Employment Opportunities- Cooks



Nature's Classroom is a residential environmental education program.  Our program brings children, usually in grades 4-8, along with their school teachers, to any of 13 different centers in the Northeast. These are beautiful rural places to live and work, with friendly and dedicated staff. We hope you will consider joining us!


Cooking at Nature's Classroom


There are three different cook positions at Nature's Classroom:  Head Cook, Assistant Cook and Co-Cook.  Each Nature's Classroom site has its own kitchen staff set-up, so exact title varies from site to site. Cook positions are generally residential with salary plus room and board provided.

Cooks are responsible for approximately
13 meals per school week (Monday through Friday).

Cooks will be serving 40 - 150 people per week, depending on site.


General Duties:

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1. Maintenance of kitchen - cook, serve, clean cooking utensils, clean kitchen area, counters and floors.

2. Supervision of assistants (at larger sites).

3. Menu planning and ordering of food  - be aware of the site population as numbers differ weekly.

Breakdown of Responsibilities

Head Cook:  responsible for 1, 2 and 3 above.

Assistant Cook:  responsible for 1 above.

Co-Cook:  shares responsibility for 1 and 3 above

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General Outline of the Week


Kids arrive around 10 or 11 am

Lunch is served anywhere from 12 to 2 pm. Be prepared to hold lunch for a long time -  late starts, lengthy dining hall talk, etc.

Start working on food orders

Dinner is served around 6 pm. After dinner, prepare snack for later in the evening.



Usually a normal schedule, with meals at 8am, 12pm and 6pm (actual times vary by site). By Tuesday dinner, the kids start to realize that your food may be different from home, but it is good to eat. Add that to a full day of activity and they will be starved. Plan for a big meal with ample quantities.

Program Coordinator will have numbers and requirements by now for the following week. Plan your menu and inventory stock for placing orders.



Might be a pack-out lunch if kids are doing an all day activity. Have everything ready for kids to make sandwiches right after breakfast.

Place orders for next week with your purveyors.

If there is no lunch served in dining room, do an extended cleaning of kitchen and dining room.

Dinner may be served at normal time, or may be off depending on return from off-site trips. Be flexible. If the kids were on an all day hike, they will be starved. Plan to have a hearty meal for dinner.



Food deliveries will begin arriving - check invoice and then put everything away promptly.

Thursday dinner is a farewell dinner and should be special. The executive director favors roast beef or turkey with all the trimmings, with ice cream sundaes for dessert.



Fridays are always different. Sometimes you have a normal 8am breakfast, 12pm lunch. Sometimes you have a brunch. Sometimes you do box lunches. Program coordinator should know this information 3 weeks prior to group's arrival, so you will know how to plan.

This is the big clean-up and checkout day. The kitchen and dining room need to be thoroughly cleaned and ready to be turned over to the weekend crew. Program coordinator and/or site manager will inspect before you can checkout for the weekend.

Don't forget to provide food for the weekend for the staff.

You are usually done by 3pm, followed by a staff meeting to go over the current week and plan for next week. Then you are free for the weekend.


If you think you might like to work with us, please tour our website and give us a call at 800-433-8375 or 508-248-2741. We'll be happy to talk to you. 

E-mail your application to:


Or snail-mail the application to:

Nature's Classroom
Attn: Ashley
19 Harrington Road
Charlton, MA 01507

phone:  (800) 433-8375
email: ashley@naturesclassroom.org
fax: (508) 248-2745