Program Support Intern

Quail Springs is a leading environmental educational nonprofit that empowers students of all ages and backgrounds with knowledge, skills, and inspiration essential to cultivating ecological and social health.Quail Springs Mission Statement

Founded in 2004, Quail Springs is a leading educational nonprofit stewarding a 450-acre, high desert permaculture farm and conservation site. We teach strategies and techniques for designing resilient environments and creating healthy and culturally vibrant communities. Quail Springs mission is to empower students of all ages and backgrounds with knowledge, skills, and inspiration essential to cultivating ecological and social health. We believe the most effective way to foster positive change is through our relationships, with one another and our ecologies.

Our goal on the farm is to provide as much of our daily food as possible throughout the year for staff, students and visitors to Quail Springs Farm, as well as for our food-giving animals. We do this through our mixed food forest and garden systems and holistic, integrated food producing animal systems. The residents and staff are a dedicated group of teachers, farmers, natural builders, inspired chefs, and land stewards who strive to further our non-profit’s mission through working, living, and teaching within the ethics of Permaculture. Our community focuses on providing top quality education through our courses, tending and rehabilitating the land on which we are situated, creating culture through food, music and farming, and outreach to people seeking regenerative lifestyles.

This opportunity offers extensive practical opportunities to learn about the day-to-day operations of a full-time functioning Permaculture farm and educational organization, and is geared specifically for those deeply interested in and drawn to work long-term in community in a supportive role. We are looking for individuals who embrace simple, remote, rural living: successful applicants are able to live and work in the same community, while striking a work/life balance. They are inclusive, flexible, comfortable in groups, creative problem solvers, and are able to manage themselves through a wide range of challenges. High energy, a good sense of humor, strong communication skills, a positive attitude, and a willingness to learn and to teach are essential attributes.

Position Description

The Program Support Intern fills a vital role, working on the program team to ensure that programs run smoothly and students are having an optimal experience. This is a person who is excited about details and working on tasks related to the day-to-day coordination of our youth and adult programming. This person will report to and work directly with the Program Coordinator and program team, as well as Quail Springs staff members. This position is a part-time position. During non-program times, there may be support requested by the Program Coordinator. At other times, this person will be integrated fully into the community and be given an opportunity to jump in on light farm chores, cooking, and cleaning and tending common spaces, among other things. When programs are running, the position will be full-time requiring an estimated 8-12 hours per day. Note that the tasks below are not exhaustive, neither are all of them regularly required for each course.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Checks in with instructor the day before to see what materials support may be needed; prepares or gathers any needed materials

  • Readies classroom or work space by setting up chairs, moving white board or flipcharts, markers — or tools — as needed

  • Keeps track of time and gives signals to gather students

  • Keeps time for the teacher and gives 10 minutes left signal (as needed for teacher)

  • Monitors and adjusts temperature needs of the space during class

  • Performs other duties as assigned

  • Observes teaching/student participation levels to report to program coordinator

  • Can help report back to whole team about how the session went, what students need next energetically

  • Supports student arrival and departure days

  • Helps on hearth tending, snack prepping, laundry support as needed

  • May be called upon to assist with special projects; including farm support, goat walking, and general administration

Qualities & Qualifications of the Ideal Person

  • Desire to work with children’s and adult programming

  • High attention to detail & exceptional organizational skills

  • Flexibility and adaptability to changing situations

  • Good interpersonal skills, a positive attitude, and a good sense of humor

  • Willingness to engage in more mundane community chores (laundry, cleaning, etc.) and a strong spirit of volunteerism on community projects

  • Effective communication skills (good writing and editing skills a plus)

  • Familiarity with the 8-shields acorn model highly advantageous

  • Cultural sensitivity & ability to adapt working style

  • Desire and ability to work in a team

  • Ability to self-regulate and take initiative, strong work ethic

  • LGBTQ folks and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply

  • We value relevant life experiences that demonstrate qualification as much as education


Quail Springs Permaculture is based near Ventucopa, California in the Cuyama Valley.

Time Commitment

QS is looking for someone with a minimum 2-month window of availability, from mid-September to mid-November, 2017. It is preferable to have you visit the site before committing, to determine whether this is a fit. A two-week trial period begins your stay, followed by monthly check-ins. We will also hold a spring internship from mid-March through the end of May, 2018.

Working & Living Conditions

There are anywhere from 10-20 other people living and working on site towards the mission of the organization (although the number of people can swell to up to 50 people for two weeks, for example, during our PDCs). The site is remote, with limited communications (cell phones do not work, and internet and phone service is limited to the office/classroom area). We have a very small office or RV as our indoor working environments (at times the classroom is available). Quail Springs’ classroom and kitchen commons are two 30-foot yurts which are heavily used during programs. Work will be acute prior to, during, and just after programs and other events.

We provide camping space (with your own gear), nourishing food, a reference library, on-site phone service /internet, hundreds of acres of beautiful wilderness, a lively community atmosphere of various ages, and what many have deemed a treasured life-changing experience.


This position will flux between 10-15 hrs/week to full time during programs. Compensation is $200/month. Food & services are also provided to the intern and are valued at $350/month per person.

Other Program Support Internship Takeaways:
  • Experience hosting students for permaculture-based programming
  • Learn about permaculture, farming and natural building
  • Learn how to run educational programs for diverse groups of students and different age levels
  • Experience working on a team to create educational programming
  • Learn about working in a non-profit organization
  • Experience living on a working farm and a thriving community
  • Experience parts of the Permaculture Design Course curriculum

Quail Springs does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, etc. Quail Springs is a drug-free site.


Thank you for your interest in the position of Program Support Intern for Quail Springs Permaculture. We look forward to learning more about you. Please complete the application below and our team will contact you as soon as possible.

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