Exploration Summer Programs

  www.explo.org
  www.explo.org
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Exploration Summer Programs Reviews

Updated July 11, 2014
Updated July 11, 2014
13 Reviews
4.4
13 Reviews
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Arnold Singal
5 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    It was one of the best summer experiences I've had.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Exploration Summer Programs as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    There is so much excitement, not only from the students who loved it, but from the staff that worked there also. The students are really excited to be there and to learn from the faculty. The other staff member around are always willing to help lead an activity or help to play out a scene in a classroom. The support and feedback from peers is frequent and extremely helpful. Situations and problems that arise are dealt with immediately. Returning staff are given a bonus for coming back for another summer.

    Cons

    Things can get a bit exhausting when working at a overnight program like this one. Energy is hard to keep when running after children in the heat of the summer.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great if you drink the Kool-aid, average if you don't

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - RA-Instructor  in  Wellesley, MA
    Current Employee - RA-Instructor in Wellesley, MA

    I have been working at Exploration Summer Programs full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I have only worked at the wellesley campus as an instructor and RA so that's all I can speak to. The kids are amazing. I have a blast hanging out with them. You feel like you are giving some of the kids, not all, the best time of their lives. When teaching, you have a lot of autonomy, you feel like you are doing something meaningful (sometimes) and you are able to become better. Everything good about this job is the kids. They really make it for me. I love teaching them, I love hanging out with them, and I love hearing what they have to say. The compensation is great.

    Cons

    Explo is akin to a cult. It's staff suffer from classic Stockholm syndrome. Most of the jobs are so demeaning and pathetic you feel like a robot. Half the time at Explo you are doing work that feel like busy work. For example, staff are supposed to sit next to stairs and monitor who goes out and in. It's one of the most pathetic excuses for work I have seen.

    You are reduced to a robot who must enforce rules that you do not agree with. Whether its the strict curfew and check-in times to the no cursing rule, I feel like I am a traitor to myself every time I enforce these rules. When you don't enforce them, you get a nice passive aggressive talk with an underlying tone of "you either do what we are told or you get fired." Though most the staff is nice and have their heart in the right place, their power really gets to their head. Just like every other school, their cultish nature prevents them to think outside the box. Thus, you have arbitrary rules based on draconian social norms forced on the students.

    The classes are truly still gimmicks. They try to make them serious, but the lack of resources, help and student interest in classes make them a gimmick.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make this camp a place where the arbitrary and draconian social norms of the outside world don't apply. Let kids actually explore! Let them not have curfew. Let them take risks. Let them be humans. That is what America is about. But we have lost our way. We still commit age discrimination. If this camp gave the kids more respect and age discriminated less, it would be a ever better place to work. I don't mind the crazy work hours. I just want to be a good friend of these kids. Let me do it. Stop trying to create artificial lines of "professionalism" in which we are encouraged to be "friendly but not friends." That is not why I am here. I'm here to let the kids have a good time and be their friend.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Exploration Summer Programs is an incredible work environment that helps a person grow so much.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Residential Adviser  in  Southborough, MA
    Current Employee - Residential Adviser in Southborough, MA

    I have been working at Exploration Summer Programs as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Exploration Summer programs is an incredibly rewarding work environment. People learn so much and work with coworkers who are incredibly supportive and motivating.

    Cons

    While the environment is rewarding, it is also incredibly exhausting. Sometimes staff may be up very late doing tasks or helping homesick children and then wake up very early.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Very positive experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - RA-Instructor  in  New Haven, CT
    Former Employee - RA-Instructor in New Haven, CT

    I worked at Exploration Summer Programs full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    It is a great experience to create your own curricula and teach high school students. You also have time to explore the city, go on field trips, and get free tickets to basically everything you could think of. They pay for you to go white water rafting, to broadways plays, food tours, six flags amusement park etc.

    Cons

    Sometimes it can be stressful. You get every other night off to do whatever, but for the rest of the time, you are on the clock.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Best summer of my life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - RA-Instructor  in  Wellesley, MA
    Former Employee - RA-Instructor in Wellesley, MA

    I worked at Exploration Summer Programs part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Amazing staff, the friendships I built there will last forever. An extremely fun and creative work environment. If you're not creative, or you don't want to be creative don't work here.

    Cons

    Very long hours and days. As an Instructor, I found myself having to work on curriculum during my off time sometimes

    Recommends
  7.  

    Best summer job I've had!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Wellesley, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wellesley, MA

    I have been working at Exploration Summer Programs as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    The people I spent my summer with were truly incredible and so passionate. The students are unique and diverse, and the program itself is comprehensive and carefully planned.

    Cons

    Critical feedback is limited unless you seek it out for yourself. Starting the summer is trial by fire -- sink or swim. The summer is exhausting and they will work you hard!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Greater availability of critical feedback!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Not much free time; more camp work than teaching work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Instructor/RA  in  New Haven, CT
    Former Employee - Instructor/RA in New Haven, CT

    I worked at Exploration Summer Programs

    Pros

    Good summer job salary, excellent experience working in New Haven, interesting work - very challenging (but rewarding) to construct courses, met some really great and interesting kids and counselors there

    Cons

    Long hours/overscheduling, every other night off, bad dining hall food, living facilities (cockroaches),

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give us more time away from the kids, revamp pre curriculum advising process, give us training in how to deal with classroom misbehavior instead of misbehavior from an RA perspective

    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Demanding work but only for 6 weeks and better compensation than other summer jobs.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Wellesley, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wellesley, MA

    I worked at Exploration Summer Programs

    Pros

    Good pay for 6 weeks.
    Good networking opportunity.
    Interesting and talented co-workers.
    It's ONLY 6 weeks.
    Occasionally rewarding when kids say it's the best summer of their lives.

    Cons

    Long hours.
    Fairly thankless work.
    Stressful environment with high expectations and occasionally unreasonable management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The "we're all a family" act is a little insulting. It's 6 intense weeks and there's not a lot of glory in it. Employees should be given more realistic expectations. It's confusing and misleading to have management set themselves up as "friends" when ultimately, they have a job to do and will end up milking the employees for all they're worth.

    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Best summer job ever!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Instructor/Resident Assistant  in  New Haven, CT
    Former Employee - Instructor/Resident Assistant in New Haven, CT

    I worked at Exploration Summer Programs

    Pros

    Great pay. Awesome staff. Teaching experience. Experience as a resident assistant. Great support and feedback system to help you develop as an instructor.

    Cons

    The job description boasts that you design the courses from scratch, but in actuality they have specific courses they want to be taught each year. For some courses it can be difficult to create your own course that also matches with what they've promised to students.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Definitely the hardest part of Exploration is the pre-season planning process. Some things you can do to make this better is to make the lesson plans from past years available to instructors as examples of things that work.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Enjoyable environment, but has its priorities wrong

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Exploration Summer Programs

    Pros

    You will develop as a leader and a teacher, and have an impact on some kids' lives. It's a go-go-go environment, which, because it is a finite time period, can be good. A lot of opportunities to have fun.

    Cons

    Very little time off--every other night off basically amounts to a few hours off because you get off at 6pm and have to wake up at 8am the next day. So it's not really much time off at all. Furthermore, the program's management is focused on pleasing parents and giving kids a hedonistic experience. The program is not focused on education, but calls itself a school--it needs to either think of itself as a luxury summer camp or an academic program, not call itself the latter and serve the role of the former.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Express that you value the daily job performed by counselors and instructors, instead of just expressing gratitude when counselors manage a crisis involving potential repercussions--it's the day-to-day grind that makes Explo run, not crisis management.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

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