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 19, 2016
My favorite aspect of our internship this summer is that almost every day is a completely new experience from any other day I have had over the summer. I’m always doing something different, whether it is chopping wood, trail work or diving - and in the case of diving I get to dive with a different crew at a different location every time. But the days when I get to do something that isn’t on my normal schedule, like spending the day fixing the dive boat on land, or taking a group of high school students on a kayak trip around the lake are what make the internship really special. Probably my favorite variation in the schedule is when we get to work with the JSLA summer camp program. On Thursday nights during camping duty, after all the campers have been checked in on the islands, we get to go hang out with one of the groups from the summer camp for the rest of the evening who camp out at one of the group sites, it’s a perfect way to end the day. First, you show up and get fed some delicious food cooked by one of the JSLA counselors, and let me tell you, any night I don’t have to cook myself food is a blessing in itself. The campers are then taught how to wash their dishes using a LNT (Leave No Trace) group method, and the dishes are dried by flapping your arms and screaming like a pterodactyl – something I always find very amusing. After that, we get to talk to the campers about something relating to the environment or ecology of the lake, a lot of the time we talk about what milfoil is and how and why we remove it from the lake. The campers always seem really interested in what we are talking about and will often ask questions. The rest of the evening is spent playing an assortment of camp games until we get to my favorite part – MARSHMALLOWS! I just really enjoy working with the summer camp because the kids are always great (I miss my campers from last summer) and it is nice to get the opportunity to work with of members of the SLA staff.
Jordan is from Salisbury, Maryland, and studies Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Maryland in College Park.