The Steger Wilderness Center seeks an intern for non-profit development and fundraising (“Development Intern”) working part time in the Twin Cities in March, April and May 2019 and at the Steger Wilderness Center in Ely, Minnesota, from late May through the end of August.

The Development Intern position requires principal residence in the Twin Cities to enable the Intern to be available to work in person with the Steger Wilderness Center development team.

The Development Intern will work closely with Will Steger following his return from his spring 2019 solo expedition to the Arctic Ocean.

The Development Intern will work in all aspects of non-profit fundraising and development. From the commencement of work through the end of August, the Development Intern will work principally under the direction of Steger Wilderness Center Development Coordinator, Tina Witzel. Based on the Intern’s performance through July 15, 2019, the Development Intern will be considered for the position of permanent, part-time Steger Wilderness Center Development Coordinator beginning September 1, 2019.

The ideal candidate will:
1. Be a college graduate as of Spring 2019
2. Have a substantial interest in and connection to the wilderness and the out of doors
3. Have business experience from previous summer or part time jobs.
4. Be someone who can work effectively in a collaborative, team-oriented environment while also working with initiative and independence on their individual responsibilities.
5. Have the ability to plan, coordinate and conduct fundraising and relationship-development events on behalf of the Center.
6. Have substantial computer skills, particularly with Excel, the Google Suite, and database management (Salesforce)
7. Be available to work part time (10-15 hours per week) beginning March 4 through May 24, 2019.
8. Transition to living at the Steger Wilderness Center beginning May 26, 2019, through the end of August.

Application Deadline: Open until Filled.

Tina Witzel, Development Coordinator, Steger Wilderness Center

Applications (Letters & Resumes) to:
Tina Witzel, Development Coordinator, Steger Wilderness Center

In submitting resumes, applicants are encouraged to write a cover letter explaining why they feel they would be a good candidate for this position.

The Steger Wilderness Center is located ten miles northeast of Ely, Minnesota, on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The Center occupies 240 acres of glaciated bedrock ridges, wetlands, and Picketts Lake.

The Steger Wilderness Center Residents Program

Participants in the Residents Program are committed to sustainability; embody the Center’s values; and work collaboratively in forest management, carpentry, construction, and the many practical tasks necessary to the operations of the Center.

The 2019 Residents Program will run for five months from the beginning of May through the end of September. A commitment of between 10 and 14 weeks is required for all Residents, with individual schedules tailored to college and/or work schedules.

“This was the best summer of my life. I don’t know how it happens, but the Steger
Wilderness Center attracts such amazing people. Everyone has so much to offer and it’s
amplified here. It really feels like a space where people can be at their best.”
– Sophia Skinner, 2018 Summer Resident

Orientation Week for all residents will be May 27th – June 1st at the Center. The orientation will address the mission, values and purpose of the Center. It will include work on a community construction project to facilitate tools/shop training; tours of the site and surrounding area; and guest speakers on critical aspects of life and work at the Center. Attendance of all residents at Orientation Week is required.

Residents live in their own tents. Meals are provided Monday – Friday, prepared by a full time cook at the Center’s Lodge.

Work Schedule
Residents work weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but adapt their days of work and hours as needed to meet the essential operating requirements of the Center. The Center encourages residents to take advantage of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area during their days off. There are numerous hiking trails in the area, with maps and guidance available from Center staff and local guide services.

Swimming and canoeing are available on Center’s Picketts Lake. The sauna is available two days a week. The surrounding forest, wetlands and glaciated ridges provide a wild, peaceful daily setting.

$1000 for twelve weeks of the season, prorated for each resident’s actual time at the

“I got to meet so many awesome people this summer.
It was great. Especially the
formal guests.
We had the opportunity to have amazing people visit
and it was
our job to make them feel welcome.”
– Caitlin Augdahl, 2018 Summer Resident

To apply to the Residents Program:
• Please review the website of the Steger Wilderness Center.
• Send an email letter to with your full name; full contact information; date of birth (must be 18 to apply); resume; and name, email address and telephone number of two references.
• Include in your letter a 100-200 word statement of why you think you would be a good
choice as a 2019 Steger Wilderness Center Resident.

If applicable, please include any skills or experience you would bring to the Residents
Program including, but not limited to the following:

– Mechanical
– Carpentry
– Plumbing/Electric
– Food Preparation
– Organic Farming
– Operating Heavy Machinery
– Forestry/Chainsaw Operation
– Website Development & Social Media
– Administrative
– Fundraising/Development (If you have significant interest in this area, please consider applying for the Development Internship position)

Send your letter and resume to

Application deadline
• April 1, 2019.

Please contact us at any time with questions regarding the Residents Program by sending an email to:

We look forward to your application!

Thank you,
Will Steger
Steger Wilderness Center

We remodeled our sauna! After 25 years of use by Center staff and guests, the sauna needed a little TLC. Assistant Director Jenna Pollard shows us all the improvements that SWC residents and Summit Academy students made in just three workdays.

Follow along as Jenna leads a brand new group of Summit Academy students around the Homestead and shows them our solar array, wood shop, lodge, sauna, and lake village. Along the way we meet three of our dearest community animals — Jasper the sled dog, Mr. Chips the beaver, and Goliath the snapping turtle!

Two massive stone masonry projects — the Roman road and grand staircase — are finally coming together at the Steger Wilderness Center! Learn about this multi-year project from master stone mason Ian McKiel and his students.

Will and the Steger Wilderness Center communication squad travel together to Listening Point on nearby Burntside Lake – the fabled land of Sigurd Olson, the great nature writer, whose books still inspire love and wonder for the Boundary Waters and beyond.

In the video above, you can follow the full tour of Listening Point and hear Will tell stories about Sig. Below, watch our musical collaboration with artist Willow Bardlark who sang “The Singing Wilderness” during our visit.

Learn more about Sigurd Olson’s legacy at the Listening Point Foundation:

Life at the Homestead
by Caitlin Augdahl

July 4, 2018

Life at the Steger Center is pretty simple. After a long day of work the residents and staff enjoy themselves and the wonderful companionship of this community. After the rush of dinner and dishes, residents often go down to Hobo Village to hang out with the mayor, Johnny Ray.

The first photo (above) was taken on the fourth of July. Staff members Jenna Pollard and Louis Mielke were singing some songs about wilderness while we all laughed and sang along.

After a fun 4th, it was back to work for the staff and residents. The third photo above shows our daily morning meeting with Will Steger, all the staff, all the residents and of course, Johnny Ray’s retired sled dog Jasper.

The night after work was a calm, soothing evening. Most people were tired after their work day, taking a dip and the lake and hitting the sack. But Jenna and Aurora knew there was still time to get some work done before the sun went down. In the fifth picture you can see them making shelves for the portraits of the past years residents.

– CA

Stay tuned for more Life at the Homestead updates by summer resident Caitlin Augdahl.