Outdoor Educator Internship

Expected Dates
April 25, 2022 to September 12, 2022
Lake Metigoshe State Park
Position ID
Join the team of interactive and engaging park interpreters with the North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department.  As an interpreter, you’ll gain experience assisting park visitors of all ages achieve an appreciation and awareness for North Dakota’s natural beauty, vibrant culture, timeless history and exciting recreational opportunities. Our mission and goals include inspiring legendary experiences that empower lasting connections with North Dakota’s people, culture, unmatched outdoor spaces and recreational opportunities.

Spend the summer providing hands-on learning experiences at Lake Metigoshe State Park (LMSP) in an outdoor classroom!  The park is located in the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota and is situated along the international border shared with Canada. 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. The OLC also offers a series of youth day camps during the summer months where canoeing, archery, wetland exploration and ecology games have become popular activities. We pride ourselves in providing engaging programming whether it is on a trail, within a canoe or kayak or within our outdoor amphitheaters. We kept programming going on through COVID by revamping activities and creating self-guided experiences and working to keep the trails in great condition for our park users.

Several past SCA inters have described their positions here at LMSP as a boot camp for any educator position because of their experience here as it provided them with opportunities to research and develop programs from scratch as well as utilizing canned programming.  Many resources are available to provide engaging programming to include, but not be limited to, canoes, kayaks, gps units, compasses, skulls, pelts, field guides, binoculars, water test kits, dip nets and replica scats.

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 (80%). Other duties may include trimming trees and shrubs along the trails, cleaning up after programming and assisting with a couple of special events that are held at the park (20%). 

The OLC at Lake Metigoshe State Park is busiest in May and June with school groups visiting and weekend programming starting.  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.  OLC programs are usually 1.5-2 hours in length.  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 camping reservations for that weekend.  Weekend programs are usually an hour in length.  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 preparing for an upcoming program or actually doing the program.  Usually work will include 5 days, 8 hours per day and will include weekends and some evenings.  At times, we adjust the schedule to accommodate groups and work a longer day, but strive to keep a 40 hour work week.  Two days off during the week provides an opportunity to potentially visit other North Dakota State Park and camp for free (great perk!).  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.

We are looking for folks that are motivated, who are excited to work with people and enjoy the outdoors so don’t miss your opportunity to be part of this legendary team!  

This position provides:
- $160 weekly Living Allowance
- $650 one-time round-trip Travel Allowance
- Housing on-site

*All allowances subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes.*

This position is an AmeriCorps program and acceptance of AmeriCorps membership is required. The AmeriCorps Education Award received upon successful completion of this position is $2,417.14. 

It is SCA’s policy that all AmeriCorps-required background checks must return cleared results prior to the position’s start; this includes being fingerprinted for the FBI check. Otherwise, the AmeriCorps award will be removed or the position’s start date will be delayed due to non-compliance. 

Conditions of Employment
Beginning on 1/18/22, all new SCA volunteer program participants are required to be fully vaccinated. Full vaccination is defined as having received a booster shot six months after the Pfizer and Moderna primary series and two months after the Johnson & Johnson primary series.

  • 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 May 31-June 2 at LMSP. Park orientation dates not available yet. Additional opportunities may include internet security safety, workplace safety training, defensive driving, harassment, CPR and ergonomics.
  • 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 state trails outside the park as well.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Education and Interpretation
Education, Training & Skills Expected
degree major or professional experience
degree major or professional experience
competent without supervision
Public Speaking
competent without supervision
Orienteering compass skills
competent without supervision