Outdoor Educator Internship

Expected Dates
April 30, 2018 to August 18, 2018
Lake Metigoshe State Park
Position ID
Spend the summer in North Dakota providing hands-on learning experiences in an outdoor classroom-Lake Metigoshe State Park!  Lake Metigoshe State Park is located in the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota and is situated along the international border.  The park is managed by the North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department where our mission is to provide and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities through diverse parks and programs that conserve the state’s natural diversity.  The park houses the Outdoor Learning Center (OLC) which hosts a variety of school, scout and youth groups and provides public programming within the state park every weekend from mid-May through Labor Day.  We pride ourselves in providing hands-on educational experiences on trails, in the wetlands or even from a canoe!  Several SCA interns have described their position at Lake Metigoshe as a boot camp for any educator because their experience here provided them with the opportunity to research and develop their own programs as well as work with canned programming.  In addition, the experience in working with various resources that included, but isn’t limited to, field guides, binoculars, water test kits, educational craft kits, soil test kits, canoes, compasses, GPS units, wildlife pelts, track molds and replica scats and skulls was found to be very beneficial.
Main duties include researching, developing and/or presenting hands-on programming that highlights the natural and historical resources in addition to the recreational opportunities found at Lake Metigoshe State Park (90%). Other duties may include trimming trees and shrubs on the interpretive trail, cleaning up after programming and assisting with a couple of special events that are held at the park (10%).  The OLC at Lake Metigoshe State Park is busiest in May and June with school groups visiting.  Many school groups arrive in the morning for programming, break for lunch and spend the afternoon doing additional programming.  Due to the hands-on nature of our programs, OLC groups usually consist of about 20 participants.  The most requested programs include canoeing, freshwater ecology and guided hikes.  Other programming offerings include birding, outdoor living skills, geocaching, beaver ecology, wild about wildlife and pioneer life to name a few.  Our interpretive programs on the weekends are open to the public and can have anywhere from a small, intimate group of 10 people to as many as 60-70 depending upon the program topic, weather and amount of reservations for that weekend.  Our OLC programs and resources are often used on the weekends for our interpretive programs.
This position is a mix of both indoor and outdoor work.  Much of the research and preparation for the programming is completed indoors, but there are many opportunities to work outdoors whether it is physically doing programming or simply preparing for an upcoming program.  A few examples of outdoor work include identifying flowers in bloom, observing bird species in the area, becoming familiar with a specific trail or exploring the lake in preparations for upcoming programs.
The work will include 5 days, 8 hours per day and will include weekends and some evenings.  Two days off during the week provides an opportunity to potentially visit other North Dakota State Park and camp for free (up to 7 nights).  Conditions may require working outside in wet, cool, rainy or hot weather.  This position is ideal for outgoing individuals looking to get into education/interpretation, whether it is in a classroom setting or in the natural resource or comparable field.

The AmeriCorps award for this position is dependent on availability at the time of candidate selection.
  • Lake Metigoshe State Park is located 15 miles northeast of Bottineau, North Dakota. The northern border of the park is the international border.

    The Lake Metigoshe area was home to several Native American tribes, including the Blackfoot and Hidatsa, and later the Assiniboine and Chippewa. The lake takes its name from the Chippewa phrase, “metigoche washegum,” or “clear lake surrounded by oak trees.”

    The history of Lake Metigoshe State Park can be found in the Great Depression of the 1930s, and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” programs. Intended to provide economic relief to the nation’s unemployed, the programs included the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), Works Progress Administration (WPA), and the Public Works Administration.

    In July of 1934, construction of a transient work camp began on a section of state-administered school land just east of Lake Metigoshe, funded with a grant by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Transient camps were used to house the thousands of unemployed left homeless by the Great Depression, providing shelter, food, clothing and medical care in exchange for work on nearby conservation projects.

    The camps at Lake Metigoshe and one south of Bismarck were the two largest transient camps in North Dakota.

    Rustic-style log and masonry buildings were constructed on the site. The FERA program was dissolved in late 1935 and transient workers were sent to work on federal projects elsewhere in the state.

    The park itself was formally established by the 25th North Dakota Legislative Assembly and approved by Governor William Langer on February 17, 1937. Roadwork, landscaping and additional improvements to the transient camp buildings were undertaken through a WPA project in 1938.

    The original site of the transient camp is now occupied by the park’s group complex, which includes two large dormitories, shower house, park offices and kitchen/dining hall. The kitchen/dining hall is the only transient camp building remaining at the park today.

    Today, the lake is noted for its northern pike, walleye and perch. The rolling hills, aspen forests and small lakes attract nature and photography lovers to the area to capture these sights on film. The Old Oak Trail, a National Recreation Trail, is found within the park boundaries.

    The park has both modern and primitive camping, as well as picnicking areas. There are group dormitories, kitchen and meeting facilities and year-round cabins available for rent.

  • Interpretive Training will take place June 5-7 at Lake Metigoshe State Park. We’ll also have park orientation, internet security safety, workplace safety training, defensive driving, harassment, CPR and ergonomics training may also be available.
  • On-site there are public fishing docks, swimming beach, canoes, kayaks, a paddle boat and bikes that are available to use. There are over 12 miles of hiking and biking trails within the park. There are additional trails outside the park as well.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Education and Interpretation
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
some coursework or experience