Campus Life

Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site

Historic Site Interpreters
Three interns will be selected

As a historic site interpreter, you will be expected to learn the history of the village, wear period costumes, and interpret different homes or business in the village. Interns will be expected to learn the stories of a few different sites in the village and will have assignment rotations. You will learn and demonstrate various crafts. All interpreters attend our informative morning meetings from 9-10 a.m. on the days they are scheduled to be in the park and will be invited to attend any of the workshops offered. In addition to interpreting the village, interns will work with the day camp as mentors for the day camp "Apprentice" program. Interns will teach the apprentices how to interpret the village to guest. Historical interpreters will be asked to assist with specific activities throughout the summer, such as crafts, recreation, and village demonstrations.

All majors would benefit from this internship experience. Required skills include: Ability to learn historical stories; excellent oral communication skills; ability to share interpretation of role with visitors; enjoy relating to and interacting with people; ability to work independently or as part of a team; and an interest in historical information.

Day Camp Counselor/ Historic Site Interpreter
Three interns will be selected

Illinois College and Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site partner on day camps - a "Walking in Lincoln's Footsteps" camp for 4th-6th grade students and an Apprentice Camp for 7th-10th grade students. For two weeks, one-week simultaneous sessions of both camps will be delivered. Two interns will work with the younger campers and one intern will work with the older campers. A new group of campers attend each session. The Day Camp Counselor/Historic Site Interpreter will serve as Site Interpreters when not involved with Day Camp activities. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, executing activities of campers in their respective grades. Requirements include ability to multi-task, enjoyment of children, and event planning. Relevant coursework preferred. Interns will be expected to learn historical background of Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site, wear historical attire at times and master certain historical crafts and skills. Enthusiasm and an ability to keep groups of children safe, while having fun, is a must. The counselors/interpreters may also be responsible for caring for a garden and for small animals in the village.

Additional Information:
All interns will work full-time, five days per week for 10 weeks with the IC Explorer program. Typical work week for historical interpreters will be Sunday – Thursday, or Tuesday – Saturday. The day camp counselors will work Monday – Friday during the weeks of camp and the remaining weeks will have the historical interpreter schedule. Most days will consist of working in various outside environments - weather, insects, gardens, and open fires - in period clothing.

Additional Benefit:
Petersburg is approximately 45 minutes northeast of Jacksonville. New Salem offers housing and limited utilities free of cost, and is shared by all the interns in need of housing for the summer. The intern house is located about 1 mile from the New Salem site and is in a rural location, located right off the highway. Personal transportation is suggested, but not mandated. Interns will be responsible for their own mail delivery and telephone service. There is no internet service at the house but is available for use with permission at the New Salem site or during off-work time at the Petersburg Public Library. 

To apply for the IC Explorer Internship at Lincoln’s New Salem for the summer of 2015 email your resumé and cover letter in one attached PDF file to Internship Coordinator JJ Sadler at

Address your cover letter to the site contact:
Tim Guinan
Site Manager
Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site
15588 History Lane
Petersburg, IL 62675

The application deadline is February 6, 2015 February 12, 2015 March 20, 2015. On-campus interviews will be held in mid-February and selections will be made before spring break.

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