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Substitute Summer Instructor
Galileo Learning | Naperville, Illinois
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Job Description

Passionate about working with and having an impact on kids? Do you thrive in new environments and love supporting the needs of a team? Have a love for art, science, technology, team-building or education that you can't wait to share? Believe the world needs innovators? Ready to have a career-defining summer?

Substitutes fill in for absences lasting a day, a week, and sometimes longer, and are scheduled to work only when regular staff members are absent. The Substitute Instructor role is the perfect opportunity for those inspired by the idea of a Galileo summer, and who are open to or require a shorter summer commitment. Learn more about this role and working at Galileo in our jobs video gallery.

We value having divergent thinkers who bring various experiences and viewpoints to the table at Galileo. We strongly encourage members of underrepresented groups to apply.


Galileo's mission is to develop innovators who envision and create a better world. We know it's bold. We also know that we can't achieve it without asking staff to be role models of an innovator's mindset—visionary, courageous, collaborative, determined and reflective. It's not always easy. Camp staffers work hard. Very hard. You can expect days in which there's a ton to get done and not a ton of time to do it. But part of what makes our culture great is that no one is too proud to complete any task that needs doing. Our camp staffers bring camp magic to life—for campers, and for themselves.

This isn't your average summer recreation gig. Galileans are expected to take ownership of their own performance and make this place better every day. People with a can-do attitude thrive here and those with a victim mentality don't. We manage to keep this level of performance expectation high in a relaxed environment; we take our work, but not ourselves, seriously.

Being a Galilean means jumping into action to bring camp magic to life. Depending on the day, that could mean donning a tutu for a skit, creating a gorgeous sign that highlights the Galileo Innovation Approach, or playing a board game with two campers to build connection. You've got to know what it means to be a vital part of a team. You've got to want to grow. You've got to like to have fun at work. You have to smile—a lot—and you have to like to laugh. After all, we run summer camps. You get the point.


  • Serve as an ambassador of Galileo, demonstrating our mission and values in a positive and professional manner and acting as a role model of the Galileo Innovator's mindset
  • Commit to building a safe, child-focused community
  • Demonstrate professionalism and accountability
  • Take initiative to analyze and solve problems
  • Treat others with courtesy and respect
  • Respond to camper, family member and colleague needs
  • Strengthen our relationship with host site by upholding facility policies and embracing host site employees as partners
  • Maintain a high standard of ethics, integrity and confidentiality


  • Commitment to educational programming for children
  • Flexibility to meet changing work needs and demands
  • Ability to work collaboratively on a high-functioning team
  • Openness to feedback and desire to grow professionally
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks efficiently and accurately
  • Strong organization skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to communicate clearly, maturely and compassionately with families
  • Ability to maintain an excellent work ethic, a high level of energy and exceptional enthusiasm all day, every day, for the duration of the summer


  • College graduate
  • Experience working with kids or in a camp setting a plus


  • Travel to multiple sites within a geographic region, providing support in whatever way most benefits the specific camp team with whom you work on any assigned day
  • Prepare for and deliver three rotations of Galileo curriculum per day in either art, science, outdoors or other Major(s) to groups of up to 24 campers
  • Implement the curriculum as written, adapting it as needed to improve the camper experience or accommodate individual campers, and capturing feedback to share with curriculum developers
  • Substitute Lead Instructors may be asked to jump into a variety of other roles at camp, including acting as a Summer Camp Counselor, Assistant Instructor, Summer Intern, or general support
  • Provide leadership, energy and camp spirit for campers, constantly assessing group dynamics and the needs of individual campers
  • Supervise Summer Camp Counselors and Assistant Instructors working in your program area and inspire them to become excellent instructors
  • Set, work toward, and achieve measurable professional development goals
  • Support camper check-in and check-out processes
  • Provide excellent customer service to families by communicating with them about their camper's experience
  • Assist with daily set up and clean-up of camp
  • Contribute to and participate in daily opening and closing ceremonies, all-camp activities, and snack & lunch supervision and programming


The camp environment is demanding, requiring intense dedication and work ethic from each staff member. Depending on the time of summer or the specific week or day, the needs of camp and resulting staff hours may vary. We seek and make offers to staff who we believe are capable of thriving in this environment and contributing to camp's success.

General Camp Staff Hours Information:

  • Staff may work anytime between 7:30am and 6pm, Monday through Friday. Number of hours and start/finish time will vary by site, position and day
  • Staff meetings: During regular work hours before or after the start of programming
  • Before setup days begin, complete between 2-12 hours of online training
  • Training and setup days: Participate in two mandatory training and setup days in the days before camp starts
  • Camp cleanup: Participate in cleaning and packing up camp for an additional 5-10 hours, typically an extra 1-2 hours at the end of each day during the final week of camp. On the last day of camp all staff stay on site until cleanup is complete, which will be 6pm at the earliest

Position-Specific Hours Information:

For Substitute staff, the work environment (including the physical location and the staff team) changes from one assignment to the next. Depending on the time of summer or the specific week or day, the needs of camp and resulting staff hours may vary. The camp day runs, on average, 8-9 hours for Lead Instructors. Lead Instructors typically work 7:45am-4:45pm.


We are committed to competitively compensating staff. Regarding compensation:

  • Substitute Instructors are compensated at a regular hourly rate of $11.75-13.50 per hour
  • Staff will be compensated at a different hourly rate (training rate) for 2-10 hours of online training to be completed before camp, and for 2 days on-site setup/training. Training and setup day hours will be compensated at a regular hourly rate of $8.25-12.00 per hour
  • Summer staff positions are temporary, seasonal positions and do not include health benefits or paid vacation time
  • Overtime will be paid at 1.5x the regular hourly rate in accordance with state and federal requirements
  • Payroll is processed weekly; payments will be issued and paystubs made available the Friday after each camp week


General supervision, ongoing observation and evaluation is provided by Camp Directors, Area Directors, and the People Operations Team.


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 accommodation may be made to enable people with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Some lifting and carrying up to 60 lbs.
  • Typing, writing, reading
  • Seeing, hearing and speaking, both nearby and at a distance
  • Use hands and fingers to help with classroom supplies and operate equipment
  • Frequent sitting
  • Standing, walking, kneeling

About Galileo Learning

Now offering signing bonuses of up to $1,000 in the Bay Area Peninsula and Orange County. Apply today!

Here at Galileo Learning, we’re not just inspiring a new generation of innovators—we’re providing a platform for a new generation of innovative industry professionals.

Working for Galileo gives you the chance to be part of something meaningful and ground-breaking. Whether joining our Summer Staff, Camp Director, or Headquarters team, people who come to work here find the energy so addicting that they stick around for a long time. That tells us we’re doing something right.

Through the consistent application of our values, our high-functioning teams take every opportunity to grow and improve. Our teams believe that the way we work together is just as important as the work itself, which is why we infuse our days with the same joy and wonder that our campers experience.