The Squam Conservation Internship provides skills and experience for future conservation professionals while working as the driving force behind the SLA’s conservation mission. This volunteer internship provides hands-on conservation work experience and certifications over a broad range of activities. Interns serve as campsite hosts and caretakers at our backcountry campsites, work toward the eradication of variable milfoil, help preserve loon populations on Squam, engage both youth and adults in environmental education, and perform other conservation duties such as shoreline restoration and trail maintenance and construction. Squam Conservation Interns also regularly write about their experiences in the Squam Watershed. Learn more about the internship program here.
May 30, 2017
This past week I graduated college, drove to New Hampshire, moved into a house with nine strangers, got my boating license, drove a boat for the first time, got my wilderness first aid certification, and raked poop from an outhouse on an island in the middle of a lake. To say the least, it has been quite a whirlwind experience. This absolute flood of new experiences is drowning me in a sea of thoughts and feelings. These range from tearful farewells as I said goodbye to my college family, to jaw dropping astonishment as I rounded the corner on the highway and got my first glimpse of the northeast and its expansive mountains. If I could paint you a picture of the breathtaking beauty of Squam Lake, I would. As the English idiom goes “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Unfortunately for you, I am not a good painter. I can suggest Googling or searching Bing (for the 5 people out there that may use that), pictures of Squam Lake.
A standout highlight of my whirlwind week involves food: a thing that brings me endless joy and happiness. Food is not a new concept to me, however it is something that I missed preparing. I spent my four years at college living in a dorm and living off my college meal plan. Though a meal plan was thoroughly more time saving than cooking, I missed the joy of walking down grocery store isles and dreaming of the endless possible recipes I could concoct. I missed filling my living space with the beautiful aroma of sizzling vegetables and warm baked goods. I missed the looks on people’s faces when I tell them that the food is ready and their delighted exclamations as they ate. However, this week that all changed.
I have the pleasure of making platters of fresh veggies and cheese, brownies, pasta salad, and Belgian waffles. My cooking addiction, as that is what it is, and love of feeding people earned me the house name of “mom” within the first 24 hours of my arrival. How else would we have the energy to tackle that days tasks without a full and prepared belly? I bonded with my house-mates through hours of talking and snacking in the kitchen and living room. Constantly munching on something or other as we moved from ten strangers to ten friends.
I am excited to see how this summer unfolds. I know there will be lots to discover, pounds of milfoil to excavate, people from far and wide encountered, and new and lasting relationships forged. All, I am certain, with a constant and ever evolving menu.
Alice is from Durham, North Carolina. She graduated from Goucher College in May of 2017 where she majored in biology and minored in chemistry. Click here to read her bio.