Park and tourism management majors have usually already figured out that they want career paths which include community involvement and outdoor fun, and the enjoyment really begins when they seek out recreation management internships.
Recreational services are provided by nearly all U.S. state and local governments, and the presence of public parks and community centers is an indicator of an area’s quality of life.
Here are five examples of internships for park and tourism management majors who want to improve recreational services in their local communities.
#1 Summer Aquatics Intern
Park and tourism management majors who want to test the employment waters at city and county recreation departments can apply for internships for recreation at aquatic centers. Most cities and counties throughout the United States have aquatic centers, and these facilities become favorite places for children to visit during the summer. Summer aquatics interns implement learn-to-swim programs and monitor the safety of children while they swim. Most public aquatics centers require that interns pass lifeguard and CPR certification courses.
#2 Community Outreach and Development Intern
Park and recreation students and recent graduates can gain experience in wildlife conservation by applying for the Community Outreach and Development Intern position with the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society in Sanibel Island, Florida. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society is a non-profit organization that advocates for wildlife protection and resource conservation on the small island. Interns help to conduct public relations campaigns, manage special events and develop educational products for Sanibel Island’s J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
#3 Outdoor Education and Recreation Intern
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recruits college students yearly to assist recreation program managers at its state parks. The Outdoor Education and Recreation intern assignment involves planning for special activities such as junior park ranger programs, concerts in the park, art in the park, kayak rentals and bicycle tours. While these internships for recreation take place in the Houston area, other opportunities are available throughout Texas. Candidates must be comfortable with giving presentations to large groups of all ages and with doing some manual labor outdoors.
#4 Texas Children in Nature Summer Intern
The Texas Children in Nature Summer Intern position, which is sponsored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, is designed for park and tourism management majors who want to inspire children to enjoy and respect nature. Interns for this position are expected to promote the special benefits of Austin-area Texas state parks and other outdoor recreational amenities to children and their parents. These marketing efforts are done at public events, through the program’s website and within social media platforms.
#5 Star Youth Program Intern
The Star Youth Program Intern position improves the quality of recreational and educational services for children in Denver, Colorado. The program is associated with the Denver Rescue Mission, and interns who choose to apply for this position participate in a wide variety of activities that support the development of the area’s youth. During Star Youth internships for recreation, college students or recent graduates implement the program’s study and homework clubs, and they guide youth art, computer graphics and photography projects. Star Youth Program interns must be willing to serve the needs of low-income families as well as to support the program’s initiatives to integrate child refugees into Denver’s communities. These internship positions are ideal for parks and recreation majors who have aspirations to do faith-based missions within urban settings.
While green spaces and recreational facilities benefit everyone, many public park and tourism management programs target local youth. Subsequently, park and tourism management majors who enjoy interacting with children or developing programs that support the needs of that demographic will likely have more options available to them when they seek out internships for recreation.