Internship Opportunities

Located 90 miles west of Chicago, Stonehouse Farm Eco-Sanctuary and Retreat Center is an expansive facility that hosts workshops, retreats, festivals, gatherings and events to promote healthy and conscious living, creative arts, spirituality, sustainability, and a closer connection to nature. Until the main house completes renovations, this farm-turned-campground-turned-retreat center is a seasonal facility with programs from May through October. In 2015, 4000 guests enjoyed a variety of events on the property, and in 2016 it will begin its fourth season with great potential for growth and refinement in the coming years.

There will be 12 to 18 people in residence, with up to 1000 guests during festivals, around 100 for gatherings, and 30-50 during weekend retreats.

Stonehouse Farm is a vibrant community that needs your help to become a true sanctuary, sustainable not only within the ecosystem, but financially as well. With its limited budget, creative means are essential to get things done. There is a lot of work to do but it is balanced with fun, community, and opportunities. Thirty-seven beautiful acres, towering oaks, historic barns, fireflies, campfires, starry nights, a swimming pond and a positive loving community. Come join us…


Schedule

Work-life balance is important at Stonehouse. Along with regular scheduled work shifts, yoga and meditation are practiced daily, either as a led class, or through self-practice. Interns work five days per week, with the heaviest obligations during and preparing for events. Determination of non-work days depend on assigned responsibilities; additional days off are by exception, and must be approved and scheduled well in advance.

Stonehouse Farm prepares for the season in mid-April and closes the facility for the winter in mid-October. There are three Internship Apprenticeships that are each two months in length: mid-April to mid-June; mid-June to mid-August; and mid-August to mid-October. Interns may commit to one, two, or all three sessions. To participate in the exceptional yoga teacher training program held on site in August with credit toward the fee, interns must complete two full sessions.


Lodging and accommodations

In exchange for work, interns are provided with basic food and camping. Interns provide their own form of shelter—tent, camper, yurt, tipi, RV, etc. Some campground sites include water, electric and sewer hook-ups. Amenities include a basic community kitchen with basic equipment and utensils; an on-site washer and dryer; an intern lounge; a very nice shower house with hot water and flushing toilets for guests and interns, and ample parking.

Stonehouse Farm has a central administrative office known as the General Store, three barns (mostly for storage), open-air classrooms, yurts for guests, and a massage cabin on the premises. Free wifi is available near the main structure, but not throughout campground. Given its rural location, cell service can be spotty, with best service from AT&T and Verizon.


Food & Meals

Stonehouse Farm is dedicated to a healthy lifestyle and a vegetarian diet. Weekend events are catered with pride, serving delicious, beautiful food. Staple groceries that are provided for interns include coffee, tea, grains, beans and lentils, oats, granola, bread, nut butters, eggs, and the seasonal bounty from our garden. Donated foods and left-overs from events and workshops are shared as available. Additional foods will need to be purchased on your own during the weekly trip to the grocery store and farmers market. Meat is not prohibited, but it may not be cooked in our kitchen facility. If consumed, it is strongly encouraged to source from local, organic, non-industrial farms.


Benefits and Compensation

These are unpaid positions that offer HUGE benefits for developing your yoga and meditation practice, various skills, self-determination and work ethics, trainings by a range of teachers, participation in amazing workshops and events, and opportunities to build and join conscious communities. All festivals, events, and gatherings at Stonehouse Farm are free for interns to attend as long as their designated shift responsibilities have been covered. This does not include special classes that require additional payments. Part-time interns are awarded complimentary classes at the three Moksha Yoga Studios in Chicago.


Requirements

  • US citizenship or a valid and proper visa
  • Able to lift and carry 30 lbs
  • Not afraid of insects, night time/darkness, or swimming in a pond
  • Tolerant of all forms of spirituality
  • A positive attitude

Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • A strong motivation to do something for the greater good; to participate in something that will make a difference
  • Eager to learn, teach, help, and heal; be a self-starter who takes responsibility for competing tasks and contributing to the team
  • Practicing spiritual devotee
  • Participation in a community garden, farmers market, or WWOOFing
  • Experience volunteering at or working festivals or gatherings
  • Experience as an intern or resident at another retreat center/ashram, or similar organization

Notable qualifications:

  • Formal education in the hospitality, food service, or permaculture
  • Certified instructor of yoga, Pilates, Qi Gong, meditation, massage therapy, or related practices
  • Prior working experience in landscaping, gardening or farming
  • Experience managing staff
  • Professional chef or experience in commercial kitchen
  • Experience in any of the trades (electric, plumbing, carpentry, metal, masonry
  • Experience in animal care, especially chickens and ducks
  • Proficient in basic software programs (MS Word, Excel, Outlook) and internet research savvy
  • Ability or interest in creating music; experience with building stages and/or installing sound systems
  • Artistic ability or interest in creating installations, landscapes, style, and possibly merchandise.
  • Ability to repair and build, comfort with a variety of tools

What you can expect

On non-event days (usually Monday through Thursday), staff begins morning meditation at 7am, followed by 7:30am yoga and breakfast at 9. The work day begins at 10am sharp and concludes with dinner around 6pm, with some communal meetings after dinner. Many nights end fireside counting shooting stars and fireflies. Trading bodywork, sharing food, and making music is also very common. Brief dips in the pond are a great way to beat mid-day heat. When a major event is coming up, longer work days are necessary but most of the work is manageable and even enjoyable. Occasional field trips add variety and fun to the work day. :)

Stonehouse Farm has a no smoking policy. Illicit Drug use is not allowed. Irresponsible alcohol consumption is not tolerated.


Roles

Stonehouse seeks interns in four areas: Hospitality, Food Service, Grounds and Garden. Interns commit to one area for a two-month session, but can choose a different area for another session.

Event Manager

  • Oversee the run of show for programmed events
  • Work with event producer to determine staffing needs
  • Prep workshop areas and equipment
  • Help clean up and break down
  • Point of contact during event
  • Provide event recap to event producer

Volunteer Coordinator

  • Manage shift roster
  • Enroll and train work-trade volunteers for every event
  • Manage database of volunteers, entering new entries and updates
  • Create volunteer application
  • Intake volunteer applicants
  • Program and hold volunteer meetings/events
  • Create and run volunteer newsletter

Marketing Coordinator

  • Develop marketing plan to execute marketing strategy
  • Coordinate with Moksha marketing team for web, email, design and promotional campaigns
  • Work with Event Producer to market events and festivals

Social Media Coordinator

  • Manage list of social media outlets
  • Create social media plan
  • Manage and post on social media accounts per plan
  • Continually search for new outlets and strategies for social media

Resource & Sustainability Coordinator

  • Create working list of consumable supplies
  • Research and report on sources for cost effective sustainable supplies
  • Maintain inventory of consumable supplies
  • Create best practice plan on how to Reduce Reuse and Recycle at Stonehouse
  • Research and report on energy saving options
  • Create strategy to acquire tools and materials at little to no cost
  • Create working list of items needed at Stonehouse (shopping list)

Garden Planting and Harvesting Leader

  • Create permaculture plan with Ecosystem Preservation Leader
  • Research and report on ways to generate income from things harvested at SH
  • Plan and manage planting, weeding and harvesting days/events
  • Manage firewood harvesting
  • Create and manage garden budget
  • Manage bees

Ecosystem Preservation Leader

  • Research and report on sustainable pest control methods
  • Create pond care strategy and execute
  • Create and implement pest control plan
  • Maintain health of trees/bushes by trimming and pruning
  • Take down potentially hazardous trees
  • Continually assess pests/ invasive species
  • Manage overgrowth and weeds

Janitorial & Housekeeping Leader

  • Keep all structures clean (yurts, shower house, g store, sm barn, med barn, porches, patios, beach)
  • Keep all bathrooms/portaloos clean and stocked
  • Keep windows clean
  • Keep recycle/trash/compost emptied as needed

Maintenance Chief

  • Fix things when they break
  • Make renovation plans
  • Make renovations
  • Preventative maintenance on mower, yard equipment & tools
  • Maintain pathways, fences, parking lot, and the grass
  • Remove or fix any hazards on the property

Grant & Fund-raising Coordinator

  • Research and apply for qualifying grants
  • Compose fund-raising ideas and campaigns
  • Organize and manage fund-raising efforts

Head of Hospitality

  • Greet and register guests
  • Give orientation to guests
  • Sell yurts, rentals, general store items, and future SH events (15% discount)
  • General store/rentals
  • Collect payments
  • Check on guests needs
  • Overall hospitality point of contact

Local Outreach & Partner Relations

  • Identify key partnerships in the community
  • Create alliances with groups, organizations and businesses with similar vision
  • Act as ambassador for SHF to foster relationships
  • Invite influential members to SHF events as guests
  • Attend networking and social events on behalf of SHF
  • Point of contact for special guests at SHF

Master of Beautification

  • Landscape design
  • Propose art installations
  • Lighting design
  • Decor of the yurts and other structures
  • Overall aesthetic of the property

Resident Chef (possible paid position)

  • Manage kitchen supplies and food inventory
  • Manage kitchen staff
  • Keep kitchen and appliances clean
  • Plan and prepare house meals
  • Plan and prepare meals for events under 30 participants

Hospitality

2-4 interns, Thursday – Monday work week
Skill sets: Clean, organized, enjoys interior design, eye for detail, sales, customer service, personable, approachable, problem-solver

Responsibilities:

  • Preparing accommodations for guests
  • Greeting, check-in, and check-out guests
  • Up-selling accommodation upgrades at check-in
  • Mingling with guests
  • Running the store, on-site contact for guests
  • Maintaining clean bathrooms and showers
  • Housekeeping and laundry
  • Furnishing and decorating yurts and tents
  • Answering phones, getting mail, responding to email, managing online reservations and requests

Food Service

3 interns, Thursday – Sunday. Each choose a one day (Monday-Wednesday) to prepare staff meals
Skill sets: Cooking, creative and healthy meal planning, passion for healthy eating, able to stand for long hours

Responsibilities:

  • Maintain kitchen facility: clean, sanitized, organized, and well-stocked
  • Assist with food service for events under direction of chef
  • Prepare staff meals during non-event days
  • Food vending during festivals
  • Prepare and maintain dining tent
  • Presentation of food
  • Maintain beverage station for guests and staff
  • Process harvested and donated foods (dehydrate, juice, pickle, ferment, prepare)

Grounds

4-6 positions, 2 shifts Monday-Thursday, 2 shifts Thursday-Sunday
Skill Sets: expertise/skill with tools, heavy lifting, organization
Responsibilities:

  • Maintain order and cleanliness of three barns, all tools, and garden
  • Mow, weed whack, assist with planting
  • Tree Care including trim trees, use wood chipper for cuttings
  • Split and stack wood for fires
  • Prepare venue space
  • Clean up after events
  • Set up, take down, care and storage of tents
  • Light fires and tiki torches for events
  • Protect equipment and facilities from rain and storms
  • General building and facility maintenance

Garden

2 positions, flexible schedule
Skill Sets: green thumb, familiarity with gardening and garden tools, planting, weeding, harvesting, compost

Responsibilities:

  • Assist head gardener with overall garden strategy including herb garden by kitchen
  • Follow planting and harvesting plan
  • General garden care: watering, weeding, fertilizing, pest management
  • Pruning fruit trees, gathering fruit during season
  • Properly turn and mix compost
  • Harvesting from garden and the wild
  • Assist with processing, storing, and preserving harvested food
  • Care of bee hives
  • Prepare garden for winter, including fall plantings, green houses, covered beds, mulching, etc.
  • Assist with ornamental plantings and garden designs on property

To Apply

We look forward to a vibrant community of committed interns and staff who host transformative events throughout the season and make friendships that last a lifetime. To apply, email your education and work history resume to info@stonehousefarm.com.. Please include a brief explanation of your interest in being an intern at Stonehouse Farm, your qualifications, experience, or anticipated contributions, and make note of any previous experience as a guest or volunteer at Stonehouse Farm.   Qualified candidates will be asked to interview by phone or Skype; references will be consulted prior to final decision.

Namaste