Outdoor Leadership Intern Training Experience (oLITE)

Outdoor Leadership Internship at Glacier Point

Come join us for our Outdoor Leadership Internship and embark on a summer of adventure, community building and self-exploration while developing your skills professionally and personally.

Through the internship you will get the opportunity to partner with Summit Adventure and learn the ins and outs of adventure-based ministry focused on serving. his internship is focused on providing you with the tools and experience necessary to instruct in the backcountry and facilitate adventure components like rock climbing, rappelling and backpacking.

This internship might be for you if you…

  • Have a desire to become a leader versed in experiential education
  • Have limited experience in the outdoors but are looking to jumpstart a career in the outdoor industry
  • Want to develop your leadership and communication skills
  • What to spend a summer doing something a little different, pushing yourself outside your comfort zone
  • Want to live in a faith-based community for a summer exploring the Sierras
  • Have a desire to learn more about non-profit management

Depending on your interests the internship can be focused on one or a combination of the following concentrations, such as:

Wilderness-based leadership and facilitation

  • Leadership, communication and group facilitation training in a wilderness setting
  • Hard and soft skills related to backpacking, rock climbing, rappelling and mountaineering
  • Assist head instructors with planning, preparing and leading backpacking and climbing courses ranging from day trips (a day of climbing or a day of hiking in Yosemite Valley) to 4-8 day backpacking trips in the wilderness

Expedition planning and logistics

  • Work closely with Summit’s Program director in planning and preparing for summer courses
  • Refine and manage Summit Adventure’s system for checking gear in and out before and after courses
  • Assist in planning food, lodging and transportation for course participants

Development and non-profit management

  • Work with the Marketing Director to develop a fundraiser for Summit Adventure
  • Assist Marketing Director with donor relations

Social Media & Marketing

  • Work with the Marketing Director to manage and create content for Summit’s Social Media accounts
  • Create a monthly marketing calendar
  • Connect with prior instructors and students via social media
  • Create and post ads on social media for Semester Program & other Summit courses

Writing & Communications

  • Serve as an editor for all content posted on Summit’s website and blog
  • Create content for the Summit blog as well as find and contact potential contributors
  • Help create an ambassador program to help Summit advertise the Semester Program on campuses

Videography and photography

  • Take pictures and videos on Summit courses and programs
  • Work with the Marketing Director to storyboard and create videos recapping courses and advertising programs
  • Help create content for all social media platforms including the website

Staff and Community Care

  • Help in planning Summit’s first local kids wilderness trip
  • Work with Summit’s Lodge Manager in all AirBnB management and hospitality tasks
  • Coordinate events and outreaches with the Summit staff and other local ministries like YWAM Yosemite and ACMNP
    • Facilitate relationships and connection to support each other in ministry

Academic Credit

The Outdoor Leadership Internship may qualify for academic credit through your college or university. Therefore, verifying and obtaining academic credit is the responsibility of the applicant. Please notify Summit Adventure if you plan to take oLITE for credit and we will support you in your efforts.

What to Expect…

The Outdoor Leadership Intern Training Experience involves a combination of experiences and training that include the following, in addition to responsibilities depending on your chosen concentration.

  • One-on-one mentorship
  • Opportunities for administrative training
  • Adventure elements like mountaineering, rappelling, rock-climbing and backpacking
  • Course Planning and participation (alongside a senior instructor) with a variety of courses that take place throughout the summer
  • Leadership, communication, and group facilitation training
  • Personal and spiritual development
  • If academic credit is expected, the fulfillment of the specific course requirements
  • Trips throughout the High Sierra (Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne, Yosemite Wilderness, Ansel Adams Wilderness…) during the summer

Because the Outdoor Leadership Internship is centered around you getting as much experience and exposure to adventure elements of courses as possible, you will have many opportunities to spend your off time exploring, rock climbing, hiking and camping.

The internship starts on May 24th and ends August 13th. Applications will be accepted and reviewed up until January 30th. In February we will conduct phone interviews and we will send out contracts by the end of February. 


  • Applicants must be over 18 years of age
  • Strong interest in outdoor ministry and education
  • A passion to explore the natural world
  • Comfortable with outdoor living
  • Eagerness to learn and be challenged mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually
  • Ability to fulfill physical demands of backpacking (carry a 40lb pack)
  • Ability and eagerness to work with a team
  • Organizational skills
  • Previous camping or backpacking experience preferred
  • Experience working with youth preferred
  • Experience in one or more of the above concentrations strongly preferred

Cost, Compensation and Benefits

Summit Adventure Outdoor Leadership Internship Bass Lake
Summit Adventure Staff on Mono Rock at Bass Lake during for staff devotions during orientation week

$1,500 is the total cost for the internship, which includes

      • 12-day Leadership Training Course
      • Accommodation
      • Ground transportation
      • Other High Sierra trips and training throughout the summer

Although there is a fee for the internship, there are various compensation opportunities while living on base. These opportunities will be discussed during the application process.

Interns live with the rest of the Summit Adventure Staff at the base located on Bass Lake, about 1 hour outside of Yosemite Valley.

The internship starts on May 24th and ends August 16th (end date is flexible, arrival date is not). Applications will be accepted and reviewed up until January 31st. In February we will conduct phone interviews and send out contracts by the end of February. 



Click Here to Apply for the oLITE Internship

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call or email ari@summitadventure.com | 559-642-3899