Teaching Assistant Internships

The Teaching Assistant (TA) position at the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School is an opportunity to advance personal proficiency in traditional living, modern homesteading and wilderness travel skills, to gain practice teaching and guiding and to assist in the day to day operations around the JMB field school.

TA positions are unpaid, but there is also no tuition cost. TA’s must bring enough money to cover their expenses (mostly food) while at camp. TA positions are only available during the Wilderness Bushcraft Semester (spring and fall). The duration of a TA position is 4 weeks.

Prerequisites For All Teaching Assistant Positions

  • Wilderness Bushcraft Semester graduate
  • JMBS Journeyman Certification
  • Enrollment in XI Certification Program
  • Maine Guide license, recreation
  • Current First Aid/CPR
  • Submit application packet, Independent Project Plan, and Signed TA contract at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the JMBS course
  • Jack Mountain instructors will have a formal TA selection meeting 4 weeks prior to the WBS course.
  • Completion of TA training course (currently in development)

Fulfilling these requirements proves to us that the applicant is serious about the opportunity and not simply looking for somewhere to hang out.

Requirements for all Teaching Assistants: Research, Instructor Development, Facilities Maintenance.


All TA applicants are required to submit plans for independent study projects to be completed during the internship. The benefits are two fold: it allows TA’s the time and space to acquire more experiential breadth and depth in a given field of study and it also provides an opportunity for students at JMBS courses to observe/participate in a given skill carried out to a greater degree than what time allows during the regular course period. This project must be relevant to the JMB curriculum and the arc of the project needs to fall within the time frame of the TA internship period.

Examples of TA independent projects:

  • Media production – documentary filmmaking
  • Sustainability outreach
  • Permaculture / homestead gardening
  • Experiential archaeology
  • Wilderness Travel
  • Homestead energy production
  • Primitive skill specialization

Outside of the Independent Project, the TA internship is an opportunity to hone personal skills on a daily basis. Whether by participating in class activities and working currently with the course/students or by working independently, TA’s are expected to be actively engaged in the development of their personal skills and expanding experiences relative to the JMBS curriculum.

Instructor Development

Throughout the internship, Teaching Assistants are expected to take on the role of an instructor and teach lessons throughout the current course. The amount of time spent teaching is set before the internship begins and is calculated according to the goals of the TA and the needs of the Jack Mountain staff for the duration of the current course. There is a minimum requirement of 3 lessons per week for all TA’s.

Facilities Maintenance

All TA’s are expected to pitch in with all camp chores and duties and facilitate the running of the current course. The role of the TA is not to be the janitor of the camp, but they are expected to help with all camp chores, i.e gather firewood, clean up around camp, and maintain the composting toilets the same as the rest of the Jack Mountain students and staff. They are also expected to help with the garden and homestead.

Requirements For All Teaching Assistants During Internship Period

  • Meet daily with JMBS staff to review progress, to establish needs of the current course, and to discuss future plans both individually and for the current course
  • Fulfill Independent Project requirements
  • Assist in the day to day operation around the field school
  • Abide by all JMB campus rules and school policies
  • Provide all personal gear needed throughout internship
  • Meet for a progress review at the end of the 2 week probationary period

Probationary Period

Each Teaching Assistant internship will be reviewed after the first week of the course. This probationary period allows both the TA and the staff at Jack Mountain to chance to evaluate the productivity and adherence to camp policies with the option of terminating the internship for failure to do so. The staff at Jack Mountain will actively work will at Teaching Assistant to assure than anyone willing to succeed at the internship will have every opportunity to do so.

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