Congratulations. Finals are over. The weather is looking up and the bird songs are a harbinger of the joys to come. Long days of hiking, biking, paddling and climbing are on the horizon to provide you with stories to tell when fall creeps up. But it’s pretty hard to relay sensational tales when you’ve spent the summer behind the cash register. Luckily there are plenty of summer outdoors resume builders around the country that offer a little spending cash, a place to stay, and an amazing backdrop. Here are seven organizations with summer internships and jobs that are worth seeking out:
Student Conservation Association (SCA)
The SCA provides over 2,000 internships to students 18 years or older annually. They offer a diverse selection of working prospects that range from marine biology internships to historic preservation. The SCA’s mission is to “ build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land.” They are currently looking for crew leaders to help with the clean up after Hurricane Sandy. SCA is also well respected nationwide. You never know what potential employer might be an alumnus.
National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
Well known and highly regarded, the National Outdoor Leadership School is a place for students who are looking to work in the outdoor industry. They have schools in Wyoming, Alaska, Washington, Chile, Australia and Canada to name a few. Landing an internship is a good way to get your foot in the door and learn about the ins and outs of running outdoor schools. This summer they are offering internships in Patagonia and Mexico working on community farms and landscaping projects.
Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center
If you are looking to experience the natural environment on the east coast in a setting close to a college campus, then Shaver’s Creek is a great place to start. Penn State University’s nature center and environmental education laboratory offers a slew of outdoor learning opportunities. They accept 6-8 interns per season for environmental education; one intern to work at the Raptor Center with birds of prey; and one intern to work in the adventure program, developing, marketing and implementing rock climbing, caving, mountain biking and canoeing programs.
Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC)
SCC is a non-profit organization with offices located throughout the Southwest with offices in Arizona and Colorado. The corps focuses on environmental education offering conservation work projects on public lands. The programs are residential and you’ll spend a lot of time hiking in the backcountry. The opportunities available this summer include: trail construction and maintenance, habitat improvement, hazardous fuels reduction and re-vegetation. Send in an application and get ready for full on communal living in the great outdoors.
Green River Preserve
Remember the days of awkward introductions and being abandoned by your parents at the local summer camp, only to realize it might have been the best time in your life. Here is your chance to relive those glory days. Green River Preserve is a co-ed summer camp on a wildlife preserve in the mountains of North Carolina that aims to connect children with nature. Their seasonal positions for this summer include: trail building expedition leader, environmental outreach member, naturalist, mountain biking mentor, photography/web intern, cabin counselor and farm intern. Reconnect with your inner child by teaching and learning with kids in nature.
Okay, so you’re really adventurous, you want to experience the last frontier; well Alaska Excursions might be the right place for you. This outfit offers kindred spirits with cash sled dog adventures through the rainforest, horseback riding in the Alaska wilderness and tree top zip lining over glacially fed waterfalls. Your job is simple; keep the guests happy by providing them with hours of wit and exploit and watch the tips come rolling in. This summer they are hiring: zip-line guides, horseback guides, dog mushers, and Unimog operators (!). Put on your muck boots and start heading north.
Anacortes Kayak Tours (AKT)
The most beautiful kayaking terrain in the world is offered in the deep cool waters of the Pacific Northwest. The AKT guided trip around the San Juan Islands meets those expectations. Not only will you get to bask in the beauty, but you’ll also be learning about the ecology of islands and getting schooled in the importance of environmental and social responsibility. AKT strives to provide their staff with a fun and rewarding work environment, while imparting the value of impeccable customer service. They are looking for sea kayaking guides for the 2013 season and claim that what you invest in training and gear will be recouped with a few days’ worth of decent tips.