Why to Work Outdoors in Vermont

by Becky Hayes


Vermont is well-known for its outdoor recreation activities. From ski resorts to hiking trails to sailing on Lake Champlain, the list of opportunities is practically endless. Yet many do not consider that all the outdoor activities also mean outdoor job opportunities for those nature and environment enthusiasts. Three places to start the hunt for summer jobs and internships in the sun are Vermont State Parks, Parks and Recreation Departments and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps.
Vermont State Parks
Vermont State Parks offers a number of various internship opportunities for students. And the best part? A few of them are even paid internships.
“These students get the opportunity to have a real life paying job,” said Rochelle Skinner, internship coordinator. “Interns get to see how the parks operate and help them decide if they want to be a park ranger.”
Here is a list of internships offered by Vermont State Parks:
Photography & Videography Internships
Travel to Vermont State Parks, take digital photographs or videos of parks, campsites, visitors, recreational activities and more! You set your schedule and you can be involved as much or as little as you want. And besides, you’ll be helping out Vermont Parks. Please send resume, letter of interest, and samples of your work to rochelle.skinner@state.vt.us
This is an unpaid internship, but we can offer you perks such as free camping, day passes, and fishing licenses. You must provide your own camera equipment and transportation.
This internship can be tied to an academic internship if desired.
Web & Tech Internships
 Help us with web development, flash applications, Google Maps, Google Earth, podcasts,
mobile phone applications. Tailored to individual’s goals and skills.
Trail Guide Contributor
Using GPS and photography, help us develop electronic trail guides.
Self-Defined Internships
Have your own idea for a project? Send an email to rochelle.skinner@state.vt.us.
“These internships develop and teach important people skills, helping students interact with people,” Skinner said.
Although many of the internships are geared toward college students, Skinner has had photo interns that are 12 years old.
“We get a lot of applications, but the good news is they are spread across the state, which allows us to handle quite a few people,” she said. “Usually we hire more than 50 people.”
Burlington Parks and Recreation
Recent University of Vermont graduate Tom Murphy currently works special events production for the city of Burlington’s Parks Department.
Some of the work Murphy does on a day-to-day basis includes maintenance on waterfront parks, preparing the outdoor shelters, managing waste and repairing sprinkler lines. And Murphy said he loves it.
“I’m outdoors, I get to watch people and serve the public,” Murphy said. “It’s also nice to get immediate gratification for my work. I mow the lawns and see people playing on them afterwards which is really satisfying.”
Murphy found the opportunity through the Seven Days job twitter account (@SevenDaysJobs), which he highly recommends to anyone searching for local jobs.
Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
The Vermont Youth Conservation Corps is a non-profit conservation and education organization in which crew members, ages 16 to 24, complete conservation, agriculture, park management, and disaster relief projects throughout Vermont.
The mission of VYCC is to teach individuals to take personal responsibility for their actions by working, living and studying together.
“VYCC has challenged me to think for myself, to act as an independent leader and to place trust in those who I may not know very well,” said David Reitan of the 2012 conservation program.
On the VYCC website, Mikayla Geraci, member of the 2012 conservation program, wrote about the beauty of Vermont and how VYCC helped her step out of her comfort zone.
“Activities such as trail work and building erosion control features to preserve mountainsides helped me see that there is education beyond a classroom and a textbook,” Geraci said. “Had I not worked with VYCC this summer, I would have returned to a routine summer job that is not nearly as fulfilling as my time with the VYCC.”