Art & Play Instructors

$18 - $20/hour, 40 hours/week, 10-11 weeks

Adventures in Cardboard is currently looking to hire performers, coaches, teachers, gamers and artists with loads of kid experience as Art & Play Instructors for our 2024 Summer Adventure Camps. Our day camps run ten weeks, Mon-Fri, from June 10 - August 24. We're looking for people who can work ten weeks with one or two weeks off this summer. If you enjoy working with kids, are an outgoing person with skills in sports coaching, acting, theatre, storytelling, music, gaming or something similar, please consider working with us.

Instructors act as positive, engaging coaches to groups of kids, ages of 8-15, as they transition through activities centered around competitive live-action games, fantasy live action role-playing and costume creation. We work entirely outdoors in several parks across the metro area. It will be hot, it will be wet, sometimes it is a little smoky, though we'll move indoors for AQI's averaging higher than 150.

Adventures in Cardboard’s philosophy is Low-Structure, High-Design. We strive to create an atmosphere that feels happy-go-lucky and is as far from school as possible. We strive to create a summer world where kids have the freedom to explore a range of activities on their own time (within safely defined boundaries) while receiving invitations from staff and peers to engage in creative play and storytelling. Sometimes play takes the form of free role-playing where our job is to facilitate everyone’s comfortable invitation into this fun but often chaotic world. Sometimes play takes the form of competitive and swashbuckling games with specific rules that require staff to act as coaches teaching kids how to take losses and victories with dignity and a spirit of fair play. Participants are constantly invited to blend these two types of play in many ways. It’s a messy mix of do-It-yourself fun.

To this end, applicants should have plenty of experience working with kids and still hold them in high regard - they should understand how to talk to kids without talking down to them. Even though our staff-to-camper ratio is less than five campers for every Instructor, applicants should be comfortable working alone with large groups of kids if needed. They should have some sense of their own kid-charisma, whether they can tell great stories, play characters or inspire participation through engaged listening and positive feedback. We should all be able to captivate kids’ attentions when needed while possessing the patience and stamina to invite children into play and social interaction throughout the day.

Applicants should also possess a high social intelligence and enjoy working collaboratively with other instructors. To make things easier we strive to maintain a sense of camaraderie and a mutually supportive community out on the summer trails. But we also know that implicit bias on the part of businesses disproportionately hurts women, black, indigenous & people of color, people from working class backgrounds and LGBTQ people. We strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other marginalized communities. We work to create a non-oppressive and democratic workplace that also represents, at all job levels, the communities and families our camps serve.

All applicants:

  • should be a minimum of 18 years, preferably 19 or older. 
  • should have stellar skills in working with kids, preferably at least two years of experience.
  • should be able to describe strong behavior management experiences exhibiting the maturity to not take children’s behavior personally.
  • should be able to work outside in all types of weather.
  • should not be triggered by or exhibit judgmental behavior toward sword play and pretend combat.
  • preferably have skills in sports coaching, acting, theatre, storytelling, music or gaming.
  • preferably are able to put on a big, friendly, outgoing personality.
  • preferably have an interest and knowledge of myth, folklore and fantasy literature and/or gaming, from any tradition or culture of course.
  • preferably are able to commit to 10 weeks of full-time summer employment.
  • must be willing and able to travel to regional parks that could be 15-30 minutes from Minneapolis-St Paul.
  • MUST be able to attend a mandatory paid staff training on a morning of the weekend of June 1 or 2, 2024. We'll try our best to work around Minneapolis Pride celebrations!

As with all children’s work under Minnesota law, employment at Adventures in Cardboard is dependent on applicants passing a Predatory Offender Registration Check and a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Background Check pursuant to Minnesota Statute §299C.62.


To apply:

If interested, please email questions or cover letters and applications to [email protected].

Title your email Art and Play Instructor Application.

In your email please include:

  • a description of your experience working with kids,
  • your experience in theatre, sports coaching, music, fantasy literature, folklore and/or gaming,
  • why you are interested in Adventures in Cardboard,
  • a resume is encouraged, but not necessary.

Thank you so much for your interest, we'll try to get back to you within two weeks!