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Leir Global Internship as part of the Sam & Myra Ross Institute Nature-Based Internships
Interns get to choose from one of five tracksFree Room/Board (based on availability) and Stipend IncludedAll tracks run from January to December 2023
1) Farm Animal Education InternshipInterns work 5 days a week, and also participate in occasional weekend activities and events. Institute Interns develop comprehensive skills in nature-based education and activities and practical knowledge for employing those skills in working with children with special needs. This internship is built on the foundation of Animal-assisted activities and education designed to create an opportunity for children to self-reflect through interactions and relationships with people, peers, animals and the barn environment. This experiential learning can happen at anytime - in a stall, in a pasture, or when the child grooms a llama, leads a goat, or participates in feeding chores. Experiences with farm animals can teach responsibility, care and concern for another creature, interpersonal boundaries such as appropriate touch, movement, fine and gross motor skills, as well as leadership and teamwork skills. Children become primary caretakers. Therapeutic and educational experiences take place in the chore setting, feeding animals, cleaning stalls and tending to the basic care of animals.2) Vocational Education at Boni-Bel FarmInterns guide therapeutic/recreational activities such as maintaining a flock of organic chickens and preparing fresh eggs for sale, making gift baskets, bee-keeping, harvesting vegetables, maple sugaring, and assisting in special events such as Saturday Farm Markets. Experiential 1:1 vocational sessions guided by interns are designed to help individual students following New York State Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) standards.3) Horticulture InternshipInterns have an opportunity to observe and participate in classes, facilitate1:1 activities with individual students, and may explore independent projects that can enhance the garden program. Interns also guide therapeutic/recreational activities such as creating bees wax candles, mix in organic lotions, drying culinary herbs or preparing fresh chicken eggs for sale to the public. Interns in the horticulture area will be immersed in both educational and vocational aspect of horticulture, and participate in activities offered both on campus and at Boni-Bel organic garden. During the spring, summer, and fall months activities are held in our gardens, where planting, maintenance and harvesting of crops take place. In the winter, students are exposed to the scientific side of horticulture, such as plant anatomy and seed propagation in our greenhouses.4) Equine Education and InteractionIn the Equine Program, children learn how to care for the 18 horses, donkeys and ponies, and to manage their behavior and emotions to benefit their relationship with the animals. Interns have the opportunity to support children who have been unsuccessful socially or academically as they begin to experience success in the particularly supportive surroundings of the equine program. Interns participate in carefully guided interactions, helping students to develop riding and stable management skills that enhance social, emotional, physical and academic growth beyond the horse barn. Interns in this area assist iin riding classes, work one-on-one with students, and are responsible for taking care of the daily needs of our equine herd.5) Wildlife Rehabilitation InternshipThe Wildlife Center features a beautiful education center, animal triage care area and has large display and flight cages, woodland paths and naturalistic habitats. State licensed wildlife rehabilitators, an environmental educator and animal caretaker comprise the staff in this area. Interns in this area will assist wildlife classes, work one-on-one with students, learn about wildlife rehabilitation, maintain the center and become primary caregivers for the animals.