Common Ground welcomes applications from individuals interested in interning with our summer program. Please note: Intern positions are intended for college students, or for post-college applicants looking to gain experience in a new field. At minimum, interns must have completed high school and be at least 18 years old.
Common Ground Camp is operated by the New Haven Ecology Project, which is home to a charter high school and a non-profit urban farm and environmental education center. Campers enjoy lessons and activities that take advantage of the site’s 20 acres of forested hiking trails, wildlife and diverse natural habitats, and a working organic farm that includes production and education gardens and a variety of farm animals.
The primary work of the intern will be to serve as an assistant teacher for campers ages 4 – 13. Campers are divided into groups by age, and some camps have a special theme (animals, outdoor skills, cooking from the farm). See our camp page for more details. Interns may indicate an age and/or activity preference and we work to accommodate requests. Interns are paired with an experienced mentor teacher and will work with their mentor to develop, lead, and reflect on one or two lessons and activities per week. This lesson planning and teaching time is an excellent opportunity to try ideas and learn teaching skills.
Campers participate in both structured and unstructured activities on the farm and in the forest. Depending on personal interests and skills, a camp intern might lead farm animal care, take campers on a nature hike, lead a group in cooking a snack from the garden, be creative with recycled or natural materials, lead games that foster friendship and cooperation, explore the stream and catch crawdads, or coach a child on how to hold a chicken! Each day is different, but interns will always have some assigned stations or activities and will also lead or assist with daily activities for small groups based on their interests and experience. Daily work involves being an integral part of this community, teaching, playing, mentoring, getting dirty, eating strawberries, rounding up chickens, bandaging knees, and making memories.
In addition, all interns work as supervisors in the camp’s extended day program from 2:30 – 6 PM. This is open recreational time and it provides the opportunity to interact with campers of all ages and to learn and practice group management skills.
Interns who wish to join us before our camp staff training week can learn by participating in a great deal of hands-on work on our on-site organic farm (planting, weeding, greenhouse care, general garden work, helping with animal care and more!).
Specific skills/experience required for the internship
- Ability to work with children in a patient, nurturing manner (staff training provided to help learn skills in this area)
- Interest in and basic knowledge of the natural world
- Willingness to get dirty and work hard in all weather (including summer heat & humidity and/or rain)
- Ability to work on a team of adults and teenagers, including both taking and giving direction
- Work includes being a role-model for high school students working as camp counselors. Some teenage counselors may be close in age to the intern, so the ability to work with a group of peers while still maintaining appropriate supervisory boundaries is essential.
- Ability to be physically active for most of an 8 hour day
- Demonstrated commitment, reliability, punctuality, and responsible behavior at previous jobs
Internship logistics and details
Schedule: Camp dates are June 27 – August 12, 2016 (including staff training week). Camp staff must be available for ALL dates – it is not possible to take days or weeks off. We are open on July 4, 2016, and all staff are expected to work a normal day.
Interns work Mon – Fri from 8:30 AM –6:00 PM (interns leave early two days per week so that total hours per week are no more than 40).
Compensation: $10/hr. Work hours are Mon – Fri, 10 AM – 6 PM.
Housing: Housing is not provided, however we are happy to recommend resources for securing affordable housing.
Transportation: Parking is available on-site, as are bicycle racks. We have a bus-stop on site (take the B1 bus from the New Haven Green), and we are walking distance from New Haven’s Westville neighborhood.
- Step 1: Complete the online application HERE.
- Step 2: Email a resume and a cover letter describing your interest in our programs and your relevant experience to Rebecca Holcombe, Camp Director: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Interviews will be scheduled with qualified applicants who have completed both steps in the application process.
- Applications accepted until positions are full. Interviews begin in February 2016.
- Deadline: We have eight interns positions open for summer 2016 and applications will be accepted until all positions are filled. We start interviews in February and aim to have all staff and interns hired by April.