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.
MAY 24, 2016
It’s been a week since us interns arrived here at Squam Lakes Association, and our time has been passing swimmingly, jam packed with trainings and getting to know each other. We’ve gotten our NH safe boating licenses and then commercial boat licenses (which we all passed on our first try, despite some nerves!), performed a swim test in the beautiful but frigid waters of Squam Lake (which we thoroughly psyched ourselves out for because we were told we had to swim 500 meters and had just learned about all the dangers of hypothermia – though it turned out to be about 50 feet), pulled invasive weeds (we’re watching you, bittersweet!), cleared trails, pulled and clipped and yanked some more invasive weeds, started our scuba certification, and hiked some small mountains around the lake.
To start off our trail work trainings, Kyle and I recreated the “American Gothic” painting, as shown here with a pitchfork in front of one of SLA’s tool sheds. We worked at the base of Rattlesnake Ridge, removing non-native invasive species – such as bittersweet – on Saturday afternoon. Monday morning, we cleared a trail in the center of Holderness. Myself and several other interns are aggressively trying to become Squam Rangers (hiking the 50 miles of trails around Squam Lake) before they get too busy this summer. We’ve done Rattlesnake, Mt. Cotton, Mt. Livermore, and then as a group on our day off on Sunday, we hiked Mt. Percival and Mt. Morgan. All of them have beautiful views of Squam Lake and the surrounding landscape, something none of us fail to be blown away by!
Last night was our first Scuba lesson, and the new divers all got our own snorkel, mask, fins, and booties, which was like a very exciting Christmas. We’re all looking forward to trying it out in the pool and Lake Winnipesaukee this week, and then eventually in Squam! It’s going to be a great summer.
Maggie grew up in New Hampshire and is a rising junior at St. Lawrence University i majoring in Conservation Biology with a Global Studies minor.