Home > Academic programs > BU liberal education model > Experiential learning > Internships > The 2022 Olney Family Internship at Rocky Mountain Adaptive

Among Bishop’s core priorities is the creation of experiential learning possibilities through internships and co-op placements.  The University was therefore thrilled earlier this year when the Olney family siblings, formerly of the Eastern Townships, launched an innovative internship program pairing Bishop’s with Rocky Mountain Adaptive (RMA) in Canmore, Alberta.

Rocky Mountain Adaptive is a charitable organization that the Olney family strongly support. Of the four Olney children (Andy, Monica ’74, Chris ’79 and Marie ’83) three are proud Bishop’s University (BU) attendees/graduates.

This internship was Marie Olney’s brainchild, so she approached Bishop’s with the offer of a family donation to fund a student and, at the same time, provide support to another of her family’s preferred charitable organizations.

These siblings (the “Donors”) established this internship to facilitate a unique opportunity for current Bishop’s students to connect with RMA, to support a unique Experiential Learning project, and to encourage trans Canada travel and exchange.

“RMA was born out of a passion for the outdoors, and making sure that people of all abilities, get the opportunity to allow sport and recreation to positively impact their lives. Our underlying efforts are to create programs and experiences that support individuals to not only participate, but to continue to learn and excel at adaptive sport in the Canadian Rockies.

The Olney internship has two parts. The first is the opportunity to undertake a three-month summer residency at Rocky Mountain Adaptive, based in Canmore, Alberta, where you work with the RMA team as you design/develop your project. The second part is a six-credit course in experiential Learning at Bishop’s the following Fall and then Winter. During this time, you work with members from RMA (remotely) and an academic supervisor at Bishop’s to revise finalize your project.

Residency at Rocky Mountain Adaptive

Rocky Mountain Adaptive (RMA) is an adaptive sport organization that invites individuals, of all ages, with physical or neurodivergent (intellectual, cognitive, or developmental) disABILITIES to participate in all the unique sporting and adventure activities the Bow Valley/Canadian Rockies has to offer.

The programming runs throughout the year and ranges from single- day lessons and experiences to multi-week programs.

Programming runs throughout the year capitalizing on the many different sports and activities possible in the Rocky Mountains

Participants are welcomed to RMA from Alberta, from across Canada, and throughout the world. The Rockies and RMA offer a unique opportunity for individuals and families to explore our great outdoors

Wildlife such as these elk are a familiar sight in the Bow Valley

The intern has the amazing opportunity to spend three months working at Rocky Mountain Adaptive in Canmore, Alberta, nestled in the Rocky Mountains. Canmore, situated in the Bow Valley, is a vibrant town offering many services while still being situated in the wilds of Alberta.


As the intern at RMA you will have the opportunity to devise a project that helps promote adaptive sport. Each project aims to support and develop opportunities, in all sports and recreation, to make the outdoors accessible to everyone.

Internship Details

2022 will be the second iteration of this internship. The Donors, in conjunction with RMA, fund an internship opportunity valued at $12,000.  This is paid in three instalments, $7000 over the summer with two payments of $2000 and one $1000 payment, for the Fall and Winter term.

DateDeliverablePayment amountNotes
March 14th, 2022Submission of project proposal
June- August, 2022On-site work at RMA, in Canmore Alberta$7000.00Payable bi-weekly via Bishop’s University Payroll
September 19th, 2022Debrief with Dr. Claire Grogan, and Mr. McCulloch on project outline.
September 22nd, 2022$2000.00Payable to the student’s account.
January 23rd, 2023Submit write up to Dr. Grogan and Mr. McCulloh.
January 26st, 2023Project Part II$2000.00Payable to student account.
April 20th, 2023Submit final project to Dr. Grogan and Mr. McColloch$1000.00Payable to student account.
May 4th 2023Final grades submitted

Those interested should submit a proposal that suggests a project that will enhance RMA’s impact on the community in general, and on the disABLED in particular.  Project proposals will be evaluated by the Selection Committee on the basis on their alignment with RMA’s mission.  The successful intern will have flexibility to modify and adjust the proposed project based on field work at RMA over the summer and in collaboration with RMA staff.

Videos will be made available to students to inform their proposal.  These include information on various disABILITIES and the challenges inherent to them, volunteering with RMA and the organization in general.

Projects could entail:

  1. A proposal of a marketing / fundraising campaign for RMA.
  2. A review of existing disABLED sports and recreation programs available in Canada vis-à-vis successes and failures.
  3. A proposal for a path forward to make RMA a Canadian (International) Centre of Excellence.
  4. The development of comprehensive internal and external Communications Plans for RMA and the subsequent execution of said plan.
  5. Development of a diversity plan to make sports, and recreational activities accessible to individuals of all abilities (to include, but not limited to senior/elderly individuals, Indigenous peoples, new Canadians) while maintaining RMA’s primary goal of providing these opportunities to individuals of various disABILITIES.

Application Process

There are four parts to your application:

1: Provide a short video (max 5 mins) introducing yourself and explaining how your life experiences, goals for the future, and personal development, make you a suitable candidate to be the 2022 intern at RMA.

2: Write a proposal (maximum 2 pages) in which you outline the project you wish to pursue in support of RMA’s objectives in general terms, with the understanding that the on-site / field component of your time at RMA headquarters will further define the nature and goals of your project.

3: Provide a Curriculum Vitae

4: Ask two professors at Bishop’s University to provide a letter of reference.

Application packages should be submitted by March 14th, 2022. Please submit an electronic copy to Dr. C Grogan c/o jcouturi@ubishops.ca.