Kroka's Seasonal Rhythms and description of work life:
Winter Season: Winter semester starts mid-January and co-insides with relatively small winter school program.
Spring Season: April staff training is followed up by camp set up and equipment preparation and the beginning of school programs. School programs are between one and twelve days in length. Winter semester returns at the end of May and graduates early June. Spring school programs run through mid-June.
Summer Season: Summer staff training is followed by 8 weeks of summer camp. Summer season culminates with clean up and repairs and a special closing event for staff.
Fall Season: The fall semester begins in early September, and the fall school season begins the second week of September and runs through mid-October. The fall season ends with closing and winterizing of the camp. Fall semester returns to campus and graduates in Mid-December.
The work week starts with the program preparation day/days, followed by a 7 to 14 day program (as a general rule), followed by post-program days. See the summer weekly calendar for an understanding of the weekly routines and rhythms.
During shoulder seasons we try to stick to Monday office meeting and Friday community dinner and community meeting. In the summer we hold Saturday evening community gathering.
During program days staff are with students 24 hours a day for the duration of the program. This includes sleeping in the same dwelling or campsite with the students. During off-program days we work 8 – 12 hour workdays. People find that we work harder and longer hours at Kroka than people do in some other places. Only people who thrive on long hours of hard work thrive at Kroka.
During non-program days, staff may be asked to provide general support for our campus and other programs. This might include:
• Shuttle driver • Help with food packout • Preparing camp for programs • Program start/end help • Apprentice supervision • Service project preparation • Vehicle maintenance (taking cars for repairs) • Food preservation (jams, pickles, berry picking, etc) • Equipment repair and maintenance • Camp building projects • Other camp duties as needed
SEASONAL STAFF LEVELS & COMPENSATION
|Full mastery of all Kroka core skills.
Can lead any itinerary for children, adolescents, semester students, or adults - under normal or challenging circumstances. Leads staff training, mentors other staff. Brings innovative improvements to our itineraries, curriculum, and systems. Independently creates and designs new programs, including curriculum development, program descriptions and all aspects of program area, safety, logistics, and permits. Independently prepares for all aspects of their program: paperwork, food, equipment and transportation logistics. Independently completes all aspects of a program, both field and office. Teaches a multi-layered curriculum that includes not only adventure and wilderness skills, but also historical, cultural, scientific and spiritual lessons. Has search and rescue skills and training necessary to be effective and self-sufficient in their program area in the event of an emergency.
|27+ years of age
Minimum 5 years or 10 seasons working at Kroka Established professional full-time career in outdoor education or guiding, many years of experience with multiple organizations and teaching in many different environments.
|$800 per week
|Highly proficient at all Kroka core skills.
Can lead longer programs for adolescents or assist with leading semester programs. Prepares for all aspects of the program under mentorship of a program director. Takes on certain parts of program preparation and wrap-up independently. Has strong technical skills, area knowledge and confidence in the areas they are leading. Has strong and confident verbal communication skills, speaking to students and parents and the general public in a positive effective way. Effectively manages and teaches apprentices during a program. Understands and communicates Kroka philosophy to students, parents, and others. Demonstrates strong common sense and ability to lead in the event of an emergency. Capable of forming a collaborative team with their co-leader, assistant and/or apprentice. Has full knowledge of all Kroka systems: food, farming, equipment, office administration. Has the confidence and trust of Kroka to lead groups in the field. Personally owns and maintains all outdoor gear and equipment that is necessary for effective outdoor adventure and leadership.
|24+ years of age
Minimum 2 years tenure at Kroka with at least one full season in each year Experience teaching with multiple organizations, resume includes outside educational training and extended personal wilderness expeditions, holds external professional qualifications. Is actively involved in professional and teacher training both at and outside of Kroka
|$600 per week
|Practicing Kroka core skills: can perform most skills without assistance under normal circumstances, but has obvious room for growth. Can lead programs for children. Leads courses with lead teacher or junior lead teacher. May be responsible for certain aspects of program design. Is responsible for part(s) of program preparations and wrap up. (Food, gear, logistics, crafts etc.) Has sufficient technical skills to be of assistance and role modeling for students. Has desire and capacity for furthering their skills. Has strong common sense and is able to assist lead teacher (including taking charge of the group) in the event of an emergency. Sees what needs to be done and does it without being asked. Is proactive: plans ahead, asks for guidance and tasks when unsure.
|21+ years of age
Maintained WFR certification
Has studied or practiced outdoor education, some history of personal wilderness expeditions.
|$400 per week
|In the process of trying out and learning Kroka’s core skills.
Can assist on programs for children
|18+ years of age
Sincere desire and social skills to be working with children outdoors.
TENURE PREMIUM: Additional weekly compensation based on the number of seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter) completed as full-time residential Kroka seasonal employees. Tenure premium resets to zero upon advancement to the next level. Sporadic employees / guest teachers working single programs cannot earn tenure for partial seasons, however they may be able to earn tenure for full-time school teaching experience during the off-season. $20 per week for each season worked, up to a maximum of 9 seasons, calculated annually.
EXTERNAL QUALIFICATIONS PREMIUM: Additional weekly compensation rate for staff who carry professional certifications and are willing to work on specialty programs. This is paid regardless of whether you are actually assigned and using your credentials on a specialty program. See list of approved certifications and bonus amounts by clicking here.
SUMMER OVERNIGHT TEACHING BONUS:
Seasonal teaching staff (non-apprentice) working a full-time full-summer contract are offered an "overnight teaching bonus" of $10.00 for every night that they spend on-call assigned to a program during the eight-week summer season. Note that a typical one-week program would have 6 overnights, and a typical two-week program would have 13 overnights. "Overnight assignment" means eating supper and breakfast with students in the village or on expedition. "Overnight assignment" does not necessarily mean sleeping with the students, but it does mean being on-call throughout the night. (NOTE THIS IS A NEW EXPERIMENTAL BENEFIT FOR THE 2024 SEASON ONLY)
INFLATION ADJUSTMENTS to the base pay rates are considered annually during the budgeting process.
How does a seasonal employee move from one level to the next? At the end of each season, and during the negotiation of each employment contract, seasonal staff will be assessed by program coordinators or directors, and may petition to move to the next level if they are age-eligible. Directors will take into consideration any observations of teaching, peer evaluations, self evaluations, parent and student feedback. Directors will attempt to be fair and objective, but ultimately there will be some judgment and intuition involved. Each meeting will conclude with a shared understanding of specific areas for growth.
How are newly arriving employees assessed? New employees will be assigned a level on a preliminary basis during the hiring process based on their past experience at other organizations. Peer feedback forms will be used during staff training expeditions to confirm and finalize levels.
SEASONAL STAFF PRIVILEGES
NOTE: THESE PRIVILEGES ARE OFFERED TO SEASONAL STAFF WITH EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS FOR AT LEAST 30 DAYS OF FULL-TIME TEACHING DURING THE CALENDAR YEAR. GUEST TEACHERS DO NOT QUALIFY FOR ALL OF THESE PRIVILEGES, BUT MAY RECEIVE FOOD, HOUSING, AND ACCESS TO GEAR ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS. APPRENTICES DO NOT QUALIFY FOR ALL OF THESE PRIVILEGES, SEE APPRENTICE SECTION FOR DETAILS
On-campus housing is provided at no extra cost to full-time seasonal staff for the duration of their contract. See CAMPUS HANDBOOK for details about assignment, use, and maintenance of seasonal staff housing.
Food (applies to both teachers and apprentices)
Please see our food policy page: Meals on Campus
Two Kroka shirts are provided per staff member per year. Staff members can purchase additional Kroka shirts at staff cost. Teachers are expected to wear clean and neat clothes. Mended patches speak better for who we are than holes. Please wear a clean Kroka t-shirt on the first and last day of your programs as well as during the program when in public.
Use of Equipment
Kroka staff may take out Kroka gear and equipment on loan when it is not being used for programs. Gear has to be signed out and returned fully repaired. Some gear loans may require a security deposit. All gear loans need to be approved by the Gear Manager.
Taking and sharing high-quality photographs during an expedition helps participants remember and share the experience later, and is essential to Kroka’s marketing and outreach efforts. Therefore, a high-quality camera is a very important piece of expedition gear.
Kroka relies on expedition leaders who have: 1. invested in their own a well made high-quality digital camera, and 2. invested in a carrying case and expedition-grade protection for it, and 3. learned how to use it well, and 4. used it skillfully to take great photographs during an expedition, 5. shared those images after the expedition – both with students and with Kroka for use in marketing and outreach.
see the camera benefit policy for details
All seasonal employees who are working more than one full consecutive season (for example, Spring-Summer or Summer-Fall) are required to take 5 days of paid personal leave in-between the seasons.
Except in case of emergency, all other personal leave must be arranged at least two weeks in advance.
The procedure for arranging personal leave is as follows:
- Personal leave days are requested from (and approved by) your direct manager (course director, program director, or executive director).
- Personal leave days are brought by the staff member to the business manager who will record them in the Gaduki scheduling system and annotate them within the employment contract, clearly specifying expectations about departure from Kroka and return to Kroka, and whether the leave is paid or unpaid.
- Staff member will need to electronically accept the updated contract that contains the new notes about personal leave
Seasonal employees working at base camp (while not assigned to a particular program) will receive 2 paid days off each week. Specific days off are not guaranteed during any time period as weekly schedules change frequently depending on the needs of programs. Days off may not always be consecutive and do not typically follow a Saturday-Sunday weekend.
If you need additional time off, or have other special requests, please check in with your supervisor in advance.
Days-off cannot be accrued or traded, saved-up, or compensated for in any other way. All post-program work and other assigned tasks bust be completed or passed off to another staff member before departing campus for time off.
Illness & Injury
What happens if I get sick or injured during my contract?
Seasonal Staff who are unable to work for a few days due to illness or injury may remain on campus recuperating and continuing to receive full pay. Seasonal Staff who are unable to do any work for more than 2 consecutive days will be asked to take an unpaid leave of absence for the remainder of their illness or injury in order to fully recuperate. It may be possible to remain on campus for this unpaid leave time, but staff are also encouraged to find a more restful place in order to regain full health.
Seasonal staff and guests teachers are eligible for Pro-Purchase of equipment through Outdoor Prolink. See Office Manager for details.
Camp Store Purchase
Staff can purchase camp store merchandise at specially discounted staff prices (typically wholesale cost). Staff discounts are only available to staff during the duration of their contract. All camp store purchases need to be made through Linda during regular business hours and paid for at the time of purchase.
Kroka seasonal staff may use public spaces within the Kroka office when doing specific Kroka-related office work. Public spaces include the big table in the office, and the conference room table, and the office attic. Please do not use the personal desks of Kroka year-round staff without explicit permission.
Professional Training at Kroka
Kroka offers professional training throughout the year, and especially during our SPRING STAFF TRAINING and SUMMER STAFF TRAINING periods. Different types of training include: “adventure day training outings”, philosophical and “operational training” in Kroka systems, and “certificate trainings” - which are specific courses offered either by senior Kroka staff or by outside agencies. Certificate trainings result in the issuing of a professional development certificate which may be recognized and useful at other places outside of Kroka - for example “Wilderness First Responder” or “Wilderness LifeGuard”. Operational training days and adventure training days during an employment contract are paid as part of that contract. Certificate training days that are provided by Kroka are unpaid.
PRE-SEASON TRAINING Staff who are hired for seasonal work may be required to attend pre-season training - a certain number of days or weeks at the beginning of the season. Our compensation policies for these training change are as follows:
Spring Pre-Season Staff Training days are unpaid for all seasonal staff.
For first-year seasonal employees, Summer Pre-Season Staff Training days are unpaid.
For returning (second-year +) seasonal employees, Summer Pre-Season Staff Training days are unpaid for the first 7 days of training attended. Any subsequent training days attended will be paid based on your upcoming contract.
For returning (second-year +) seasonal employees who are asked to lead an expedition or full-day workshop during staff training, compensation will be given for any extra days in a leadership role.
Wilderness First Responder Re-certification is offered to all full-season contracted staff at no charge every other year. Wilderness Life Guard Certification is offered to all full-season contracted staff at no charge every third year. Any other part-time staff, apprentices, or alumni are welcome to apply to participate in these trainings at a reduced cost, on a first-come-first-served basis if space is available.
Professional Training away from Kroka
Kroka has an annual budget item to support staff in getting professional training that is not available on campus. We will attempt to help staff in professional development, whenever possible, with priority given to year-round full time staff.
Summer Camp Registration
Seasonal teaching staff (non-apprentice) working a full-time full-summer contract can bring one direct legal family member (child, sibling, cousin, niece, nephew) to Kroka at a discounted price. Sorry, this policy does not apply to friends.
• One child or sibling can be registered in advance for a program at 1/2 the lowest tuition price. Like all other registrations, an initial deposit is required, and tuition is non-refundable.
• Additional discounts may be offered to fill last-minute vacancies for any summer program that has space available on June 1st.
All seasonal employees are covered by Workers Compensation Insurance. All foreign employees in addition are covered by required medical insurance. Please see Office Manager for details. Any major work-related injuries should be reported to Workers Compensation when visiting a clinic or emergency room - but please know that registering a minor injury or illness with Workers Compensation can create a large administrative burden for Kroka.
SEASONAL STAFF EXPECTATIONS
On Call Duty
Depending upon our staff availability, lead teachers may be asked to be on call for different periods of time during their non-teaching weeks. On call duties may include: • Substitute teaching • Search and rescue • Performing unexpected tasks, that no one else is around to perform. On call staff will make themselves available by phone and within reach at all times during an on call week and might be asked to carry a cell phone or pager.
Community Dinner and Meeting
All staff are required to participate in a weekly community supper and meeting, unless they are in the field or on scheduled vacation, in which case members will be expected to read the minutes from the community meetings (posted at the staff lounge) they have missed.
All seasonal staff are required to take responsibility for some aspect of the community for the duration of the season (ie., garden, workshop, food room, etc). They focus on their area of responsibility during off program days and report to the community meeting weekly. While on programs or off duty, staff are responsible for finding some one to cover their big job.
Program Start and End Days
Parents do not see the content of our work. They see the first and last day, appearance of their child and their child’s stories. It is very important for program’s success to 1. Imaginatively structure program start/end 2. To make sure students are rested, clean, neat and organized 3. To provide immediate and objective feedback to parents and class teachers 4. To create magic 5. To serve food and drinks 6. To be professional, courteous and timely. 7. To ensure students finish the program in good health, with all cuts, bruises, or minor wounds clean and cared for.
SUMMER PROGRAM START DAYS
• At program start we want to warmly welcome families and allow for observation of village life and entertainment, while families are assembling. Camp tours, horse rides, handwork, music, archery are all examples of assembling time options. • Parking lot attendant is an important social part of welcoming. • Each family has to check in at the registration table • The community gathering consists of staff led skits, group singing, introductions and potluck lunch. Staff needs to be responsible for serving and maintaining food and drinks. • Following lunch there are small group meetings. Support staff clean up from pot luck. • Following small group meetings one staff member takes students and another staff member addresses safety and individual questions with parents.
SUMMER PROGRAM END DAYS
Parent presentation is the main event of the program ending Presentations can take ideas from the following formats: - Skit with songs - Pantomime - Chronological presentation of the experience - Hand work and skill demonstrations - Slide show Other creative ideas teachers and students think of.
The following elements are often incorporated: - Gift sharing between students, gifts for families. - Certificate presentation - Serving special food
Before families disperse, inform parents of the opportunity to briefly meet with the teachers to share their child’s experience. (Teachers must be prepared for this meeting.) After the presentation teachers should meet briefly with families and give individual reports. Those should be thought of ahead of time and students divided between teachers, so each teacher gives reports to no more than 6 families. Realistically, those reports should be 2 - 5 minutes long. If longer conference is necessary family should be asked to wait until the end of reports. It is also appropriate to call family the night before and ask them to be prepared to wait for the longer conference. Camp store should be open and staffed at program end. Families should be reminded to shop at the store and support the program.
Continuing Education & Professional Experience
Kroka staff are experienced wilderness leaders who have high levels of professional expertise in their field. In order to maintain their technical skills staff are expected to grow and practice their skill set both at and away from Kroka. Seasonal staff who wish to return to Kroka for a consecutive season's employment must log a minimum of 10 days of remote expedition between seasons. Kroka will offer an annual staff expedition during the off-season (September - May) which will fulfill this requirement.