Internships & Apprenticeships

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!

Friction fire. Epic games. Awareness. Laughter. Natural history. Stories and songs. Building community. Gratitude. Strengthening connection to Nature. Tree ID. Tracking.

For over 20 years, Primitive Pursuits has been a one-of-a-kind organization committed to improving the health of our planet through getting kids and adults outside and connecting with nature, themselves and each other.

Here at Primitive Pursuits, we value BELONGING, GRATITUDE, AWARENESS and GETTING OUTSIDE!

A day at Primitive Pursuits might include:

  • Leading an epic game of capture the flag through the woods
  • Helping preschoolers navigate social-emotional skill development
  • Communicating with parents and care-givers to help bridge the gap between in-the-moment outdoor education and long-term youth development
  • Collaboratively designing innovative and exciting nature-based activities
  • Receiving mentoring from trained Wilderness Instructors, including earth-based skills and outdoor leadership

Sound like the place to be?

Apply to join our team as a Field or Administrative Intern: contribute to the success of a thriving local non-profit while gaining skills and experience to last a lifetime!

Our Field Interns and Apprentices assist Instructors with youth programs (ages 3-16). They attend planning meetings, receive personal mentoring, and provide leadership and support in the fields, streams and forests we call home. Opportunities are available during the school year (with Ithaca Forest Preschool, Homeschool, and Afterschool programs) and during the summer with our unique Summer Day Camp programs.

Our Administrative Interns are an integral part of our organization, and support our mission and programs through photojournalism, administrative support, marketing, growth and development, graphic design, grant writing – the options go on!

What skills do you bring to the table?

All internships are provided through Cornell Cooperative Extension. Primitive Pursuits academic year internships are unpaid and provide extensive on-the-job training. We partner with local universities providing internships to fulfill degree requirements, such as Ithaca College’s Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Environmental Studies majors.


Field Interns and Apprentices

  • 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: Ability to work a regular schedule in one or more of our youth programs for the duration of a program season. Staff hours for Ithaca Forest Preschool are Mon-Thurs, 8:45am-12:45pm; Homeschool hours are Thurs, 8:30am-2:00pm; Afterschool programs meet various weekdays, usually 1:45pm-4:45pm.
  • Summer: 3-6 weeks of camp at 40 hours per week (M-F) for an Internship position; 7-10 weeks of camp at 40 hours per week (M-F) for an Apprenticeship position

Administrative Intern

  • 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 institutions
  • Other skills such as photography, writing, social media, etc, strongly desired
  • Academic Year: Flexible scheduling, several hours per week
  • Summer: Flexible scheduling, usually 20-25 hours per week and at least ten weeks in duration, starting the beginning of June through the beginning of September