Camp Earth Connection Summer Apprenticeship Program

A Summer in the Forest

Camp Earth Connection’s:

Residential Apprenticeship Program

Program Dates: June 24th, 2024 – August 16th, 2024 (Weekends off)

Diversity is valued, respected and honored at Camp Earth Connection. We do our best to provide a safe space for all, including members of the LGBTQ + , BIPOC and Recovery communities.

Take a walk on the wild side this summer and deepen your connection with nature as you immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of the Hammond Hill State Forest.  This is an amazing opportunity to get out of your daily routine, or city life and live and learn in nature. Applications are now being accepted

The Camp Earth Connection Apprenticeship Program is an 8-week residential program that provides individuals with the opportunity to live, work, and learn in a diverse community nestled within the Hammond Hill State Forest in Freeville, New York. The program focuses on experiential learning and hands-on practice in these core areas: 

  • Forest and Field Study: Learn about the flora and fauna, as well as forest caretaking.  Activities may include trail work, erosion control, tree care, wild edible foraging, trail-cam maintenance & study, and more.

  • Community Building in a Diverse and Inclusive Environment: Participate in community gatherings & discussions around the campfire, including popcorn movie nights (focused on environmental conservation and sustainable & equity practices.)

  • Permaculture Education and Project Work: Permaculture is a philosophy and set of practices for designing human environments that mimic nature’s patterns. The essence of permaculture is creating thriving ecosystems where elements cooperate for abundance and resilience. Permaculture projects include regenerative farming, harvesting rain water, composting and organic gardening.

  • Outdoor Living & Survival Skills: Learn and practice the basics of survival. Learn some basic primitive skills such as fire-making, shelter construction, water acquisition as well as skills that can help you get through current current day challenges. Participate in a weekend Backpacking trip (optional.)

  • Basic Carpentry and Building: Gain experience with using basic tools, via engaging in basic construction projects, building maintenance and improvements camp facilities.

In addition to these core areas, apprentices will also participate in daily chores, community meetings, and social events. The program is designed to help participants develop practical skills, build confidence, and connect with nature and people in a diverse and inclusive community.

Apprentices will be involved in real -time camp projects in the areas described above and in addition they will also be involved in the weekly campground schedule as well as special events such as:

  • Movie Nights – educational-thought provoking environmental films w/ follow up discussion
  • Community Campfire Breakfasts
  • Evening Community Campfires
  • Spring Retreat
  • Summer Solstice Celebration

Apprentices share in the daily chores such as food prep, fire prep, meal prep, turning and managing compost systems.

CEC 8-Week Residential Apprenticeship Program will give  individuals the opportunity to live, play and work together in a diverse community at Camp Earth Connection. The apprenticeship program operates Monday through Friday with weekends off.  Apprentices are free to enjoy the facilities or venture into town, visit state parks, etc.  Apprentices are responsible for their own meals on weekends.

The Program Fee helps us cover the food and lodging cost as well as the instruction time that staff and volunteers spend with apprentices. Apprentices in turn work on projects which will help build the Camp Earth Connection Community and incorporate regenerative practices with the land.

Experience two months living and learning in nature.Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the rustling leaves, and reconnect with the natural world. This can be an incredibly grounding, stress-relieving and healing experience, allowing you to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. We invite you to apply to become a part of the Camp Earth Connection community.

Sliding Scale Program Fee:

$1,200 – $1,500  (That’s only $600-$750/month for housing & 5 days of meals per week, plus a whole lot of learning!)

Apprentices are responsible for making safe choices and for their own self care, health and safety.  Forest living, includes daily tick checks, diverting rodents by keeping a neat home, and staying fit and healthy.  Awareness and being present is key.  Apprentices will be expected to be off their phones and internet when they are in program or working on projects.

Camp Earth Connection is a drug and alcohol free facility.  Apprentices are expected to abstain during program days and while on the facilities.

Apprentice will reside either in Rustic Cabins at the main camp or at the Outpost Campsite, a 5 minute walk from the Main Camp.  Outpost camp includes 2 Adirondack Style Lean-To’s with cots, lanterns & Bug net, a Large Pavilion with a fire pit and an outhouse.  Participants have the option of sleeping in the Lean-To’s, or their own tent.  Participants also have access to all campground facilities (hot showers, compost toilets, WiFi, and recreation pavilion.)

Mondays – Fridays, meals include: a light breakfast (coffee/tea & fruit), brunch, afternoon snack and dinner. Meals are primarily vegetarian w/vegan options. Apprentices should bring additional snacks with them for their comfort level as desired. There is no program on Saturdays and Sundays so apprentices are responsible for their own meals on these days.

Interested applicants should email Eshay at and request an application.  All applications will be reviewed and applicants will be contacted and invited to a virtual interview if selected.

The application process will be open until there is no longer room in the program.  All applicants will be required to sign a “release of liability” form.  Applicants also need to have their own health insurance coverage and sign a statement that they are in good enough health to participate in this program.

Please email Eshay at for if you have any questions.  Applications can be returned via email or snail mail to: Camp Earth Connection, 63 Hammond Hill Rd, Freeville, NY 13068