Summer Teen Leadership

At Primitive Pursuits, we are very focused on youth leadership & development and we rely on our teen leaders in the field.

 Now accepting applications for summer 2022!

Our youth mentorship programs offer powerful, growth-full, and life-changing experiences for teen participants. Under the guidance of our seasoned Wilderness Instructor staff, youth leaders are in the unique position of simultaneously observing and practicing mentoring skills while being mentored themselves. Teens will gain skills and professional experience teaching side-by-side with seasoned expert wilderness skills Instructors.

Learn more or apply for one of our three summer leadership opportunities:

Our Youth Leadership Programs

MIT Program Ages 13 - 15

Who: Interested teens ages 13-15

Our goal is to create powerful growth experiences for all of our teens. Under the wings of our seasoned Wilderness Instructor staff, our youth leaders are in the unique position of simultaneously observing and practicing mentoring skills while being mentored themselves. 

BE AN INTEGRAL PART OF A THRIVING SUMMER CAMP…AS A MENTOR IN TRAINING!

*You may have noticed that we have changed the name of this evolving teen program from Counselor-In-Training (CIT) to Mentor-In-Training (MIT). This change was made in order to better align our position titles with our organization’s culture and mission. We believe the word “mentor” meaning; guiding, supporting, and teaching better represents what we strive to do out in the field. The program will be exactly the same in terms of training and opportunities.*

As a Mentor In Training with Primitive Pursuits you will have the opportunity to learn and teach side by side with our seasoned staff in the following areas:

  • Leadership and Team Building
  • Earth Living/Outdoor/Naturalist Skills
  • Primitive Technologies
  • Awareness of Self and Others
  • Mentoring Practices
  • Communication and Professionalism

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SUMMER MENTOR IN TRAINING:

Our Mentors In Training become part of a team of instructors working with a group of campers for the week. They arrive at camp early each day to participate in team-building, game-planning, and preparation time with the rest of the staff. This sneak peek behind the scenes allows teens to begin developing an awareness for both curriculum design as well as the need for improvisation, making last-minute changes due to things like weather or new opportunities. Throughout the day they play dual roles; both as participants, practicing skills along with the group, and as assistants, being called upon to lead activities. At the end of each day they participate in our daily debrief, receiving and offering valuable feedback, sharing stories and closing the circle for the day. Some teens will assist in our after-camp care, Epic Day.

All Summer MITs participate in Coyote Camp, plus two weeks in the MIT program being mentored by and assisting Wilderness Instructors in day camp programs. Returning third-year MITs may be invited to Coyote Trek July 25-29.

Mentors In Training do not directly supervise younger campers and are not included in our staff to camper ratios.

Ready to apply? Fill out the form below!

2022 Mentor In Training Application
First
Last

Short Answer Questions

reCAPTCHA

Coyote Camp is our week-long teen leadership training experience!

Coyote Camp will be at 4H Acres, meeting Monday through Friday during regular Day Camp hours. There is an optional Thursday Overnight for 14 and 15-year-old Mentors In Training. 

What to expect from Coyote Camp:

  • Receive direct instruction and mentoring from core Primitive Pursuits staff
  • Practice your own mentoring skills in the field working with younger campers
  • Dive deeper into primitive technology, outdoor and naturalist skills alongside experienced mentors
  • Experience one on one coaching and skill assessment in five core areas: Mentoring Practices, Primitive/Outdoor/Naturalist Skills, Leadership and Teamwork, Communication and Professionalism, and Awareness (Nature, Self, Others, and the Big Picture)
  • Bonus! Receive the coveted, limited edition 2021 Mentor In Training T-shirt

Are you ready for the challenge?!

Junior Instructor Ages 16 - 17

Who: Young adults ages 16-17 (must turn 16 by June 20).

As a Junior Instructor with Primitive Pursuits you will have the opportunity to learn and teach side by side with our seasoned staff in the following areas:

  • Leadership and Team Building
  • Earth Living/Outdoor/Naturalist Skills
  • Primitive Technologies
  • Awareness of Self and Others
  • Mentoring Practices
  • Communication and Professionalism

Many graduates have continued on with Primitive Pursuits and other local nature awareness programs as paid employees. Others, after graduating high school, have gone on to establish popular outdoor adventure programs while at schools like Tufts University and SUNY ESF – a testament to the experience they had here with youth outdoor/environmental leadership. Use your Junior Instructor experience as a resume builder!

A Day in the Life: Junior Instructors become part of a team of instructors to work with a group of campers for the week. They arrive at camp early each day to participate in team-building, game-planning and preparation time with the rest of the staff. This sneak peek behind the scenes allows teens to begin developing an awareness for both curriculum design as well as the need for improvisation, making last minute changes due to things like weather or new opportunities. Throughout the day they play dual roles; both as participants, practicing skills along with the group, and as assistants, being called upon to lead activities. At the end of each day they participate in our daily debrief, receiving and offering valuable feedback, sharing stories and closing the circle for the day. Some teens will assist in our after-camp care.

What does this look like?

  • Skill training days – Teens receive direct instruction from core Primitive Pursuits staff. Prior to summer you will be part of our summer staff training.
  • Leadership opportunities – Teens get experience mentoring younger participants at programs each week
  • One-on-one mentoring and skill assessment in four core areas: Primitive Technology, Outdoor Skills, Teaching, Teamwork and Professionalism.
  • Resume building – References for job and college placement.
  • Regalia, get the coveted, limited edition Summer Staff t-shirt

When:
Junior Instructor spaces are offered each week of summer. We require Junior Instructors to participate in Staff Training Week plus a minimum of three weeks of summer camp (120 hours).

Cost: No-Fee
Junior Instructors are part of our vital volunteer corps. As a non-profit organization, we rely on skilled volunteers to make it all happen.

Ready to apply? Fill out the form below!

2022 Junior Instructor/ Teen Assist Application
First
Last
Position of interest *
https://primitivepursuits.com/summer-catalogue-2022/
Please note that staff training week is June 21-25th. Participation in this training is mandatory.

Teen Assists Ages 16 - 17

Who: Our most experienced young adults leaders ages 16-17 (must turn 16 by June 20)

Primitive Pursuits offers a limited number of coveted paid Teen Assist positions for our most qualified 16-and 17-year-old teens. Teen Assists have been campers themselves and have participated in our MIT and/or Junior Instructor program. We made the decision to invest in supporting these teens because of the tremendous potential they have to develop into outstanding adult leaders.

This is on the job training! You will be joining our college interns in an adult-level leadership training program where you will be mentored by our experienced Wilderness Instructor staff, receiving opportunities for self-directed growth as well as feedback and support regarding your performance. Teen Assists are an integral part of our instructor team, contributing to the planning and implementation of our summer camp programs while gaining valuable experience in collaboration and teamwork.

Once 18, teens are eligible to apply to be a Wilderness Instructor with Primitive Pursuits. Completion of our teen leadership training provides an enormous advantage as we highly value their experiences and perspectives. Some choose to work with us for many summers to come.

A Teen Assist experience with Primitive Pursuits offers work experience relevant to other future jobs as well. Businesses and nonprofits alike seek prospective employees with supervisory, program planning and team leading experience. Working as a Teen Assist is a fantastic resume builder!

Our Teen Assists are passionate about nature and the outdoors, adventures and games, and mentoring young campers while growing their own skills. This meaningful work is highly experiential and rewarding. This is an opportunity to mentor future generations, foster well-being in other young people, and develop your personal gifts while contributing to the legacy of the Primitive Pursuits mission.

Ready to apply? Fill out the form below!

2022 Junior Instructor/ Teen Assist Application
First
Last
Position of interest *
https://primitivepursuits.com/summer-catalogue-2022/
Please note that staff training week is June 21-25th. Participation in this training is mandatory.