Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site

Interpretation and Education Intern - Elverson, PA

Position Type: LHIP Internship
Primary Field: Interpretation/Education

The LHIP Interpretation and Education Interns will perform multiple tasks, serving as a front-line field representative of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site and an integral member of the park’s planning team. LHIP Interpretation and Education interns will provide interpretation for visitors and facilitate enjoyment of the park by encouraging a sense of understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of resources. They will serve both in the park and the local community, at the visitor center, in the historic village, and on trails to provide interpretive services and educational opportunities for visitors.

Interpretation and Education interns will conduct cultural and natural resources research and present both informal and formal programs for visitors of all ages including orientation talks, conducted walks, and demonstrations. For years park educational staff have focused primarily on historical interpretation – we are ready to broaden our engagement to include visitors of differing backgrounds and interests including recreation, natural history, and the surrounding landscape and its resources.

Hopewell Furnace is using existing community connections, as well as new opportunities, to expand its reach and accessibility to the diverse population in the region around the park. The intern will play a role in maintaining and growing these links. Hopewell will continue to nurture the connections made and programs executed by the park’s previous LHIP intern. In the summer of 2020, the LHIP intern will also play a role in helping Hopewell Furnace management team sharpen its strategy to connect with educational institutions including public school districts, home school cooperatives, parochial schools, and area colleges and universities. These are important constituencies for Hopewell Furnace. Building relationships with area educational organizations and institutions is critical to the long term sustainability and success of Hopewell's educational programs.

The LHIP intern will also incorporate positive change by strengthening community engagement via social media promotion and outreach. The intern will be expected to serve as a member of the park-wide event planning teams, to share ideas, provide feedback, and to offer support on the day of events.


The Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site management team seeks a highly flexible, motivated, and spirited candidate to help broaden our community engagement and programming at the park. The candidate must have exceptional initiative and be driven to serve the National Park Service and the local community in a professional, conscientious manner. The applicant must be able to demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively with diverse groups of people, possess outstanding organizational skills, and be ready to participate in all aspects of park programs.

Relevant Educational Background/ Majors: Education, Environmental Education, Public History, Sociology, Wildlife Conservation, Natural Resources, Biology, Geology, Ecology, Chemistry, Parks, Recreation, and Tourism or related program.

Work Environment:

Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site traditionally hosts more than one intern. The LHIP intern will work in a variety of settings within the park. Physical, mental, and attitude versatility is required. Time will be spent both outdoors and in a library or museum/visitor center type of environment. The Intern will also spend time in an office at a desktop computer taking care of administrative tasks, distance learning opportunities, checking email, and posting to social media. The core of the park consists of the furnace, cast house, Ironmaster’s mansion, village store, barn, farm, tenant houses, and other historic structures. A significant amount of time will be spent outdoors in the elements in hot, humid conditions. Farm animals are kept on-site and interns may work in close proximity to these animals (horse, sheep, cattle, and chickens). Some demonstrations call for stamina and a degree of strength. Hilly terrain and steep steps require the ability to frequently hike short distances up grades.

French Creek State Park and Crow’s Nest Preserve border Hopewell Furnace NHS, creating a swath of conserved land exceeding 9,000 acres. French Creek State Park accounts for the largest block of contiguous forest between Washington D.C and New York City and offers a lake, pool, camping, disk golf, numerous hiking trails, fishing, horseback riding, kayaking, and rock climbing. Crow’s Nest Preserve features more than 600 acres of protected land featuring meadows, native grasses, and wildflowers as well as several hiking trails. There are bountiful opportunities for recreation and professional stimulation as well as collective programming with French Creek and Crow’s Nest staff.

Driver's License:

Yes. While public transportation is available at neighboring towns, an intern will need a vehicle to access the multitude of local amenities, events, and activities.