What are you doing this summer?
Join the Primitive Pursuits Summer Staff for a summer of fun and adventure.
Seeking Energetic Staff for the Summer!
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?
Primitive Pursuits is not your typical summer day camp. We are seeking gregarious, enterprising individuals to join the area’s premier wilderness skills mentoring team! 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 3-14 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. Instructors will help craft our nature-based programs, facilitate positive group energy, and keep kids safe and engaged.
Staff will help craft our nature-based programs, facilitate positive group energy, and keep kids safe and engaged.
Qualified applicants will have:
- Experience working with children in an outdoor setting
- Strong background in natural history, primitive skills, and/or team-building
- Compassion, creativity, attention to safety, a passion for teaching and nature
- Willingness to work in a collaborative team to create and deliver safe, quality programs
- Good sense of humor and flexibility
CURRENTLY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE FOLLOWING POSITIONS:
- WILDERNESS INSTRUCTOR View Position Description
- Includes: Growing Wild (Ages 3-5) Instructors, Day camp Wilderness Instructors (ages 6-14) and Overnight Camp Teen Wilderness Instructors (ages 11-15)
- DAY CAMP DIRECTOR View Position Description
- OVERNIGHT CAMP DIRECTOR View Position Description
- SITE LEADERS View Position Description
- SUMMER CAMP NURSE and HEALTH DIRECTOR View Position Description
- CAMP COORDINATOR View Position Description
- SUMMER OVERNIGHT KITCHEN MANAGER View Position Description
- SUMMER OVERNIGHT KITCHEN ASSISTANT
Now accepting applications!
Have questions for us? Continue reading below or fill out our interest form for more.Summer Staff Interest Form
“Working with Primitive Pursuits has taught me invaluable life skills. It combines learning, mentoring, exploration, daring, creativity, intuition, and practicality for an enriching experience, with the natural world as the classroom!” – Eleni Rigas, Summer Field Instructor
Primitive Pursuits, in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension, is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer. At Primitive Pursuits, we don’t just accept difference — we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on it. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment for the benefit of our employees, our programs, and our community.
Why live in Ithaca?
Ithaca is a very special place to spend your summer. See our 'Why Ithaca' page to learn more about our beautiful town, located on Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes of Upstate New York.
Continue reading below for more information about Field Staff and Internship positions available this summer...
"Advancing my primitive skills along with permaculture studies and leadership has invited me into a world that I would have never imagined had I not joined the Primitive Pursuits family! You opened my eyes to a lifestyle, community and profession that I love and plan to dedicate the rest of my life to." C.W., Wilderness Skills Alumna
Positions Currently Available for This Summer Include
Wilderness Field Instructors facilitate the core aim of Primitive Pursuits; bringing groups of youth into natural areas, away from facilities and without modern gear, and engaging them in a self-directed inquiry into basic, personal and group survival needs. Her/his key role in this task will be to assist and instruct youth on survival skills in the wild including but not limited to: primitive technology, fire making, shelter construction and procurement of food and water. Field instructors also mentor youth in naturalist skills and knowledge, promote stewardship and build healthful relationships in the outdoor environment.
With the help of instructors, 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.
We are looking for:
• Day Camp Youth Wilderness Instructors
• Overnight Camp Teen Wilderness Instructors
• Growing Wild (Ages 3-5) Instructors
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
- Non-Profit Administration
Interested applicants must have the ability to collaborate effectively with others, keep effective records, and demonstrate commitment to your own professional growth.Internship Application
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.
Wilderness Instructor Apprenticeships
We have several summer Wilderness Instructor Apprenticeships available. Some of the benefits of being an Apprentice include:
- Rustic accommodations
- Weekly travel stipend
- Full week of top-notch on-site training
- Share in local CSA