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  • Writer's pictureNova Scotia Sea School

Job Opportunity! Program Director

Updated: Feb 2




Job Opportunity: Program Director 


Summary: The Nova Scotia Sea School is seeking an experienced and passionate practitioner

 to join our crew as Program Director.  Become part of an enthusiastic group of outdoor professionals who work to serve a diverse group of youth. Be a steward of our strategic vision 

and help guide us through our 30th year and beyond! 



Application deadline: Wednesday February 7th

Job Location: Lunenburg, NS (May- August),  Remote (Sept - April) 

Start Date:  mid - late February, 2024

Contract Expectations:  Full time, permanent; 37.5 hrs/wk; $65,000 per annum salary  (2 wk vacation plus 2 wks xmas holiday eligible after 6 months; Blue Cross full benefits package covered at 50%, includes spouse / common-law and dependents; overtime is compensated with time in lieu)


Our commitment to equitable hiring practices: Sea School is committed long-term to improving diversity within its leadership and participantship in a meaningful and structural way.  If you are an applicant who is part of an underserved population, we are interested in assisting you on your journey with us, providing any necessary training, and hearing what you have to say about what might make your opportunity for leadership in this field possible.  We welcome applications from Indigenous People, African Nova Scotians and Other Racially Visible Persons, Persons with Disabilities, Women, Persons from the 2SLGBTQ+ community, religious minority communities and/or other communities where they are under-represented. Reach out if you'd like to hear more about Sea School's commitments, goals, intentions, and partnerships with regards to diversity in sailing and in outdoor communities.


Job Overview: 

Reporting to the Executive Director the Program Director will manage the program activities of the organization including program design, staff training and development, program promotion,  implementation and logistics, partner development and summer operations of our Lunenburg boathouse facility. All of these duties require strong organization, flexibility, excellent communication skills, responsiveness to unexpected scenarios and commitment to follow through. This role demands proficiency in verbal and written communication, working with diverse groups of individuals and responsiveness in a fast-paced environment. 


Candidates can expect to join a crew of enthusiastic outdoor professionals who work to serve a diversity of youth.    Our summer season, starting in May and continuing until September, is our most intensive period, where you can expect to work weekends / evenings and be on call for a portion of July /  August.  This time period is an ‘all hands on deck’ approach where you and the staff team will support the implementation and logistics of leadership training programs and youth expeditions. For the remaining months of the year, you can expect to focus more on administrative work, staff development, partnership development, and support for day / group programs and March break programs.  



Tasks / Duties: 


Programs and Youth Engagement

  • Schedule and coordinate youth sailing, wilderness and kayak expeditions based in Lunenburg NS

  • Schedule and coordinate diversity partnership programs based in Halifax, NS and Lunenburg, NS. 

  • Develop and implement annual program marketing and recruitment strategies to attract a diverse range of youth.  

  • Develop and maintain partnerships with subcontractors, referral partners and community partner organizations. 

  • Coordinate program logistics including booking accommodations, vehicle rentals, and equipment needs. 

  • Develop and revise program manuals and checklists for instructors for program planning expectations. 

  • Revise program and risk policies and advise with the Executive Director and risk management committee.

  • Oversee program delivery quality / pedagogy.

  • Respond to risk and emergency crisis – support staff through this alongside other admin staff.

  • Facilitate program delivery and workshops within scope and where necessary. 

  • Evaluate and report on program outcomes. 


Staff Management, Development and Retention 

  • Hire and supervise all seasonal staff / casual instructional staff. 

  • Develop and implement instructor HR Policies, orientation systems, contracts, prerequisites, pay rates etc.

  • Deliver training for staff oriented around job expectations, risk management, and emergency response.

  • Subcontract and / deliver training for staff oriented around Equity, Diversity and Inclusion principles, mental health, cultural safety and other priorities identified in NSSS strategic plan. 

  • Work with an advisory committee to develop long term leadership and retention strategies for staff.  

  • Conduct performance evaluation and debriefing with all instructional and seasonal staff. 

  • Provide mentorship and support to staff on an ongoing basis. 



Prerequisites: 


Experience / Qualifications: 

  • Post-secondary education in one of: recreation management,  parks and tourism, health promotion, business administration, or bachelor of education. 

  • Personal / professional experience (over 5 years) in sailing, wilderness and or outdoor multi day pursuits. . 

  • Experience in non-profit and /or recreation program / or camp administration.

  • Experience with outdoor program design, pedagogy and evaluation. 

  • Experience with team management and staff supervision. 

  • Experience with facilitation of meetings, presentations and staff training. 

  • Experience working directly with youth and vulnerable or underrepresented youth.

  • Strong understanding of all aspects of Google drive, google docs and social media applications. 

  • Experience with facility and equipment management


Professional Qualities: 

  • Strong relationship building and youth engagement skills

  • Exceptional organizational and time management skills 

  • Independent worker with high motivation and drive 

  • Comfortable with both hands-on and office / computer related work duties

  • Ability to consistently provide a positive and team oriented attitude

  • Flexible and adaptable to changes in priorities and / or logistical needs

  • Problem solving and creative troubleshooting skills

  • Demonstrated ability to respond to and inform on risk with respect to participants and or program logistics


Work Conditions Prerequisites: 

  • Valid driver’s license with access to a car for program logistics and travel to meetings 

  • Own / use a mobile phone (50% of monthly cost will be covered by Sea School) 

  • Own / access to a laptop (If not, Sea School can provide one) 

  • Standard First Aid / Wilderness First Aid or willing to acquire this once hired

  • Prepared to participate in training and respond to major and minor incidents alongside staff and volunteers

  • Prepared to work weekends, evenings and periodic overnights (overtime covered as time in lieu) during peak program times in July / August

  • Prepared to be ‘on call’ 24 hrs / day for a portion of the program season (training will be provided)


How To Apply: 

Send cover letter and resume to Heather Kelday, Executive Director: heather@seaschool.org (no option for drop-off)  The deadline to apply is Wednesday February 7th at 11:59pm ATL. 

 To contact for further inquiries/questions please email heather@seaschool.org



About the Nova Scotia Sea School (for more information visit www.seaschool.org

The Sea School offers primarily teenagers, ages 12 to 18, adventure experiences that transform how they see themselves, the world around them and their capacity to contribute to our society. From the simple experience of life on a small boat or building something with their hands, youth gain the confidence and awareness to make important decisions about their lives. The Sea School delivers multi-day expeditions on sailboats, on remote islands learning wilderness skills and in heritage places doing boat building and seamanship skill development. Each year the school impacts over 200 teenagers on programs, and works with over 40 community partners.  A large portion of our participants are supported through our flexible payment structure and fundraising initiatives.  




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