Middle School Program Specialist
Portland, OR Teens
Job Type

Job Title: Middle School Program Specialist

Reports to: Site Supervisor

Classification: Full-Time, Year-round

Reports to: Site Supervisor

Exempt/Non-Exempt from OT rules: Salaried (Exempt)

Compensation:  $38,272-$49,754 

Organization Overview: 

At Camp Fire Columbia, we believe that every child should have the opportunity to find and pursue their spark– a passion that inspires and drives them to set and achieve goals for their future. Founded in 1910, our comprehensive program starts with early intervention at the elementary level, bridges the learning gap for middle school, and helps students thrive and plan for bright futures during high school. During the school year, Camp Fire works in partnership with dozens of schools in the Metro Area. During the summer months, we offer summer camps in the Portland metro area and at our beautiful 552-acre camp, Camp Namanu, bordered by the vibrant Sandy River and presided over by century old trees. Our programs directly serve over 4,000 kids ages 5-18 each year across an eight-county area, including the greater Portland metro region. Camp Fire Columbia helps serve an additional 11,000 children and families annually through partnerships and special projects. For more information, please visit: http://campfirecolumbia.org/

Camp Fire is committed to building a diverse team and culture. We recognize that there are many aspects of one’s life experience that contribute to the growth of our organization. We encourage everyone to apply. If you believe in our values and mission and want to contribute to the work we do, we want to hear from you, even if you don’t meet every one of the qualifications listed.

Position Overview:

This position is responsible for using a deeply relational approach to work in partnership with Portland Public and/or Reynolds School District to implement culturally responsive programming for 30 students from historically marginalized backgrounds or who have been identified as Academic Priority.  This position works with students to express care, challenge growth, provide support, share power, and expand possibilities, all through an equity lens, within the classroom and beyond.  

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  1. Equity: This role will come in contact with students, campers, visitors, vendors and employees. Each of these persons may have visible and invisible qualities that make that person unique. This includes race, gender, age, sexuality, ability, religion, national origin, gender identity, and other identities. This role requires sustaining an inclusive and equitable learning and working environments by having respectful and considerate behavior, thoughtful and constructive speech to all.
  2. Relationships: Build resilient connections with students via one-on-one and group mentoring, consistently collaborate with parents to foster student growth, and be a positive representation of the organization as you coordinate with teachers, administration, and school partners.
  3. Programming: Collaborate closely with an on-site team, and independently plan and facilitate programs for a group of students in either 6th, 7th, or 8th grade students. Co-create a culture of inclusion and community with students via school day mentoring and after-school enrichment program.
  4. Logistics: Proactively assess and monitor program requirements and respond accordingly, manage program budget, engagement for an individual caseload of students, prepare for lessons, field trips, and other events. Follow-up and redirect to be responsive to unforeseen circumstances. 

Job Duties:


  • Recruit and retain student program participants. 
  • Responsible for a caseload of students, and making decisions based in safety and policy while working independently with individual and groups of students.
  • Through a racial equity lens, build long-term, culturally responsive, power-sharing mentoring relationships with student program participants. 
  • Build brave spaces and help students push past conflict and perceptions in order to create a culture of inclusion and community, and that prioritize student voice and sharing power by involving students in co-leading activities, curriculum, and decision-making. 
  • Facilitate and develop engaging anti-racist and social justice focused curriculum and activities, and in-school & after-school programming. 
  • Build and maintain consistent classroom management structures and boundaries.  Use adaptability to facilitate learning opportunities in challenging situations.
  • Build relationships and partner with teachers, school administration, and other school and community partners to support program logistics and academic enrichment.
  • Complete home visits with each participant's family. Use home visits, family engagement events, and consistent communication to support families and connect with financial and resource support as needed. Have knowledge of resources available in the school and community
  • Collaborate with supervisor and program team to organize family engagement events and utilize consistent communication to support students' families and communities.
  • Ensures policies and practices are followed that lead to safe and successful program experiences for all participants and staff.  
  • Maintain a high level of creativity, energy, organization, self-motivation, empathy, and patience.  
  • Safely transports youth in Camp Fire vehicles on monthly field trips and follows field trip protocol.


  • Maintains a balanced program budget. With support from supervisor, makes program purchases according to program policies.
  • Track and monitor program data, completing daily data collection and documentation.
  • Collaborate with supervisor and program team to create plans and strategies to meet program requirements on an ongoing basis.
  • Complete necessary forms and paperwork according to program policy, including student registration, incident reporting, and evaluations.
  • Use scheduling and planning techniques that work for you to prioritize and accomplish simultaneously-occurring aspects of program. Self-start and be proactive with new projects and tasks.
  • Maintain punctual, regular and predictable attendance and accessibility. 
  • Attend meetings and events, as required. Proactively communicate about scheduling conflicts.
  • Engage in self-initiative and independent work to accomplish job duties. Including, self-study, research, and asking for support as needed.  


  • Invest in a collaborative team culture via intentional communication, acknowledging and tending to impact, and proactively uphold responsibilities in order to maximize positive impact for each person involved.
  • Display excellent communication skills including presentation, persuasion, and negotiation skills required in working with coworkers, school partners, community partners, volunteers, parents, and contractors; including the ability to communicate effectively under pressure.
  • Commit to a culture of development by openly receiving, implementing, and sharing feedback.
  • Participate in 3-week onboarding training period and ongoing professional development opportunities offered or presented by Camp Fire.

Remote Job Duties

  • During COVID-19 school closures, digital mentoring and distance learning support will be provided to student program participants.
  • Ability to use video, phone, social media, and other online platforms to build and maintain relationships with program participants.
  • Collaborate with school staff to establish structure for digital 1x1 and group mentoring, lessons, homework support, and family engagement.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

This position does not have any staff supervisory responsibilities.  This position works closely with an on-site team, and independently plans and facilitates program for a group of students in either 6th, 7th, or 8th grade. 

Relational Skills:

  • Ability to use a deep commitment to equity to flexibly frame, adapt to, and navigate unforeseen situations.
  • Dedication and investment in developmental relationships in all contexts.
  • Dedication and investment in social justice and mitigating social inequalities. 
  • Ability to collaborate as part of a team with students, families, school staff, and co-workers and work across differences.
  • Awareness of how to balance tasks and set boundaries to prioritize and balance multiple tasks at once.
  • Belief in the value and potential of each individual and a commitment to disrupting oppression.
  • Use self-starting, personal vision, and creativity to build relationships while simultaneously accomplishing all position requirements.
  • Model relational engagement by being willing to do what we ask our students to do, demonstrating healthy relationships and boundaries, recovering from setbacks, and having fun.


Ability to perform essential job duties with or without reasonable accommodation and without posing a direct threat to safety or health of employee or others. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education and/or Experience:

Any combination of education and life experience that provides the required set of skills and experience necessary to perform the essential functions of the positions at a high level. Lived or learned experience understanding the impact of racism and systems of oppression as it relates to work with youth and communities. 

Two to five years related experience and/or training in youth development and supervision OR
coursework in Education, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, or a related field OR

A combination of experience and education.

Lived or learned experience understanding the impact of racism and systems of oppression as it relates to work with youth and communities. Three years of experience teaching and/or mentoring underrepresented youth is strongly preferred. 

Language Skills:

Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to write routine reports and correspondence.  Ability to speak effectively before groups of customers or employees of organization. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.

We strive to serve youth in the most culturally responsive ways and prefer proficiency in Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Vietnamese, or Somali.

Mathematical Skills:

Basic arithmetic, money computation, and the ability to use a calculator for budgeting and reporting expenses.

Computer Skills:

Job requires computer skills.  Must be adept at using various applications including spreadsheet, word processing, Google suite, presentation creation/editing, communicate by e-mail and use scheduling software.  

Reasoning Ability:

Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:

A valid insurable Driver’s License preferred. A current CPR/First Aid Certification is required.

Physical Demands 

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The employee must frequently move up to 25 pounds and occasionally move up to 50 pounds. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to detect sound or communicate. The employee is frequently required to be stationary; traverse and detect paperwork and objects. The employee is occasionally required to be stationary; to detect objects and paperwork; ascend terrain; get low to the ground and detect scents and flavors.

Work Environment 

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to outdoor weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Our Commitment:

Camp Fire welcomes and embraces all youth of diverse cultures, beliefs, experiences, and identities. We are committed to creating a culturally-responsive, inclusive, and safe environment for all children, families and staff.

Camp Fire Columbia is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Employment decisions are made without regard to race, age, religion, color, gender, gender expression and identification, sexual orientation, national origin, physical or mental disability, marital or veteran status, or any other classification protected by law.

Salary Description
$38,272-$49,754 / year