tidal beaches. Travel is provided on the school’s 35’ power boat. The island itself is a wildlife sanctuary that is host to a large gull colony that creates a loud bird presence. Camp work requires physically demanding activities including, but not limited to, stairs, hiking, lifting and carrying. The Camp Coordinator and Island Steward are the two adult “heads of staff.” Together, with the three Counselors, this staff team of five will meet incoming campers Monday morning at the shore-based office, traveling to and living on Penikese Island together until Saturday morning, returning with the campers at noon on Saturday.  Each staff member will have Saturday afternoon and Sundays off. Living conditions on the island are rustic and in close quarters: electricity is limited to a few solar-powered LED lights and charging cables, nighttime lighting is provided mainly by oil lanterns, bathrooms are shared CLIVUS composting toilets, campers and counselors share one indoor and one outdoor shower. Although Penikese Island is fully connected with WiFi, we have intentionally created a device-free environment for campers.  Staff will have use of their devices during their down-time, out of view of campers. Daily work schedules can be unpredictable due to the nature & location of the program. Penikese offers “at-will” employment, providing no specified contract to employees.

Minimum Education/Skills/Experience: 

  • Must be at least 18 years of age and eligible for legal employment in the United States. 

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience required.

  • Must enjoy spending time outdoors.

  • Current CPR and First Aid certification required (may be acquired after applying for the job, but before camp begins).

  • Acceptable CORI report (criminal record check) & SORI (sex offender record check) is required and will be submitted by Penikese Island School.

  • Must be available to participate fully in all weeks of camp sessions offered (July 11 - August 20) as well as pre-camp online certifications and a 4-day orientation and training July 5-8.

Other desirable attributes: 

  • Previous experience in youth education and/or outdoor programming preferred.

  • Previous residential camp experience preferred.

  • STEAM background or outdoor education background a plus.

  • Current Wilderness First-Responder and/or Lifeguard certification highly desirable.


At Penikese Island School, we celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We hire people based on an evaluation of their capabilities, competence and merit. We do not discriminate on the basis of any other personal characteristic, identification or classification. Penikese is a proud Equal Opportunity workplace and an Affirmative Action employer.


1.00 Seasonal