High Desert Center Internships


Ready to take them to the next level?



2-3 interns  (nanny position available as well)


Colorado, Mexico, and the South-West


Internships are available for all of our programs and sometimes in between programs as well.  Talk to us.



Expenses covered. No financial compensation. Significant mentorship and support.


Why Intern with Us?

Interns at the High Desert Center gain experience as educators and mentors in both community and wilderness settings. We enjoy a fabulous quality of life here at the High Desert Center--from eating fresh, local foods and fresh baked breads to participating in meaningful, fun work in spectacular settings. You will have the opportunity to take part in meaningful community, wilderness expeditions, farming and building projects, and learn a slew of skills along the way. At times, you will be pushed to your limits, growing beyond who you thought you were. You can expect to get regular one-on-one mentorship from Dev, who brings decades of experience in education and community life.

What We're Looking For

Successful intern applicants will either be High Desert Center graduates with an established leadership track record or be clearly more experienced and skilled and probably older than the average gap year applicant (who is 17-23 years old with travel and work experience).Successful applicants will also offer strong demonstrated skills in more than one area of need for the program, such as:

  • Ability to run a kitchen.
  • Ability to lead backpacking trips and make sound backcountry decisions.
  •  Wilderness First Responder certified.
  • Ability to produce media (film, websites, etc.) for the program and help students with their own productions.
  • Strong Spanish language skills
  • Ability to fix and maintain facilities.

Finally, successful applicants will have a demonstrated ability to be positive, reliable and stable role models and friends to young people and staff alike while also being open to feedback and willing to initiate those important but often challenging direct conversations that need to happen when somebody is not thriving or keeping agreements. Interns participate in all gap year programs as specified on the High Desert Gap Year website.  You will need to arrive five days before the beginning of the program for staff orientation and stay a day after the program for debriefing. To apply for the internship position, fill out the student application form on the website and also send a letter introducing yourself and explaining why you are qualified and motivated to be an intern.  If you are not an alumni, also send a resume and two letters of recommendation from former employers.

To apply to be a nanny (to help with Dev and Marian's young son, Huckleberry) please send a letter of introduction.  It is sometimes possible to be both an intern and a nanny.  If this appeals to you, apply as an intern and mention your desire to be a nanny as well.