Internships at Heathcote Community

Update for 2017:  We are not currently offering internships in 2017.  If you are interested in short-term volunteer opportunities at Heathcote please email


Internship Program Overview

Looking for the experience of being immersed in a rural intentional community?  Want to learn more about organic farming?  Interested in gaining carpentry skills?  Look no further, the Heathcote Community Internship Program is what you are looking for.  Enjoy relaxing summer (or spring or fall) months sharing in our community processes and creating connections with nature, people, and, most importantly yourself.  The natural beauty that surrounds Heathcote is rich, and the relationships that we develop are meaningful.  The work that we do together connects us, and from all this we grow.  Work in our gardens, take on a community chore, cook, clean, and eat with us, come to community meetings and learn about our community processes.  Wake up early, but don't be late. Apply now spaces are limited!  Interns typically work 20 hours/week, are provided with sleeping accommodations in the bunk room, and pay $220/month for food.  Internships will last a maximum of 3 months, and a minimum of 1 month.

Internships can focus in one area (farming or carpentry) or incorporate both areas of interest.   Interns can also work on special projects that are part of our 50th anniversary campaign. See below for more details. Please specify your area/s of interest when filling out the application.  All internships involve participation in Community Life.  Sometimes interns can get college credit for their internship experience.


Farming Internship

Work on our organic farm under the guidance of our Farm Manager.  Learn how to grow delicious organic food using permaculture and biointensive methods. Specific duties include preparing beds, starting seeds, planting, weeding, watering, natural pest control, harvesting, food preservation, composting, and maintaining perennial plants. The intern will also have the opportunity to undertake special garden projects such as enhancing our edible forest garden.  Heathcote's farm has about 1 acre of land under cultivation plus two high tunnels, shiitake logs, and berry bushes.


Carpentry Internship

The carpentry internship provides an opportunity to learn basic carpentry skills while working on projects under the guidance of a master carpenter.  Interns will be taught how to safely use hand and power tools, how to work with attention, how to use their body efficiently and properly to avoid strain and fatigue. 

We will address the purpose of the thing we are making and the various ways that purpose can be fulfilled and make efficient use of the materials available, and of our energy and resources. 

The carpentry supervisor will give instruction in the layout of buildings, including; foundations, floor systems, walls, ceilings and roof structures.  Interns will learn how to use the framing square to layout stud placement, calculate roof rafter angles and lengths for various roof angles, layout stairs, calculate board footage etc.  They will learn how to use a simple calculator to do material takeoffs and other calculations. 

We will be working on various projects at Heathcote which may include: A new sill for a wall in the barn, a toolshed for the garden, a roof over the mill entryway, a lean-to for firewood, old window restoration, A roof over the cob oven. 

Participants will be asked to come with a positive attitude and a willingness to engage fully in the work at hand. We will be working as a team and the full participation of everyone is vital to the safety and learning and enjoyment of everyone involved.  Note:  If you have a fear of power tools this might not be the right internship for you.


Community Life

Involvement in community life is key to being an active member in any community.  In addition to working in one or more focus areas (farming, carpentry or 50th anniversary projects), all interns will be expected to spend a few hours each week working on tasks that support the general community, its infrastructure, and its members in their various areas of interest.  Community life tasks involve: cooking dinners, taking on a regular community cleaning chore, attending meetings, grounds and trail maintenance, stacking firewood, and beautifying and organizing around the community. 


About Heathcote Community:

 Heathcote Community, a intentional community since 1965, is a group of 8 adults and 4 teens living on 112 beautifully wooded acres in northern Baltimore County.  We are a permaculture and farming demonstration site.  We enjoy a consensus decision making process and value the careful balance of our shared lives together.  Heathcote is part of the School of Living community land trust.



Interns will stay in our historic Heathcote Mill Bunk-room.  The Mill is our Community Center as well as the location of our conference room and our shared community kitchen.  Expect to stay there with 1-4 other interns of various ages and backgrounds, and perhaps more on special occasions.  The mill has 2 bathrooms and showers. 


Internship Sample Week, Day, Month:

Daily:  Wake and prepare your own breakfast and start your day.  The average work day will likely begin around 7:00-9:00am and end as late as 6:00pm with a break for lunch. The number of work hours as well as starting and ending times will vary depending on the project for the day. (For example farming tasks are best done in the cool morning or evening on blazing-hot summer days)  Expect to work on average 4-5 hours/day, 4-5 days/week to fulfill the 20 hour/week work commitments.  This leaves plenty of off time during the day and weekends to be on your own, work on your personal projects, and relax in the community.  If you have transportation, the wider area will be available to be explored.

Weekly:  Once a week we will hold a meeting to discuss and plan upcoming jobs, as well as discover our interpersonal dynamics.  Some projects will be done solo, and some will be done in a group.

Monthly:  New Interns will be arriving and leaving monthly.  As the summer progresses and seasons change, tasks will change.  In reality and metaphorically, spring is for weeding and seeding, summer is for maintaining harvesting, and fall is for closure and preparation of the coming year.  These natural rhythms will influence our work cycle.


Work Commitments/Financial Commitments:

Interns who do our standard internship work 20 hours per week and pay $220 per month for food.   Some Internship participants reside solely at Heathcote for the 3 month duration of the program, others choose to stay only one or two nights a week, or not reside at Heathcote at all. Those who reside at Heathcote full time for the internship commit to work at least 20 hours per week.  Interns who do not reside at Heathcote can choose less work hours and may work on select days or weekends.  Work hours completed beyond the required 20hr/week can be banked if free days are desired.  



Interns typically pay $220/month for food.  This is the standard rate that all Heathcoters pay into our Grandmother Moon Food Co-op.  Our co-op keeps our kitchen stocked with vegetarian (some fish), and mostly organic food, with a focus on locally produced food when possible.  Special arrangements can be worked out for daily rates, to cover periods less than one month, and days-away credits. 


The internship Season:

Our internship season generally begins in March or April and continues throughout the summer, ending in September or October.  Internships begin on a rolling basis, with no specific start or end times.


Who should apply for internship?:

Individuals of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and of the age of 18 or over, are welcome to apply.  We select interns based on how they fit into our dynamic community and availability of space.  Applicants should be enthusiastic, responsible, reliable, flexible, able to do physical work, and willing to learn new perspectives.  Willing to live in rustic accommodations with a vegetarian diet and interest in rural community living is essential.


3-week review policy:

When an intern has completed 3 weeks of internship, the community holds a formal review of the internship.  At this point the internship is discussed and we decide to proceed or not with the internship. Because of the small and intimate nature of our community, and the fact that it is the shared home of our community members, we reserve the right to end internships at any time, for any reason.  In the past, we have ended internships if the intern is unwilling to process conflicts, if the intern does not follow our shared community values and policies, i.e. no drugs or excessive alcohol use or around issues of safety. 


Application process:

Complete the written application posted below; include your resume and three references. You may submit your application electronically to or via postal mail to:  Heathcote Community, 21300 Heathcote Rd, Freeland MD, 21053.  If you have any questions about internships with Heathcote, e-mail us at, or call us at 410-343-3478.  We welcome any questions and will respond as quickly as possible.  After receiving your application, our Internship coordinator will contact you to schedule an interview.  Interviews are done in person, over Skype, or by phone.  The community considers all applications and will notify you of our decision.


Internship Written Application Questions

  1. What is your name, address, phone number and email address? What is the best way to contact you?
  2. What do you hope to learn and accomplish through this Internship?
  3. What are your specific areas of interest? (Farming, Carpentry, 50th Anniversary)
  4. What skills do you already have? (ie. gardening, carpentry, organizing, computer, etc.)
  5. Can you work well without supervision? (Please explain.)
  6. During your internship, do you intend to reside at Heathcote full-time or part-time, or live off site and commute?  If you will only be at Heathcote part-time, how many days and nights per week would you like to stay at Heathcote? How many meals per week would you eat with us?  Do you have any commitments outside of Heathcote that will affect your availability to work on internship projects?
  7. When can you begin and when would you like to finish the program?
  8. What do you like the most about yourself?
  9. What do you like the least about yourself?
  10. What is your experience with children? What is important to you about interacting with children?
  11. Do you have any special needs?
  12. What concerns or questions do you have?
  13. When can you do an interview?
  14. Where did you hear about our Internship Program?

Please attach your resume and 3 references