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.
August 4, 2017
How is it already August? I swear we all just got here (and I swear I had all this typed before I decided to read Nate’s last intern journal). The other day I had a flashback to the very first week we all spent together. Me, Dom, Tamara and Eric were in the truck moving wood from the parking lot to be split. I started talking to them about how moving reminded me of our first week here, when for multiple days it felt like all we did was move brush (and things in general) from one place to another. During that first week we exchanged a lot less words in a more awkward manner. In this moment, I couldn’t help but think about how two short months ago I knew not much more than a short paragraph about each intern. In such a short time I have gotten to know and love each and every person out here. I knew the social aspect of this internship would be a perfect fit for me, but I never would have imagined how strong of a bond we all would make in just a summers time. Yep, here come the tears.
The amount of work we accomplished together in such a short time is unbelievable. Every night I go to sleep knowing that I have made a positive impact on the lake in some way. While pulling 100+ gallons of milfoil in a day is extremely rewarding, for me, the jobs that I have found to be the most rewarding are perhaps what some others might consider to be a bit tedious. Making and putting in brand new swim lines, raking the lake, and cleaning the boat shed (more specifically organizing all of the lifejackets) are on the top of my list of most satisfying tasks I have done out here. They may not be as fun as diving for milfoil in a cloud of silt for hours on end, but they are recognized and appreciated by many.
Can you tell I’m not ready to leave this place? Well, lucky for me, I’m not leaving just yet! I am not ready for the other interns to leave, but I am looking very forward to the opportunity to continue working through the fall to conserve this beautiful lake.
Oh and Nate, while you’re at the bottom of the lake looking for answers would you mind looking around for... never mind there’s nothing important down there.
Becca is from Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Illinois State University in 2015 with a BA in Biological Sciences and a minor in Environmental Science. Click here to read her bio.