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Staff

 

We believe that just like a high-quality education, an amazing summer camp experience should be available to all children. Camp Uncommon will offer campers the chance to expand their horizons through athletics, performing arts, art, photography, STEM, outdoor adventure, swimming, and other fun activities. Camp Uncommon will also give campers the chance to challenge themselves in a safe space, and make new, long-lasting friendships. One of the most important components of making this dream a reality is a fun, talented, dedicated, and mission-driven staff. Being a staff member at Camp Uncommon is more than a summer job; it's an unforgettable experience and a rare opportunity to reach your full potential as you help others reach theirs.

 

History

As part of his innovation work, Josh Phillips, Uncommon’s Chief of Innovation and School Operations, is exploring ways to further develop Uncommon’s extracurricular and summer programs. While our schools work hard to build students’ non-academic skills and provide them with tremendous experiences outside the classroom, we believe we need to do even more to ensure our students are prepared for all aspects of college life. As a result, we launched Camp Uncommon in summer 2016. The learnings we acquire from running Camp Uncommon will help the organization determine how best to pursue closing the non-academic skills gap moving forward. 

 

Location

Camp Uncommon is hosted at Colby College in beautiful Waterville Maine! Click here to view a map.

 

 

Aims & Goals

Sending a child to summer camp is a tremendous act of faith by parents. At Camp Uncommon, we take that responsibility very seriously and will maintain an environment that encourages both safety and health and reinforces a positive self-image. We aim to provide campers with opportunities for emotional and physical growth, encourage their natural abilities and instill the benefits of group living. Our ultimate goal is to provide an enjoyable, exciting summer experience that motivates our campers to approach the future with courage, confidence and a feeling of self-worth, which we believe will ultimately build upon the greater mission of Uncommon Schools: to prepare our scholars for college and beyond.

 

At Camp Uncommon we take a holistic approach to achieving our mission through programs geared towards physical, emotional, and social growth and well-being. We believe an overnight summer camp experience will:

  1. increase students' social, emotional, and non-cognitive skills (e.g. self-confidence, responsibility, independence, and curiosity), which are essential to college and life success;
  2. provide an opportunity for Uncommon middle school campers to explore, learn, and have fun in a safe, tight-knit community;
  3. provide a tremendous summer job opportunity/experience for our alumni students and rising 12th graders; and
  4. create an additional pipeline for strong, diverse teacher candidates for our schools by providing exposure to Uncommon for counselors new to our organization.

 

Jobs at Camp

We are looking to fill the following positions at Camp Uncommon:

  • Program Director
  • Group Counselors
  • Junior Counselors (rising 12th grade students)

Job descriptions for each position are available in the staff application.

 

If you are interested in applying for one of these jobs, please click the link below to create your application through our camp database system! Once your application has been completed, you will receive an e-mail that your application has been received and you will hear from us to set up an interview either in-person or via video conference.

 

Before you apply, please make sure you take the following steps:

  1. Have all of your employment information accessible
  2. Contact your references (3) and let them know you will be applying to Camp Uncommon. Once you submit your application, they will receive an automatic email with the reference form. Note: If you are an Uncommon employee, one of your references should be your current supervisor.
  3. Set aside 15 minutes. The application should take no more than 15 minutes to complete.

 

Staff FAQs

When is Camp Uncommon?

Camp Uncommon will take place July 7th - July 21, 2017!

Will travel costs be covered?

Travel costs for staff to and from camp are not covered by Camp Uncommon. Staff members are responsible for arranging travel for themselves to and from camp.

Where is Camp Uncommon?

Camp Uncommon will be hosted at Colby College, in beautiful Waterville, Maine.

Where do Camp Uncommon campers come from?

Our campers are selected from Uncommon middle schools in New York City, Newark, Camden, Boston, Rochester, and Troy.

Can I work part of camp?

We are asking that all staff be present for the entirety of the program. In some cases, special consent may be given for extenuating circumstances.

Is there a staff dress code for Camp Uncommon?

Yes. Camp Staff T-shirts will be provided and must be worn until dinner each night and for certain camp evening activities. All counselors are required to wear proper swimming attire (swim trunks for men, and one piece swim suits for women). Sneakers are the normal footwear for camp, but sandals/flip flops are allowed for any water or non-athletic activity (i.e. theater, art, music, etc.) We want you to be comfortable and want you to be yourselves; we just ask that all attire be appropriate for children and for the assigned activity.

Is there a place for staff to get away on campus?

The demands of living with a group of children are great. We are fortunate that Camp Uncommon is located at Colby College in that there are several locations with games, as well as television and phone accessibility. Your free time is just that - yours.

What are the living accommodations like at Camp Uncommon?

Since Camp Uncommon is being hosted at Colby College, the living arrangements at camp will be dormitory style. Counselors will have a group of campers for whom they are responsible and will be living with throughout their stay at camp. Colby College is a beautiful college campus, and we assure you that you will find your stay at camp quite comfortable.

What is the salary?

Working at Camp Uncommon is an expense-free experience, so the hope is that every staff member will leave with their entire camp salary. Staff salaries vary depending on position, but all salaries are competitive with other similar camp experiences. Staff shirts and sweatshirts will be provided free of charge along with a laundry service in the middle of camp. Staff is responsible for their own travel to and from camp.

Does Camp Uncommon have a religious affiliation?

No. Camp Uncommon has no ties to any religion and we are accepting of all diversities, religious affiliations, backgrounds.

Can you explain a typical day?

Each camp day is unique, but there is a good deal of regularity to the daily program. Below is a thumbnail portrait of a typical day: Following wake-up and breakfast, the camp comes together for Morning Summit. At Morning Summit, we do cheers, introduce the value of the day, make announcements, review the schedule and get excited for the day ahead! After Morning Summit, each group goes to three morning activities. Using soccer as an example, you, as a soccer counselor, would report to the soccer fields to teach soccer. Each morning activity block - about one hour long - would see three separate camper groups until about noon. If you are a Group Counselor, you would travel with your group to each of their 3 assigned activities. Following morning activities, there is lunch and "rest hour" or quiet time to relax, read and spend time with campers. After rest hour comes Intensives. Intensives are activity periods that allow campers to focus a single activity over 3 days and develop their skill set in that area. As a staff member, you will either teach or assist in teaching an intensive. Following Intensives is Discovery Block, which is geared towards self-discovery through group activities and offers campers a chance to reflect on the value of the day and the experiences they are having. After Discovery, there is a brief wash-up and free period, followed by dinner. After dinner, the whole camp comes together for evening activity, which will range from talent shows to sports leagues "under the lights," to campfires. Following evening activity, there is Evening Summit, which includes a nightly award ceremony, during which we recognize campers for their outstanding contributions throughout the day. Each day closes with the Camp Uncommon song. While this represents a brief portrait, there is far too much going on to describe on paper. There will be hikes and excursions, camping trips, exciting all-camp events, fun and engaging activities for campers and staff to enjoy!

What about time off and free time?

We know for you to be an effective counselor, you need to take time for yourself. We want you to be fresh and invigorated. Therefore, camp staff are given days off and nights off during the camp program. Time off is determined and scheduled by the Program Director in conjunction with the Director of Camp Uncommon. During the day, staff members receive either rest hour or free period off each day. At that time, you may use any available facilities to recreate. Of course, you may opt to just read quietly or take a nap. Every other night, when you are on duty, you must stay with your group until they are asleep, then remain in camp "on duty" until 12:30 a.m. when the remainder of the counseling staff who are "off" return to camp.

How "co-ed" is Camp Uncommon?

All camp activities are co-ed and separated by age group except for Intensive Blocks which are comprised of boys and girls from all age groups.

 

 

Senior Staff Profiles

Josh Phillips, Camp Uncommon Founder & Chief of Innovation and School Operations, Uncommon Schools

Josh attended Camp Naticook in New Hampshire as a child and worked as the Head Boys Counselor at Camp Laurel in Maine for several summers. He joined Uncommon Schools in 2008 as Chief Operating Officer and later served as Managing Director of Uncommon Rochester and Troy. He was previously the Co-Director of Roxbury Preparatory Charter School in Boston. In 2007, Roxbury Prep’s 8th graders had the highest math MCAS scores in the entire state of Massachusetts. As Co-Director at Roxbury Prep for six years, Josh brought to Uncommon a track record of results and extensive operational and management experience. He previously served as the Enrichment Coordinator and sixth grade World History teacher at Roxbury Prep. Josh was also a history teacher-intern at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science while earning an EdM in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard University. He received his B.A. in political science from Colgate University and his M.A. in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Mike Callahan, Director of Camp Uncommon

Mike earned a Bachelor’s in Social Work from Rutgers University and a Master’s in Social Work from NYU. Mike’s camp career started as a camper at Camp Kingsley Pines, continued as a camp counselor at the Montclair YMCA Day Camp, and later as Assistant Director of Camp Sunshine at the Westfield YMCA. Next, he helped to found the Better Days Foundation to serve families who lost a parent or loved one on 9/11/01. He also served as the Assistant Director of Camp Better Days for 10 years. Mike joined Uncommon 3 years ago as a school Social Worker at North Star Academy’s West Side Park Campus.

Emma Simmons, Program Director

Emma Simmons earned a B.S. in Human Services from Northeastern University and a M.A. in Elementary Education from Relay Graduate School of Education. Emma spent all of her summers as a child attending different camps, and then worked at camps during summers throughout college. Before joining Uncommon, Emma worked as the Event Manager for CYCLE Kids, which is a non-profit that gives children the opportunity to learn how to ride bikes and learn nutrition during the school day. Emma joined Uncommon 4 years ago as a 2nd Grade Teacher at Vailsburg Elementary School in Newark and currently, she is a 5th Grade Math Teacher at Roxbury Prep Mission Hill in Boston.

Shanika Audige, Head Girls Counselor

Shanika graduated Cum Laude, earning a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Black Studies, from Amherst College. Shanika also has a Master’s in the Art of Teaching from the Relay Graduate School of Education. While Shanika spent the summers of her youth in summer camps and cherishes the impact it has had on her social well-being. Shanika joined Uncommon 4 years ago as a Kindergarten teacher. Two years ago, she became a founding teacher at Uncommon’s first turnaround school, North Star Academy Alexander Street ES, where she currently acts as the Kindergarten team’s Instructional Leader.

Seck Barry, Head Boys Counselor

Seck Barry is the founding Dean of Students at Camden Prep. Before joining Uncommon, Seck served as a program coordinator for Playworks, a national non-profit organization that organizes structured play in order to promote fitness, fun and safety for children. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Political Science. Throughout college, he represented Penn’s Division I Track and Field Team in the 4X100 relay team, 110 hurdles, and 100 and 200 meter dash. Seck currently serves on the Advisory Board of Design Meets Mind, LLC, an informal education consulting firm in Philadelphia.

Ijeoma Duru, Head of Junior Counselors

Ijeoma Duru is proud to be continuing with the Camp Uncommon family! She is an alumna of Roxbury Preparatory Charter School in Boston and is thrilled to be continuing the work and vision that Camp Uncommon has set to achieve. Ijeoma graduated from Pace University, earning a Bachelor’s in Biological Psychology. Ijeoma also has a Master’s in the Art of Teaching from Relay Graduation School of Education. Thanks to the help of Roxbury Prep, the importance of summer has always been instilled in her. Whether it was camping and hiking or working as an intern, Ijeoma has always ensured her summers were well spent. She has worked at Uncommon Collegiate Charter High School for the past three years, first as a member of the Math team and now as the Associate Dean of Students.