Co-Director, Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies
A Unique Leadership Opportunity for an Experienced Environmental Science Educator
Burgundy Farm Country Day School seeks a residential co-director for its mountain campus near Capon Bridge, West Virginia. The Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies (BCWS) is an outdoor science and conservation-focused educational program on a 600-acre nature preserve. BCWS has been a haven for nature-loving children and staff, and an incubator for generations of future scientists, teachers, and environmentalists.
A BCWS Co-Director should be:
- A proven environmental educator, a naturalist, and a program leader with the ability to teach 6-15 year-olds in an outdoor setting.
- Able to help manage a facility and budget, and to collaborate with teachers and staff to develop curriculum and deliver experiential, place-based programs.
- Able to assist in hiring, training, and managing staff for school programs and summer camp.
- BCWS sits on the site of a former farm and occupies over 600 acres of young forest and picturesque open valley that extends into classic West Virginia hills and hollows.
- BCWS is both a wildlife preserve and a teaching facility.
- The Cove’s forest, meadows, and ponds shelter a wide diversity of plant and animal life.
- There is a rustic lodge with a kitchen, office, infirmary, meeting space, dining and work porches, fireplace, and bathhouse.
- There are screened-in dorm-style bunkhouses for visiting students and campers.
Mission and Program
- BCWS hosts both Burgundy academic school year and summer camp nature-immersion programming within an environmental education and conservation mission.
- All BCWS programming is dynamic, hands-on and nurturing of children's innate curiosity and affinity for the natural world.
- School year visits knit curricula from the Alexandria school campus program to natural science and conservation themes.
- School programs serve grades one to eight, fall and spring.
- School groups are assisted by teachers, many of whom have been coming to the Cove for many years, and parents who accompany the classes.
- The residential summer camp nurtures in children and teens a greater knowledge, understanding, and respect of nature and self via direct interactions with nature and others.
- Campers learn through studying science and by gaining experiences as part of a community.
Leadership and Responsibility
- The BCWS Co-Director oversees the entire BCWS facility, program, staffing, marketing, and finances.
- The Co-Director must be a naturalist with strong knowledge of science and passion for ecology and for teaching children in ways that engage children’s natural curiosity.
- The BCWS Co-Director collaborates with the BCWS Director in all aspects of program and leadership, including hiring, training, inspiring, and assessing summer camp staff.
This is a year-round position, albeit with some quieter months used for planning and site work, as well as camper recruitment and hiring. The Director is required to live on site April through November, with private quarters provided. Large scale work projects, land management, invasive species removal, and opening and closing of the facilities happens during these shoulder seasons. The entire BCWS facility and program is supported by a Caretaker who maintains the buildings and roads and assists with land management.
Even the so-called ‘off-season’ requires regular visits to the Cove to check on the wildlife center. The job requires unusually high dedication, stamina, and maturity.
The location is beautiful but isolated, and the duties during and between sessions and seasons are demanding.
The position requires working closely with the two other people living onsite.
Attached is a detailed but pared down job description.
How to Apply:
Please send a current resume and a letter of interest to BCWS Director, Julia Temple. (firstname.lastname@example.org). Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Start date: Not later than March 1, 2023
Compensation: Competitive salary and benefits, with housing and board provided during the program season.