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.
July 31, 2017
We pulled two hundred seventy five gallons of milfoil out of the Squam River this Friday. I believe that it is the most we have pulled so far in one day so far this summer. It was very meditative on the bottom of the river. The milfoil was so abundant that I closed my eyes and just felt for the plants. I completely lost track of time down there. I could not believe it when I realized that I was almost out of air and had to surface. I made my way back to the boat and looked at all the bins we had filled over the course of the day. Then I turned back to the water and looked at how much more remained to be pulled. But as I looked back at the boat and my exhausted but happy team members, instead of feeling disappointment at how much there still was to do, I felt satisfaction at what we had accomplished so far and determination to continue.
That day sums up my experience here so far. I have slipped into the routine of the job and now I cannot believe that it is almost August already. The days all seem to blur together here. Diving, camping, trail work, trail hosting, lake hosting, repeat; it has kind of lulled me into a rhythm that has the days and weeks slipping by with startling swiftness. Soon it will be time to say goodbye to the people and places that I have come to care about here.
As I look back at all we have done so far I can honestly say that I am proud of what I have done this summer and it is not even over yet! I am excited to see what challenges are still in store this summer! I know there is still so much left to do and I am excited to see what happens next. Just like Friday’s dive day I am proud of what we have done so far and excited for the future challenges.
Jon is from Georgetown, Massachusetts. He is studying Wildlife and Fisheries Management at Unity College where he will be entering his senior year this coming fall. Click here to read his bio.