Scout Island Nature Centre is Looking for a New Executive Director

short eared kris

Position: Scout Island Nature Centre Executive Director in Training
Start date: To be discussed
Half time Salary Position Specific Hours are Flexible
Hourly rate: 28/hour to begin

Creative, exciting work coordinating, designing, supporting nature education and the Nature Centre with a team of educators and Williams Lake Field Naturalists volunteers.

You would also carry out administrative functions ((i.e. applying for grants, funding reports, manage budgets for various grants and fee-for-services)

Degree in a related field (Natural Resource Management, Biology, Education, Nonprofit Management), or equivalent in work experience, in a related field.
Confident verbal and written reporting/presentation skills
Adequate computer skills (word processing, xcell, power points, web site) & understanding of financial management
Excellent organizational, interpersonal skills & professional etiquette; able to work well independently, as well as within a group                                                                                             Skill in supervising and advising students (high school and university) that work as summer staff.

Keep Reading 

Do want to be Scout Island Nature Centre’s next Executive Director (ED)?  First consider this:

Tuesday March 7, 2017 at Scout Island Nature Centre—A Typical Day–  Reflections from Sue the present Executive Director

7am–ED checked out all the trails and ice safety and found a deer leg—perfect for “placing”.  She dragged it to a spot the Nature K can find it tomorrow when they go to Hare Island

8am– Kacie Young arrived to get ready for the Nature Kindergarten day.

8:30– am Martin Kruus arrived to get ready for his group of Home Schoolers.  ED helped find materials he needed and advised on ice safety

9am– Bus with Nature K children arrived and children took off for an outdoor adventure until about 10:30.   Then they moved inside until lunch doing math and literacy centres

At lunch time they went outside to slide and dig in the snow, but they had a hard time hearing each other because of the red winged blackbirds singing so loud

After lunch they were inside for cozy owl time and more centres then back outside for adventures at the mud kitchen then off to Hare Island and the “finding” of the deer leg.

9am– Teacher On Call for the older home schoolers arrived to get ready and by 9:30 the older and younger home schoolers are were all over the upstairs of the nature house and outside having adventures.  This went on until 3pm including a visit from Jenny Howell to teach them about being “Water Wise.”   They spread out all over to have lunch and had to share the microwave with the Nature K teacher and EA and their own teachers

9am –ED met with Brandon who is  helping  her organize some new web pages

11:30-ED got her lunch in before all the children and teachers arrived to use the microwave—also did a quick clean up of the bathrooms and got out the compost bucket for home schoolers to use.  Fred (WLFN president and major volunteer) checked in to pick up mail and update ED on planned repairs needed.  A brief discussion on possible funding needed for the repairs.

12 noon –Jane, Jacinta and ED met to organize Air Aware education ideas

2pm Anne, Mary and ED met to brainstorm ideas for the Spring Break “Writing in Nature” program—Did you know that Anne is writing a novel about Scout Island?  She is the perfect person to lead young writers.

2pm Jim also arrived to see if he can fix our wifi—It gets really crowded in the office!

Phone calls interrupted all day to sign children up for spring break program, ask natural history questions, …

3:30: Lakeshia (high school student doing an independent study)  and Kris (her mentor) arrived to check out birds for an hour.  This is part of Lakeshia’s citizen science for her Independent Study course.  Kris and Paula are her mentors.  Frances is her teacher.  ED got everyone together to do this

5pm:  Momentary quiet inside

Outside all day there were birds singing; people walking; dogs sniffing; hares hopping; Ring-necked Duck at the outlet (3 days ahead of the average return date);  a Killdeer on the clear ice in the channel (perhaps reflecting on the wisdom of this biological urge to be first back on territory); otters playing off of Otter Point; and the crows busy locating all of the suet and fruit that some one decided to hang along the trails today.

5:30–  The quiet didn’t last long.  The Sparks and leaders arrived for their bimonthly gathering.  It was pretty noisy so ED went out for a crepuscular (dusk) walk.  She was just in time to see the beavers emerge for a breath of fresh air.  They had been trapped in their lodges for the last few days as the ice covered over again.  The crows that had just settled for the night in the tall aspens along the willow trail made a noisy protest at the immature eagle that flew over

7:30—Finally, it was quiet at the nature house—time to catch up with emails and notes about all that happened during the day.  Tomorrow it will start all over.  Not every day is this busy, but 2-3 days a week are.

People to the Nature House total today:

62 children

40 adults (including parents dropping home schoolers and some nature k and volunteers into check on things)

Does this sound confusing or chaotic?  I see it more like a symphony and ED as the conductor.  First of all, all of the members of the orchestra (that includes, teachers, program participants, educators, volunteers and even the birds) love Scout Island and each brings a unique tone that makes up the symphony.  The conductor (executive director) has to bring energy, commitment, an idea of what the music could sound like, and creativity to bring it all together.  He/she has to have expertise in lots of things (or a commitment to developing that expertise) just like a conductor.  The conductor doesn’t play all of the instruments but understands the instruments abilities and how it contributes to the whole melody.

A love and fascination of nature is essential.  A biology background is really useful (from degrees or self study).  Organizational skills and the ability to have several balls in the air at once is also essential.  And–lots of energy.

This is the best job I have ever had and I intend to be around for a while to mentor the next lucky conductor of this symphony.

If this sounds like the job for you,   send a resume and a cover letter that explains how you could be the conductor by October 31 to shemphill at

Summer Nature Programs Coming

Summer Programs Start July 7–Registration is open Now  

Phone 250 398 8532 or scoutisland at

Weekly themes

July 13 “Bugs are “Fly”

July 20 Toadally Awesome Amphibians

—Reptiles too

July 27 Marsh Madness

Aug. 4 Rock and Roll

August 10 Mammals on the Mind

August 17 Unbe-leaf-able  Plants

Once again we will also offer Tales and Trails for ages 0-5 (with care giver)

This free program will include stories and adventures in nature.  It will be offered Thursdays 9:30-11am  July 9, 23, Aug. 6, 20.  Preregistration is necessary.


2020 Scout Island Nature Fun and Art In Nature Programs

We are adapting to keep children and staff safe

And still having fun in nature

  • Distancing as much as possible
  • Lots of hand washing
  • Mostly outdoor activities
  • Drop off and pick up altered to promote parent distancing
  • Sanitizing and cleaning daily
  • Smaller groups (10 children per day who will be in 2 groups of 5)


  1. There will be cohorts of 15 children that will not mix with other cohorts and will expose staff to fewer children. This will mean less chance of spread and easier tracking if someone becomes ill.
  2. Parents required to do a daily health check of their child and cancel if there are any signs of illness-then notify us asap

This is how the schedule will work

Children who have completed kindergarten-8 years old can be in the Monday and  Friday Nature Fun cohort or the Tuesday Nature Fun Cohort.  This is offered in the mornings only 9:30-12.  Cost is $15.  We will register 15 children in each cohort who can attend on any of the days designated for their cohort by signing up for the day at least a day in advance:

Monday-Friday Cohort

July 13, 17, 20, 24, 27 ,31, Aug. 7,10, 14, or 17  We are asking for a commitment to at least 6 of those days.

Tuesday cohort

July 7, 21, Aug. 4, and 18   We are asking for a commitment to at least two of the days.

Children 8-13 can take part in the Art in Nature full day program 8:30-4:30 on the following Wednesdays: July 15, 22, 29, Aug. 5, 12, or 19   Cost is $25.   We are asking for a commitment to at least 3 of the 6 sessions.

These programs are supported by the Canada Summer Jobs Grant, the Williams Lake Field Naturalists, andCCACS Grant Acknowledgements


Spring Break Program March 17-19

Be Wild

this Spring Break at

Scout Island Nature Centre

Nature Exploring and

Art in Nature for Grades 1-6

March 17-19


Don’t sit at home bored —Join us for the

Spring Break Program that will have you outside exploring, playing games and having adventures every day. 

Join us between 8:30-4:00 each day

(8:30-9:30 independent activities and feeding animals,  9:30-3-Main Program, 3-4 games and finishing art work)

Pack no garbage snacks and lunches and enter your name for a prize each day


Each day will be different, so sign up for 1, 2 or all 3 days


  • March 17—What mammals are living at Scout Island
  • March 18—Plants are showing us spring is coming
  • March 19—Birds –starting to sing for spring

The cost is $35/day (scholarships available)

Call 398 8532 or shemphill at to register

Only 12 spots each day

Leader is Kim Zalay

with student support from Alana Witte


checking out tracks

Navigating Nepal

Navigating Nepal
Robin and Trish Hoffos
Free Presentation
Scout Island Nature House
7pm Thursday February 20

nepalRobin and Trish narrate their visit to Nepal in March-April 2019.
Their travels include stops in Kathmandu, Chitwan National Park and
Pokhara, culminating in an 11 day trek to Annapurna Base Camp.
See Asian rhino, flowering rhododendron forests and 8,000m peaks in
this special but sometimes chaotic country.
Call 250 398 8532 for more info

Join the Williams Lake Field Naturalists

Why not join the Williams Lake Field Naturalists. This is the group that has managed (fund raised, supervised and trained staff, maintained trails, built bridges….) Scout Island since 1978 and new members are welcomed.
Membership is important as it gives Scout Island a strong voice. As well, being a member means you are a member of BC Nature one of the strongest advocates for nature in the province.
It is only $35/year for a family or $30 for a single.
As a member you
~ receive our lively and informative newsletter 6 times a year
~ automatically become a member of BC Nature and receive their newsletter
~ can participate in our field trips that take you all over the Cariboo Chilcotin
And yes many of the field trips are kid friendly (parents attached of course)
And you could help:
~ operate Scout Island Nature Centre
~ create and maintain the trails, viewing platforms and wildlife habitat
~ sponsor education programs
~ lead field trips to amazing local destinations from April to October
~ do research and monitoring in the natural environment
~ advocate for nature—BC Nature does this well for the entire province.
Membership form attached  WLFNMembership_Form_2020
crew at work kiosk
Members working on the new kiosk at the Nature Centre.
Big Horn Sheep are commonly seen on the fall field trip to the  Junction Sheep Range