top of page

Island Steward


Type/Department: Direct Care/Island Staff

Reporting: Reports to Camp Director, Director of Operations, Executive Director



Penikese Island School hosts a series of week-long residential Science + Nature Camps for middle-school girls on Penikese Island’s 75-acre preserve. Staff orientation will be June 24-28. Camp sessions will run Monday-Friday, from July 1 - August 2.  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 5-day/4-night session 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 2 Island Stewards and 3 Camp Counselors live together with 12 female campers in rustic accommodations on Penikese Island.


The Island Stewards oversee the daily operations of island life and serve as support for camp -- preparing all meals and snacks, overseeing the facilities and systems, and managing the housekeeping tasks and chores. The Island Stewards will serve as mentors and role models for campers as well as for the three Counselors. Together with the counselors, Stewards have an integral role in monitoring the wellbeing of campers. The program is reliant on all staff working and living together in a community. There is a daily staff meeting as well as a daily community meeting at the end of day.


We seek two Island Stewards who are fun, creative, and energetic, with a passion for the outdoors and for remote, “off-the-grid” living and an interest in youth education & STEAM programming. Our ideal candidates have experience as a teacher for middle-school aged youth, with a science background being a plus. Our ideal candidates also have 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. 

  • Act as the point person for dispensing medications, and managing health records.

  • Fulfill the role of "safety officer", able to present to each incoming group the safety procedures on the island.

  • Prepare 3 meals and 2 snacks daily. The Steward will need to manage food allergies and other camper health conditions, adapting the weekly meal plan options accordingly.

  • Create a weekly inventory of food, household items, and other items that will need to be ordered/procured for the upcoming week of camp. Working with guidance from the Camp Director regarding the budget.

  • Clean the dishes for all meals and snacks, with help from Counselors and campers.

  • General housekeeping, cleaning, and tidying of common spaces, with help from Counselors and campers.

  • Manage and instruct 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 the emergency systems weekly.

  • Interact personally with each camper and each Counselor every day. 

  • Check in with the Camp Director consistently, communicating regularly with shore staff about the status of systems and supplies.

  • Lead the daily staff meetings with the Counselors, unless Camp Director is present and will be leading the meeting.

  • Lead or coordinate who will lead the daily community meeting with campers at the end of the day. This is an integral part of our programming and it has tremendous value for the camper experience.

  • Awake overnight duty may be required in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

  • Complete all mandated training sessions prior to the start of camp. (CPR, First Aid, ServSafe, etc.)

  • 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 two Island Stewards are the “heads of staff.” Together, with the three Counselors, this staff team of five will meet incoming campers Monday morning at the Shore Office, traveling to and living on Penikese Island together until Friday afternoon, returning with the campers around 4:00pm on Fridays.  Each staff member will have Saturdays and Sundays off. Weekend housing is available at our Shore Office if needed. 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. Some electronic use may be required for doing the job -- such as receiving texts regarding boat times and other communications from land; inventorying of food; and setting up for instructor presentations. 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.

  • At least 5 years of experience in leadership positions with supervisory roles.

  • Must enjoy spending time outdoors and be comfortable living in rustic conditions in a remote setting.

  • Must be able to work outside daily and in a variety of weather conditions.

  • Must enjoy working flexibly and collaboratively with others.

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

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

  • ServSafe Food Manager and Handler certification will be 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 1 - August 2) as well as complete all necessary pre-Camp online certifications and participate in the pre-Camp orientation and training week, June 24-28.


Other desirable attributes: 

  • STEAM background or outdoor education background preferred.

  • Previous residential camp experience preferred.

  • Previous experience working with middle school-aged students is highly desirable.

  • Previous experience preparing meals for a group is desirable.

  • Lifeguard certification is 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




bottom of page