The Squam Conservation Internship gives future conservation leaders the skills and experience needed to effectively move onto the next professional level while at the same time helping the Squam Lakes Association with our conservation mission. This unpaid 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, help with the eradication of variable milfoil, perform water quality testing and monitoring, help with public education and outreach projects, perform conservation duties such as shoreline restoration and trail maintenance and construction, meet and greet lake users and educate them about the dangers of invasive species. Squam Conservation Interns also regularly write about their experiences in the Squam Watershed.
JUNE 12, 2014
So far the Squam Lakes have served as a breathtaking adventure for both me and my group. As a group living together in a semi-small house, we have already spent hours bonding, and I cannot even imagine leaving this place at the end of the summer; I am sure tears will be shed. We are just now finishing up on training for the summer, and I am extremely excited to start getting into the regular routine of working on our own. Although, really nothing here is routine. Everyday we do something new, which is a both terrifying and extremely gratifying process. We already have learned and experienced so many things; I can only imagine what the rest of the summer has to offer. My very favorite activity so far was camping for the whole weekend at Chamberlain Reynolds Memorial Forest and doing trail work. Who knew trails needed so much work done to them?! I consciously felt like the little dog in Alice in Wonderland with the sweepy tail and painting nose, determining where each trail went or ended. I wonder if Alice in Wonderland had a secret sustainability message hidden within it, much like all of our activities here at Squam Lake. After doing trail work we swam in the icy cool waters of Squam, which suddenly didn't feel so ice cold anymore. The water literally felt cleansing and wonderful as we splashed around in it with our new Golden Retriever friend. Afterwards, we spent the night around a campfire singing classic songs of youth to an intern playing the ukulele. Even in that moment, I knew I was making a memory that would last a lifetime- I have actually gotten into a habit of exclaiming how great I feel all the time here… I am not sure if it kills the moment or not yet. Needless to say, I hope this movie-moment, memory-making summer will never end, and I will never have to not wake up to seven crazy interns out on my couch in the morning.