Could this be the place for you?

With an exceptional core of seasoned year-round staff, low instructor to student ratios and a supportive environment, a job with Primitive Pursuits offers many opportunities to grow and master valuable skills.

We are always seeking gregarious, enterprising individuals to join us!

  • Our radical approach to education fosters a meaningful connection to the outdoors through nature awareness, primitive skills, curiosity, community and the mystery of the natural world.
  • Youth aged 3-15 spend their entire days immersed in the fields, forests and waterways of undeveloped nature – gathering resources, crafting tools, navigating the landscape, mastering fire skills and surviving limitless challenges together.
  • We are a not-for-profit nature education program in partnership with two nationally renowned associations: Cornell Cooperative Extension and 4-H Youth Development

Instructors will help craft our nature-based programs, facilitate positive group energy, and keep kids safe and engaged.


Day Camp Director

Responsibilities:Day Camp director will oversee most aspects of staffing, programming, and camper relations for our summer camp season. Duties include staff hiring and training, site and resource organization and program management. Responsibilities include directing staff trainings, weekly staff planning meetings, managing camper information and groupings, maintaining fiscal records and working within a budget, maintaining camp resources and supplies, and interacting with parents, campers, staff and administration as needed. The director is accountable for the overall management of the program and are specifically responsible for personnel management, program development and health and safety management in accordance with NYS Health Department and Cornell Cooperative Extension policies. This position are approximately 9 months and exact dates are negotiable.


  • At least 21 years old
  • At least 24 weeks of administrative or supervisory experience
  • Experience teaching students of all ages in a variety of outdoor settings
  • Experience providing programming for diverse populations
  • Strong commitment to teaching and to sharing an appreciation for nature
  • Works well with minimal supervision, and asks for assistance when needed
  • Required certifications include: Responding to Emergencies First Aid and CPR for the Professional Rescuer or equivalent training, NYS Online Defensive Driver’s Couse
  • Prior camp experience, background in outdoor skills and/or natural history, experience managing a staff of up to 60 individuals, flexibility, and a playful team spirit.
View Full Position Description and Application

Year-Round Positions:

Primitive Pursuits is a year-round nature awareness and primitive skills program serving children ages 3-15 in Ithaca, NY. Our programs for youth include afterschool, homeschool, forest preschool, school breaks, and summer camp. We also offer adult workshops and teen mentoring opportunities throughout the school year. At Primitive Pursuits we help participants of all ages create a deeper relationship to themselves, each other, and the world around them through primitive skills, natural history exploration, play, song, and story. We are always interested in meeting dedicated applicants for field and administrative positions.

Summer Positions:

Primitive Pursuits. Strengthening Connection to Nature. Friction Fire. Epic Games. Nature Awareness. Stories and Songs. Building Community. Do you have a deep connection with the natural world that you want to share with others? Do you love practicing primitive skills and playing epic games? Do you thrive working in the outdoors with youth?

Visit Our Summer Opportunities Page>>


Staff Interest

We love our jobs and think Ithaca is a great place to live .

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." Albert Einstein

Frequently Asked Questions

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We’re happy to help you navigate. Give us a call at the office (607) 272-2292 ext. 195 or use the link below

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