Primitive Pursuits

Internship Opportunities

Why Intern with Primitive Pursuits?

Primitive Pursuits. 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! Primitive Pursuits is looking for Summer Interns for our innovative summer day camp program in central New York’s Finger Lakes Region. 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 6-14 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.

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.

Working with Primitive Pursuits will provide invaluable experience on multiple levels; from cutting edge wilderness education and mentorship to small business development and project management.

Best of all you’ll get the chance to be 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.


Additional Perks:

  • Free housing!  You will have the opportunity to camp on our land, with access to a kitchen and hot showers. 
  • Free food!  You will have access to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  This will include fresh, local vegetables and fruit.
  • Travel Allowance! You will receive a $50 travel allowance for each week of summer camp that you intern with us. 
  • Free Training and Mentorship!  Work with our experienced and knowledgeable staff, and join the 2014 internship team for an entire week before the summer to gain the tools you will need to be successful.  Gain one-on-one mentorship with our lead instructors throughout your internship.

Field Internships:

Our Field Interns combine 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, engaging 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!

Details: Field Internships are 40 hours per week, with one week of skills training and a minimum of three weeks of direct teaching experience. Summer Dates: June 22nd – September 4th.

Non-AmeriCorps field interns may need to put down a $300 refundable deposit to hold their space for accommodations and training.  This will be returned in full upon completion of the internship.

We have SIX AmeriCorps positions available for Summer 2015!

  • Each position is granted $1,200 through the Educational Award Program (EAP) after 300 hours of service
  • Please note on your application if you would like to be considered for one of these positions

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
  • Human Resource Management

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.

Details: Administrative Internships are generally 40 hours per week with a minimum commitment of three weeks. Summer Dates: June 22nd – September 4th.

“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.” TL

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