Apprenticeships (Ages 14-16)


Summer 2018 Apprenticeship Applications due February 9, 2018.

Nature Connection Mentoring program for teens ages 14-16

A parent has described Merrohawke as a place that is “. . . building a whole army of kids who know more about nature than their parents do.” Merrohawke’s Teen Apprenticeship Program models this by fostering the growth of teens’ skills in leadership, nature connection, independence and interpersonal communication. This transformational journey is intended to shape a young adolescent into a confident teen qualified to work at Merrohawke or any other outdoor program by building life skills that will benefit any future professional pursuit. Over time, teens will learn skills like knot tying, busting a coal from a bow drill, leading songs and games, nature connection through journaling the biology of local organisms, and education skills with younger children. Merrohawke’s Teen Apprenticeship Program is building an army of young people to work in the outdoor, nature connection field in our community or wherever their heart takes them in the years ahead.

“I don’t have to worry about people judging me at Merrohawke, and I can really just let myself be myself. This summer I found confidence in being in a group, which is something I’ve been struggling with for a while. So thank you for that.”~2016 apprentice

Teen Apprenticeship Includes:

  • Level 1: Active, playful and positive participation in programs while in service to the participating students.
  • Level 2: Assist in leading activities during program while developing naturalist and leadership skills
  • All Levels: participate in the Coyote Overnight during the first week of summer, June 23-30 (a $1199 value). This seven days and seven nights takes place in a nearby forested field site and will be co-facilitated by visiting instructors from sister wilderness schools across the U.S. 

You will learn:

  • Naturalist skills to deepen your own connection to nature in your daily life
  • Responsibility, accountability and independence
  • How to receive feedback and mentoring from our lead staff
  • How meaningful self-reflection is a key skill towards ongoing personal development
  • Maritime skills and/or primitive wilderness skills
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Leadership skills to best serve various age groups and settings
  • How to identify your unique gifts that you can bring forward to serve the community

“As an apprentice I was mentored on how to see the whole picture, be able to prevent things and not just react to the situation when it boils over” ~2017 Apprentice



  • Minimum age of 14
  • Past participation in our programs for a minimum of two years
  • A strong desire for a wilder, more intensely experienced life and a deeper connection to nature
  • An intense desire to learn, and to make real what you learn every day
  • Openness to instruction and feedback, and sincerely grateful for what is given
  • An ability and willingness to do get dirty and play
  • Direct communication with Merrohawke staff. We want to hear from you, not your parents.
  • Attendance at summer staff training Coyote Camp during the week of June 23-30, 2018
  • Minimum commitment of two weeks for Level 1 Apprentices, three weeks for Level 2
  • $499 fee, or other arrangements as needed


Apprentice positions are highly selective and limited to 12 teens each summer. Successful completion of the apprenticeship program may qualify you for, but does not guarantee, future employment with Merrohawke or any other outdoor education program. While this is typically a two or three-year journey, apprentices must apply (or re-apply) each year.

To apply for summer 2018, complete the MNS_2018_Apprenticeship_packet by February 9, 2018. The fee for participation is $499, payable upon acceptance or by June 1, 2018.