Outdoor Recreation Intern

Camp Bovey – Residential Summer Camp
Internships - Paid
Gordon, WI

Position Title: Outdoor Recreation Intern

Status:  Seasonal, Full-time, June 16 – August 11, No programs: July 3-7 Typically Saturday and Sunday off, but schedule varies

Location:  Camp Bovey – Residential Summer Camp in Gordon, WI

Reports to:  Environmental Education Coordinator


Position Summary:

To further the mission of Camp Bovey through developing and implementing safe and engaging outdoor recreational activities that help us build confidence and curiosity in our campers. The Outdoor Rec Intern will work closely with the Environmental Education (EE) Coordinator to create camp programming in the areas of recreational activities such as low impact camping, archery, canoeing, waterfront safety, and more. This person will gain additional experience mentoring a Junior Counselor who will help them implement programs, manage gear and inventory, and maintain program area/facility safety, including waterfront safety during free swim and water-related activities. The ideal person for this internship is someone who is passionate about outdoor activities, has experience working with or teaching youth (age 7-15), is organized and enthusiastic, and interested in becoming Lifeguard Certified. Interns will receive 12 days of professional development before camp, and will continuously hone their program delivery skills across the summer through reflective practice and mentorship from other leaders in the field of environmental education.


About Camp Bovey: Located in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin, about 2.5 hours northeast of the Twin Cities, Camp Bovey offers the perfect setting for campers to experience the wonders of nature in a safe and exciting environment.  Camp Bovey provides deeply engaging, prolonged, and high quality experiences in nature and outdoor settings for youth ages 7-15 who primarily come from the Twin Cities area, and who are typically underrepresented in nature-based summer camps such as ours. We aim to reduce barriers (such as economic factors, limited transportation, and other institutionalized barriers such as poverty and racism) that limit underrepresented children from accessing high quality, nature-based summer camps. The emotional well being of each camper is our team’s highest priority. We are camper-focused and driven to ensure that 100% of our campers get off the bus on Friday feeling better about themselves than when they arrived at the start of the week. The purpose of Camp Bovey is to provide fun and encouraging outdoor experiences that ignite curiosity, create connections, and grow confidence. Our core values are Caring, Sharing, Curiosity, and Connection. 


Major Job Responsibilities:

  1. Outdoor recreation education programming both in the water and on land. 
    1. Hiking, land navigation, using a map or compass, shelter-building, fire building. 
    2. Low impact camping, outdoor cooking, Rule of 3, outdoor survival facts, strategies, and games. 
    3. Canoeing, fishing, water safety, water relay games. 
    4. Flora/fauna identification, animal signs (tracks, scat, homes).
  2. Ensure that camp staff and campers know and follow safety and educational procedures. 
    1. Implement American Camp Association safety guidelines for Specialized Activities, Site and Facilities, and Trip Planning with the support of the Environmental Education Coordinator and Program Director.
  3. Assist in the management and care of the physical facilities and equipment in the outdoor skills program and waterfront areas. 
    1. Maintain inventory and organization of outdoor living, waterfront, and educational supplies, including gear necessary for hiking, camping, fishing, and canoeing.
    2. Provide session and summer summaries of program material status, needs for repairs, etc. 
    3. Maintain overnight site facilities and safety, such as building and maintaining privies, assessing safety of trails, maintaining fire rings and firewood supplies.
  4. Trip and travel planning/coordination (on site only).
    1.  With the support of the Environmental Education Coordinator, develop detailed itinerary for overnight camping trips (on site) for male and female identified campers.
    2. Coordinate meal planning and emergency management with head cook and nurse.
    3. Organize overnight supplies such as access to drinking water, sufficient food and snacks, toiletry needs, and first aid supplies.
  5. Waterfront Management. 
    1. Conduct swim tests and swimming level groups weekly.
    2. Create, coordinate, and oversee lifeguard schedule for daily free swim/water options.
    3. Assist with staff training for Waterfront Safety. 
    4. Conduct weekly lifeguard in-service with the support of Program Director.
    5. Lead daily safety assessment of waterfront areas and materials; lead camper service project each morning related to waterfront.
  6. Participate as a member of the camp management team to plan, direct, and supervise evening programs, special events, overnights, and other all-camp activities.
    1. Work with Environmental Education Coordinator to align weekly program curriculum effectively, develop special event programs, and participate in leadership programs.
    2. Train counselors to instruct archery, tomahawk, canoeing, and low ropes course.
  7. Mentorship of Teen Leaders in Training.
    1. Support Teen Leader Week; serve as a mentor to Counselors in Training (ages 13-15).
    2. Partner with 1-3 Junior Counselor Interns (ages 16-18) and utilize their skills to help ensure the smooth running of all outdoor recreation activities. 


Other Job Duties:

  • Participate enthusiastically in all camp activities, planning and leading those as assigned, including nightly reflection with camper groups.
  • Assist with overall camp function needs, such supervising the shower house and supervising CIT/JC Intern time off.
  • Monitor weather patterns and plan or adjust programming accordingly for the safety or quality experience of the campers.
  • Lead campers in outdoor stewardship projects around the camp during service projects time.
  • Live in a cabin with campers and other counselors to support the ‘at-home’ feeling of camp life for youth who may be new to rustic or overnight camp environments.



  • Professional training and skill development in coordinating and overseeing outdoor recreation.
  • Experience managing and mentoring a teen intern.
  • Weekly stipend of $250, plus free room and board.
  • American Red Cross First Aid, CPR, and lifeguarding training provided at no extra cost.
  • Most weekends off; no camp July 3-7; extended weekend Aug 1-4.



The Outdoor Recreation Intern is expected to maintain positive and professional relationships with all members of the staff team. Regular communication is required with the Environmental Education Coordinator and Environmental Education Intern, and other activity leaders (camp counselors) and youth leaders (Junior Counselors and Leaders in Training). The intern is expected to create and maintain professional communication with the caregivers of campers at drop-off and pick-up.


Minimum Qualifications and Experience:

  • Either junior or senior level in university working toward a degree in outdoor recreation management, environmental education, or related field, or sufficient work/lived experiences within the fields of outdoor recreation, camping, and environmental education.
  • Documented experience in outdoor skills instruction or documented training and personal experience.
  • Experience teaching youth in an outdoor setting or leading outdoor trips for youth (camping trips, canoeing, etc.).
  • Must have a positive attitude and be high energy, with lots of room for patience and flexibility. 
  • Current lifeguard, first aid, CPR and archery certifications or willingness to obtain them before the camp season begins, paid for by Camp Bovey (mandatory)


Knowledge Skills and Abilities:

  • Training and experience in working with children in a school or outdoor setting required.
  • Desire and ability to work on a diverse staff team, working with diverse youth.
  • Desire and ability to work with children in nature at a camp setting.
  • Desire and ability to create an outdoor skills curriculum.
  • Ability to observe camper behavior, assess for appropriateness, enforce proper safety regulations and emergency procedures, and apply appropriate management techniques


Physical Aspects of the Position

  • Physical ability to respond appropriately to situations requiring first aid. Must be able to assist campers in an emergency (fire, evacuation, illness, or injury) and possess strength and endurance required to maintain constant supervision of campers.
  • Requires eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity to manipulate program equipment and activities.  Requires normal range of hearing and eyesight to record, prepare, and communicate appropriate camper and staff activities/programs.  
  • Willing to live in a camp setting and work irregular hours, in all weather conditions, while delivering programs in the available facilities.


Application deadline:  Open until filled

Apply directly online:  https://goo.gl/forms/xvi2she72za40BW33


Resume and cover letter should be submitted along with the application using the above link. If you are unable to attach your either of those documents within the application, you may send them to East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 Second Street NE, Minneapolis, MN  55413 or by email to campboveyHR@gmail.com ; or visit our website at www.esns.org



East Side Neighborhood Services is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer/Service Provider. All employees must be able to work across ethnic/racial/economic lines for effective communication, respecting and valuing the differences and strengths of each person.