Job Type: Unpaid
Salary Details: Unpaid summer internship
Required Experience: 0 – 1 years

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Overview: BOPN builds joyful communities connected to each other and to their outdoor environments through discovery and play.  We believe that children are intrinsically motivated to learn, and that they do so by exploring the world around them. Our programs are located on the grounds of the Arnold Arboretum (Boston) and Massachusetts Horticultural Society (Wellesley).

Intern Role: To assist with teaching children ages 2.9 – 6 years under the supervision of Lead Teachers and with support from our Internship Program Manager

Schedule and Hours:

Internships may take place between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 1 – 5 days/week.

We host summer interns and school-year interns.  We currently seek a summer intern for the month of August.

Location: Outdoors at the Arnold Arboretum (Boston) and Massachusetts Horticultural Society (Wellesley)

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Nurture the spirit and curiosity of each child while promoting respect and building community
  • Assist the Lead Teacher(s) to be responsible for the health and safety of each child. This includes helping children stay comfortable in various weather conditions and managing risk in an outdoor setting
  • Use a nature-based and play-based approach 
  • Gracefully and professionally communicate with teachers, parents, and the wider community 
  • Attend an orientation and meet with our Internship Program Manager, Teri, to set goals for the internship.  Participate in weekly check-ins, a mid-point meeting, and final meeting.
  • With guidance from Teri, design and lead a project related to early childhood education and/or environmental education
  • Attend occasional professional development events related to outdoor early childhood education
  • Maintain regular attendance and punctuality 


  • Strong interest in exploring the field of nature-based early childhood education
  • Curiosity about the natural world and ability to convey a sense of awe and wonder to the children 
  • Embrace a wide variety of weather conditions as unique and interesting, part of the ebb and flow of the natural rhythm and seasonal changes
  • Ability to hike while carrying supplies

Please note:  

  • Internships are unpaid.  If you are interested in a longer-term commitment with free housing included, we also offer Fellowships.
  • Background checks and references are required.
  • While BOPN has a friendly relationship with the Arboretum, we are separate organizations and the Arboretum is not involved with organizing or operating BOPN’s programs.
  • School year internship hours at BOPN’s full-day programs may count toward teacher licensure through the state Department of Early Education and Care.  Please let us know if you are interested in a preschool and/or toddler teacher license so that we can design the internship to meet the state requirements


Please email our Internship Program Manager Teri Torchia at