internships 

Field & Administrative Internships

Contribute to a vibrant and exciting non-profit and work on skills to help you be the (mission driven, systems thinking, independently motivated) person every employer is looking for!

Positions Available!

Friction Fire. Epic Games. Awareness. Laughter. Natural History. Stories and Songs. Building Community. Gratitude. Strengthening connection to Nature. Tree ID. Tracking.

Sound like the place to be? It is!

As a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, Primitive Pursuits is a leader in both the national wilderness awareness movement, as well as a regional effort to develop financially sustainable social enterprises; developing social change within the market place rather than relying on philanthropy and other traditional revenue streams.

Primitive Pursuits is always looking for Summer Interns and Apprentices for our innovative summer day camp program in central New York’s Finger Lakes Region.

Best of all you’ll get the chance to become the person that every employer is looking for: a mission driven, systems thinking, independently motivated community visionary.

All internships are provided through Cornell Cooperative Extension and are unpaid unless interns have a summer FWS award (see benefits below). Our radical approach to education fosters a meaningful connection to nature through nature awareness, primitive skills, curiosity, community and the mystery of the natural world.

Youth aged 3-16 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. . Focus areas include Ithaca Forest Preschool, Homeschool Programs, After School & School Break Programs, Summer Camps and Youth Leadership Programs as well as Adult Training & Certification.

Current Offerings for Academic Year... Internships for Fall, Winter and Spring Trimesters currently available.

Administrative Internships

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Creative Thinkers. Radical Problem Solvers. Join our team at Primitive Pursuits to contribute to our national effort to develop social change and nature awareness. Our administrative internships offer an opportunity to be part of a cutting edge social enterprise while testing your knowledge and abilities in the marketplace of the real world. You’ll receive support and guidance from a team of entrepreneurial minded program leaders dedicated to building financially successful model of lasting social change. Administrative Internships offered in the school year and in the summer. Applicants are hired on a rolling basis; apply today!

Training Opportunities & Responsibilities may include:

  • Maintaining and managing databases to track progress and inform executive functions of program
  • Handling and Securing confidential information
  • Making phone calls to parents and donors, answering the phone
  • General administrative and organizational support
  • Specialized projects designed to benefit your professional development goals

Interested applicants must demonstrate:

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Google Drive and comfort with computer skills development
  • Maintaining a positive, professional and inclusive environment
  • Collaborating effectively with others
  • Desire to promote the educational mission of the program and the parent institution

Field Internships:

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Our field experiences combine wilderness survival skills with the most effective tools in mentorship and outdoor education. As part of a committed group that challenges, creates and leads together you will have many opportunities for personal growth and valuable workforce training. Interns act as assistant instructors for our summer camps and receive training in our unique approach to mentoring youth in nature.

What you will experience:

  • Trailblazing through epic forests in the Finger Lakes Region
  • Learning nature-based skills such as using wild edibles, making fire by friction and aidless navigation.
  • A behind-the-scenes look at experiential wilderness education.
  • Working with seasoned guides, leading youth into natural areas, away from facilities and without modern gear, engaging them in a self-directed inquiry into basic, personal and group survival needs
  • Weekly planning and reflection time to learn and help develop programs for youth ages 3-14.

Interested applicants must demonstrate:

  • Passion and comfort in exploring the natural world
  • Ability to work on a team
  • Strong interest in learning more about working with children in a rugged outdoor setting
  • Excitement about spending every day outdoors in the woods, no matter the weather - Curiosity is required; Experience is not

Academic year Field Interns spend 5-10 hours a week in the field with us during Fall, Winter or Spring.

Summer Wilderness Instructor Internship: Complete a minimum 3 weeks of camp, plus staff training and...

  • Receive a certificate of completion of the Wilderness Instructor Internship
  • Camp on site, with access to a kitchen and hot showers
  • Share a weekly box of local fruits and vegetables from a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share
  • $50 weekly travel allowance
  • Work alongside incredible nature connection mentors and receive ongoing mentorship and training throughout the summer
  • Professional development workshops during the summer
  • CPR and Wilderness First Aid certification, offered during training week
  • Participate in Four day (24 hour) New Staff Instructor Training Program
  • Receive deep discounts ($500 off) on Adult Courses

Apply

"I whole-heartedly believe that the way in which Primitive Pursuits connects children with nature is a genuine saving grace of society. The amount of respect that is displayed towards children as well as each other has been unparalleled in any other organization that I have been a part of." T​.​L​., Summer Staff​

Field Opportunities

Field Internship and Apprenticeship combines wilderness survival skills and bioregional knowledge with the most effective tools of mentoring and professional development.

As part of a committed group that challenges, creates and leads together you will have many opportunities for personal growth and valuable workforce training. Interns act as assistant instructors for our summer camps and receive training in our unique approach to mentoring youth in nature, which focuses on curiosity, play and asking questions as much or more than delivery of facts.

What You Will Experience:

  • Trailblazing through epic forests in the Finger Lakes Region
  • Advanced Primitive Skills including wild edibles, friction fire and natural shelter
  • First-hand experience in experiential wilderness education
  • With experienced lead instructors, guide groups of youth into natural areas, away from facilities and without modern gear, engage them in a self-directed inquiry into basic, personal and group survival needs.
  • Spending every day in the forest having the time of your life!
  • Overnight camps opportunities also available.

Interested applicants must be passionate about outdoor education and discovering the mysteries of nature. Applicants must be excited about spending everyday outdoors in the woods, no matter the weather. Curiosity required, experience is not.

Details: Field Internships and Apprenticeship are 40 hours per week, with one week of skills training. Field Internship requires a minimum of 120 hours of direct teaching experience. Apprenticeship requires 300 hours. Free rustic accommodations available onsite. Summer camp typically run nine or ten weeks.

Administrative Internships

Creative thinkers. Radical Problem Solvers. Join our team at Primitive Pursuits to contribute to our national effort to develop social change and nature awareness.

We offer cutting edge internships where you will test your knowledge and build your skills. You’ll receive support and guidance from a team of entrepreneurial minded program leaders dedicated to building financially successful models of lasting social change. Expect a great deal of learning opportunities and a friendly, innovative work environment.

Available Internships include:

  • Marketing Strategist
  • Photographer/Videographer
  • Non-Profit Administration
  • Journalism and Writing

Administrative internships are generally 20 or more hours per week. Qualifications include ability to: understand and incorporate teaching philosophy into program delivery; maintain a positive, professional and inclusive environment; collaborate effectively with others and engage youth; promote the Primitive Pursuits nature education mission; keep effective records; and demonstrate commitment to your own professional growth. Expect a great deal of learning opportunities and a friendly, innovative work environment.

Writing Intern Blog Posts


Work-Study options may be available, call our office for details...






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