The Oregon Maple Project offers internships for dedicated high school and college students interested in learning the art Bigleaf Maple sugaring and assisting with all aspects of our operations at Camp Colton. This is a unique opportunity for those who love the outdoors, hands-on work, local food, teaching, and community ventures.
We select volunteer interns to collaborate with us for a full year, learning about Bigleaf Maples throughout the seasons. Interns should be prepared to work for one full day per month, often on weekends, and will need to provide their own transportation to our location in Colton, Oregon. Responsibilities will include: tapping trees, chopping wood, setting up sap collection lines, maintaining the sugar shack, harvesting sap, firing the evaporator, cleaning equipment, maintaining trails, hosting visitors, designing outreach efforts, and developing curriculum.
To apply, please send a letter of interest to Eliza. You may also email Eliza with questions about the internship.
Growing up I’ve always loved everything that involves the outdoors. As I dove into as many science classes as possible in high school, I began to grow my interests in science, and my love for the things around me. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest has provided me with so many opportunities to explore the wildlife and diversity that surrounds us. I’m very excited to get started with the Oregon Maple Project and learn the art of sugaring, as well as having the opportunity to help teach others about the importance of the life around us. I fill my free time with my many hobbies, which include: gardening, botany, collecting plants, hiking, drawing, painting, poetry, geology, exploring tide pools, bird watching, bee keeping, collecting entomology displays, and caring for my hermit crabs and bioactive terrariums.
As I have grown up, I’ve always had a love for the outdoors, fostered by my parents and siblings. After moving to Portland in elementary school and spending many summers in the Northeast, I’ve had the chance to explore both the East and West Coasts through hiking, camping, biking, and backpacking. Since joining the Oregon Maple Project as an intern in May 2021, I’ve learned so much about the unique art of maple sugaring, something I would never experience elsewhere. For me, sugaring has been an exceptional way to connect with the land and forests of the Pacific Northwest. Outside of the Oregon Maple Project and outdoor adventures, I’m a student at Lincoln High School, a climate activist, and a dancer.
As a kid, I grew up surrounded by nature and developed an early love of the outdoors. For years I have spent my summers hiking, backpacking, camping, and studying the medicinal and natural uses of native plants. Many of my outdoor adventures have taken place in the maple forests of New Hampshire, which led me to join the Oregon Maple Project. In my free time, I enjoy being a member of the Lincoln Dance Team, reading, and cooking with my family.
Finnian Nash Bird
I was born, and grew up, in Portland, Oregon. I've lived in the city my whole life, but that's not to say I was deprived of natural spaces. As long as I can remember, I've spent time in public parks near to my home and have gone on camping trips in State and National Parks all over the West. However, my interest in maple syrup stems from an entirely different place. My mother grew up in Canada and has loved maple syrup her entire life, a love that I share. My interests include hiking, Lego dioramas, weightlifting, and video games.