Keeping It Green at Oakton

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Paid Position-Forest Preserve Programming Specialist (full-time)

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Forest Preserve Programming Specialist Position

Job Posting:  Oct 19, 2016, 12:35:20 PM

Closing Date:  Nov 2, 2016, 11:59:00 PM

Posting Salary:  $43,472.89 Yearly

Job Summary

Under designated supervision by Conservation & Experiential Programming Recreation Staff, provides hands-on outdoor recreation activities to District patrons at a variety of special events, activities, sites and programs at numerous locations around Cook County. May be assigned to oversee a specific aspect of outdoor recreation and/or camping programming; and will assist in overseeing seasonal support staff for those projects. Develops programmatic ideas, concepts and, in some cases, curriculum that will be delivered as a mobile team around the District.  Assists with programmatic and customer service interaction at events including, but not limited to, campgrounds, camping trainings, climbing wall, outdoor recreation activities, special events and programs.

Typical Duties

  • Facilitates a wide range of experience based, outdoor recreation and nature based programs.
  • Manages all aspects of camping gear-library including inventory, maintenance and group check-in and check-out.
  • Acts as an instructor for overnight camping training courses year round
  • Facilitates all aspects of campout programs including overnight duties
  • Helps to facilitate use of and oversees staff at and maintenance of indoor climbing wall facility
  • Provides hands-on activities related to camping, outdoor recreation and nature to patrons at campgrounds and events as part of the recreation team
  • Develops program ideas, concepts and curriculum related, but not limited to, outdoor adventure and recreation, camping, climbing, environmental education, nature play and the arts.
  • Maintains, prepares and inventories equipment and supplies for programs and activities.
  • Often acts as point of contact and lead facilitator during programs, and events.
  • Maintains and adheres to program and event schedule.
  • Drives mobile unit and takes care of vehicle needs.
  • Keeps detailed records on Camping Leadership Immersion Course (CLIC) trainees and participants
  • Provides statistical reports and anecdotal reports related to activities.
  • Participates in research, outreach and marketing.
  • Performs other duties as required or assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Must possess a high school diploma, GED or higher AND six (6) or more years of professional or practical work experience in: (a) teaching environmental education or outdoor recreation or (b) providing activities, programs or workshops in outdoor recreation or environmental education.


Must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher in communication, natural sciences, conservation, environmental sciences or education, recreation/leisure studies, social services or substantially similar area from an accredited college or university AND two (2) or more years of professional or practical work experience in: (a) teaching outdoor recreation or environmental education or (b) providing activities, programs or workshops in outdoor recreation or environmental education.

Must possess a current valid driver’s license.

Preferred Qualifications

Have at least one (1) season of practical or professional work experience with the Forest Preserves of Cook County within the Conservation and Experiential Programming Department.


Have at least two (2) seasons of practical or professional experience working with a Forest Preserves of Cook County partner group.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics

  • Knowledge and interest in recreation trends, specifically, new concepts related to outdoor and adventure recreation, the arts, especially process-oriented art making and creative reuse, camping and nature play activities.
  • Knowledge, interest and ability to lead hands-on outdoor recreation activities, programs and events including, but not limited to, canoeing, biking, hiking, camping, art making and game playing.
  • Knowledge of basic outdoor skills, i.e., camping, hiking, biking, paddling, fire starting, birding, stewardship.
  • Familiarity with youth development tools, skills and concepts.
  • Familiarity with community based programming.
  • Ability to interact with community groups and members of the public to keep program components responsive to community needs.
  • Ability to work outdoors in all weather and to facilitate a wide range of programs in outdoor settings and lift upwards of 50 pounds
  • Ability to engage participants ranging from youth to adults in programming and model conservation, inquiry based and experiential teaching and learning throughout the entire program.
  • Ability to provide excellent communication and demonstrate timeliness and professionalism at all times.
  • Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to adapt programming to meet the needs of each audience, regardless of age, experience and abilities of participants.
  • Willingness and ability to provide excellent internal and external customer service.
  • Ability to work evenings, weekends, overnights and holidays.

The duties listed are not set forth for purposes of limiting the assignment of work.  They are not to be construed as a complete list of the many duties normally to be performed under a job title or those to be performed temporarily outside an employee’s normal line of work.

For more details on how to apply for this opportunity, visit:


Author: Debra Kutska

Thanks for visiting! I am the Sustainability Specialist for Oakton Community College. I look forward to introducing you to the many green initiatives in which we engage and collecting input from YOU as to how we can continue to improve. Please feel free to contact me with your suggestions at any time at

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