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 15, 2016
I am a spectacular dancer. Fortunately for me, a common pastime in the intern house is dancing, allowing me to frequently show off my stellar dance moves. Our dance moves aren’t anything choreographed or impressive. Instead it’s whatever awesome dance moves feel right in the given moment. When I was informed that there was a rock and roll barn dance taking place in the SLA barn I knew that this was my chance to wow the Squam Lakes Region. The SLA, White Oak Pond Watershed Society, and Squam Lakes Conservation Society organized the dance for the purpose of raising money for the White Oak Pond Watershed. Fortune favored my desires and I got the privilege of working the event. My duties included setting up chairs, directing people to the barn, closing up the barn, and, as I wished, dancing. I even managed to get a number of other interns to show off their dance moves too.
The rock and roll barn dance is one of many events and programs I’ve assisted with this summer as an intern. On July 30th, all of us interns helped with the execution of the SLA’s annual meeting. The meeting takes place in the barn and is an opportunity for members to stay informed on the affairs of the organization and bring suggestions to the table. I helped with the mundane tasks, such as setting up and taking down chairs, tables, fans, and food, but was also assigned to manage the table regarding the Squam Watershed Plan. Running the table was a delight. I spoke to a number of members about the vision statement of the watershed plan. I had a wonderful time brainstorming with the members on the best ways to encompass what is truly important to the watershed into the wording of the statement. For any additional input please visit https://squamwatershedplan.wordpress.com/. I was encouraged by the healthy debate sparked by the vision statement, because it exemplified the passion our members feel for the Squam watershed.
All of the events and programs organized by or in collaboration with SLA are efforts that bring people together who have a connection to the Squam community in order to communicate ideas, support a cause, or expand our understanding of the region. The Lakes Region non-profits rely on the support of both members and non-members to spread the message of protecting our watersheds. I’m lucky to say that I’m going to continue interning with SLA into the fall and therefore will get many more opportunities to interact with the people of the region. That being said, I will miss spontaneous dance parties in the intern house and the company of my lovely eight fellow interns. Here’s one of the many photos for which I insisted we all hold hands.
Katri is from Arlington, Virginia and spent the summers of her childhood on Squam Lake. She graduated from Colby College in May 2015 with a BA in the field of government.