Northern Tier Recreation Internships 

Northern Tier High Adventure is your top choice for recreation-based internships located right on the edge of the most used wilderness area in the country – the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Interns work as staff members at Northern Tier and guide wilderness expeditions into the BWCAW. Northern Tier is a large enough operation to give interns a chance to see a large-scale outfitter, and guiding service while still being small enough that we can pull back the curtains for interns to see behind the scenes of what it really takes to operate in a large wilderness recreation area. Additionally, Interns get hands-on training and experience with emergency response, program creation, and facilitation of wilderness trips. Northern Tier operates as a branch of the Boy Scouts of America which means that Interns also get a look into the largest youth-serving organization in the country. Northern Tier internship opportunities are even utilized by the U.S. Naval academy for their summer leadership training block, a clear endorsement of the high level of experience Northern Tier can provide. 

Northern Tier Statistics: 

  • over 400 groups served each summer (Average group size of 8) 
  • a fleet of over 300 canoes 
  • Over 100 guide staff hired each summer 
  • Operations in both the US and Canada 

Skills that interns learn at Northern Tier include: 

  • Training in emergency procedures 
  • Wilderness First Aid and CPR training 
  • Training in wilderness canoe tripping 
  • Creation of new programs that keep youth engaged 
  • Solo guide experience facilitating wilderness canoe trips 
  • Leadership  


What to expect as a Northern Tier Intern 

No prior experience is needed because all Northern Tier internships start off with a paid 3-week training course that covers everything from the Leave No Trace principles and canoe strokes, to crew dynamics and emergency response. This 3-week training includes Wilderness First Aid and CPR training as well as a 5-day trip into the BWCAW to put your new skills to the test. 

Once staff members complete their training the summer of exciting trips begins. Interns are assigned up to six trips throughout the summer where they will guide the crews of scouts and their advisors on treks of 6-14 days into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness or Quetico Provincial Park in Canada. 

While not out on a trek, staff will spend time on base preparing facilities for other crews which can involve a wide range of tasks. Interns will also have time in-between treks to complete necessary tasks for their internship as well as time to meet with Full time staff to learn more about Northern Tier operations. 


Northern Tier Flexibility 

Working in the wilderness means learning to be flexible and that translates to our staffing as well. We have some flexibility with start and end dates, time needed for classes, and requirements for internships. We know that different schools have different requirements, and we can work with you to meet the requirements for your internship.  Past internships have included:

  • Outdoor Programming
  • Outdoor Leadership
  • Outdoor Recreation
  • Marketing & Public Relations
  • Human Resource Management
  • Facility Operation & Maintenance
  • Budgeting & Financial Management
  • Information Technology

We will work with you to see if we can customize position responsibilities for you. Please contact if you are interested in seeing how we can work together to create an internship for you.