I am writing to invite applications to the Steger Wilderness Center Residents Program, described below, for this coming summer of 2018.

Please pass along this letter to anyone you think may be interested in applying and/or feel free to post this letter where appropriate applicants can see it.

The Steger Wilderness Center is located ten miles northeast of Ely, Minnesota, on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness which, with the bordering Canadian Quetico, is the largest contiguous, motor-less canoe area in the world.

The Steger Center, founded with the dual goals of providing applied education through partnerships with technical and training schools; and serving as a convening center to address critical human and environmental needs, occupies 240 acres of glaciated bedrock ridges, wetlands, and Pickett Lake.

Since its inception in 2004, the Steger Wilderness Center Residents Program has grown to eight Residents in 2017. We have openings for eight Residents in 2018.

Essential Features of the Residents Program:

Role of the Residents Program

  • Residents play a central role in the life of the Steger Center, communicating and embodying the Center’s values to everyone who works at or visits the Center.
  • Residents are committed to sustainability in all aspects of their work and life at the Steger Center.
  • Residents work collaboratively in forest management, carpentry, construction, and the regular welcoming and hosting of visitors to the Steger Center.
  • Residents lead the creation of community within their own Residents Program and throughout the Steger Center during the summer.
  • I live at the Steger Center during the summer and have daily contact with the Residents as we teach and mentor them in the work of the Center.

Three Months

The 2018 Program will run for three months from Monday, May 28, 2018, to Friday, August 31. We make reasonable scheduling accommodations to coordinate with our Residents’ education or work schedules.


Residents live in their own tents which they have freedom to pitch in designated areas of the Steger Center forest.


Residents are provided healthy, free meals weekdays prepared by a full-time cook at the homey Steger Wilderness Center Lodge which also serves as a computer work space, library, music room and informal gathering place.

Work Schedule

Residents typically work an 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. schedule. Regular two-day breaks are provided throughout the summer. Everyone works some evenings and some weekends to fulfill the Residents Program role of welcoming and seeing to the needs of day and overnight guests in connection with the Center’s program, fundraising and governance work.

Days Off

The Center encourages Residents to take advantage of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area during their days off. Loaner canoes and paddles are available for sign-out.


Swimming and canoeing are available on the Center’s Pickett Lake which is bordered by bedrock ridges and outcroppings. The sauna on Pickett Lake is available two days a week. The surrounding forest, wetlands and glaciated ridges provide a wild, peaceful daily setting.


$1000 for the summer.


For the first time in 2018, the Residents Program will have a Director that guides and schedules the work, serves as a teacher and mentor, and develops skill positions among the Residents.

To apply to the Residents Program:

  1. First, please study the website of The Steger Wilderness Center and the Role of the Residents Program as described in this letter.
  2. Send us an email letter with your full name; full contact information; date of birth (must be 18 to apply); resume; and the name, address, email address and telephone number of two references.
  3. Include in your letter a 100-200-word statement of why you think you would be a good choice as a 2018 Steger Center Resident.
  4. Send your letter and resume to
  5. Application deadlines:
    • Preferred Deadline: March 1, 2018. Applications received by March will be given priority.
    • Final Deadline: April 1, 2018.

Thank you,

Will Steger

Founder, The Steger Wilderness Center