top of page

Working at CELP

Catalina Island provides a wonderful and unique work environment. The ocean is incredibly full of life and we see amazing things every time we snorkel, kayak or walk along it. Living with the land through the changes of the year opens one’s eyes to the incredible lessons that nature offers.

You have the opportunity to be trained by naturalists of The Ocean Futures Society, an organization headed by Jean-Michel Cousteau.

The students who come to see us are eager to learn and even after a few short days, they impact your commitment to life and learning.

The job is a remarkable experience in learning about the environment, working with children and being part of a unique community.


CELP Instructor:

Most staff members start as a CELP Instructor. Instructors are provided a thorough and well-rounded training into all of our program areas and curriculum.

For inquiries about other job opportunities please contact us at

Other positions: Senior Instructor, Dive Coordinator, Garden Coordinator, Challenge Coordinator, Service Coordinator, Senior Program Coordinators

Work Week

A staff member is assigned to one CELP group from a school, or fulfills a coordinator role once trained. A typical work week is Monday-Friday.

Staff are scheduled to work some weekends with groups that require lifeguards and climbing instructors. If a staff member is assigned to work over the weekend, they will get their two days off during the week. 

CELP staff will go through a 1-2 week training at the beginning of each season.  The aim of this time is to give staff the resources needed to generate lesson plans and the teaching skills needed to effectively reach the diverse audience of students who attend CELP.

With that said, it is not realistic to think you can absorb everything you need to learn before the students arrive. Throughout the season additional trainings give staff more resources to expand their knowledge base. The instructor mentor program also allows for on-going training by pairing senior instructors with new staff to provide feedback and support.



In our years of experience with children we have learned that good staff members are the key to reaching our high standards.

  • All staff have a college degree in environmental science or a related field or are at least 21 years old with appropriate work experience.

  • All staff have experience working with children and are hired based on skills, character, personality, attitude, and leadership ability.

  • Each candidate completes a thorough application and two part interview process. We contact all references to confirm the strength of each applicant.

  • Staff go through extensive training with experts from the Ocean Futures Society and Catalina Island Camps.

  • All staff are first aid and CPR certified. Staff leading waterfront activities are lifeguard certified and receive thorough safety training at our waterfront.


We are remote from the mainland and we are remote on the island. Two Harbors, a yachting community with a small store, snack bar, restaurant and bar, is 5 miles away via dirt road. Transportation to and from town is generally limited to a two-hour hike or a 30-minute bike ride. There is no regular access to “city life” such as shopping, entertainment and other comforts.

There are ferries to and from the mainland for about $75 roundtrip fare.  As a staff member at CELP your boat tickets for your arrival and departure to and from the island are covered.  Boats depart from the San Pedro Terminal.  If you want to leave your car at the boat terminal there is a monthly rate of about $80.  Avalon is a 2 hour drive from camp so reservations must be made to pick-up/drop-off in Two Harbors. There are limited boat times to and from Two Harbors, especially in the winter months, which can make weekend trips to the mainland short and rushed. 


We live in simple rustic cabins with up to 3 other CELP staff. Staff cabins are in close proximity to guests so we honor the 10pm quiet hours.  Catalina Island Camps institutes a dry camp policy.  No drugs or alcohol are allowed on-site.  Bathroom facilities are located within a short walk of all cabins. 


Staff members at CELP live and work in close proximity every day. This provides a wonderful opportunity to interact and form strong bonds with your peers. This can also be challenging as personal space and time is limited. We strive to cultivate a sense of respect for one another to maintain a positive working environment. There are many advantages to living in a close-knit community, but it is important to consider some of the challenges associated with this type of environment.

We at CELP believe biodiversity is good, including the diversity in all of the people on this planet. We are an equal opportunity workplace and are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, ethnic group, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, gender identity, or Veteran status. We do not tolerate discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying on basis of the aforementioned in any experience with CELP. 

We encourage all to apply so that our outdoor environmental education industry becomes a true representation of today's world and those committed to the wellbeing of ourselves, each other, and the planet. CELP is interested in your life experiences, stories, goals, and dreams. We are all connected, so when we come together to protect, help, and care for one another we in turn protect, help, and care for ourselves. CELP creates connections and community to empower all participants to be stewards for this planet. 

bottom of page