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.
June 6, 2017
So, the first two weeks are the hardest right? I don’t actually know the answer to this question. I sit here hopeful they are not. I always like a good challenge and these two weeks have not disappointed. I can now say that I am Wilderness First Aid certified, CPR certified, Safe Boating Certified, I’ve passed all the requirements for a New Hampshire Commercial Boating License, and the biggie: I am SCUBA Certified! So as cliché as it sounds, hard work pays off. Lo and behold there are more certifications on the horizon! I’m not afraid of hard work and manual labor, because it does the body good and the sense of accomplishment afterwards is one of the best rewards- probably another cliché but I’m being honest here.
I know this is going to be a great summer based on the people I’m spending the summer with! I love my fellow interns and that is normally a difficult statement for me to make after only knowing people for two weeks. There just seems to be a rapid bond that emerges when you live and work with nine other people. Coming into this internship I was hesitant to share my life with this many strangers but I’ve found that it comes naturally. The personality clashes, control issues, and disorganization I was a little fearful of has yet to manifest itself and at this point. I can confidently say that manifest they shall not! We just mesh too well. Everyone seems to be finding their roles within the group be it the group mother, the one you can always count on for a good laugh, the one you can’t have a bad conversation with, and so on. I could honestly go on and on to describe each person’s role within the group but I would exceed any readers’ patience at that point.
As for me, I can’t say what my role is yet. Maybe it’s the music guy, whom you can count on to have a song for every situation- despite the cringes from his housemates. Maybe it’s the nature know-it-all who gets distracted way too easily by a pretty bird or a tree he can’t identify- again to the cringes of his housemates. Ultimately my fellow interns will guide me into a role whether I like it or not, but no matter what I will embrace it- so they best be careful.
It has taken me forever to figure out how to put these last two weeks to paper from my perspective, because I find myself at a loss for words. I’ve had a blast so far and I see it as a sign of good things to come this summer. So long as my fellow interns- whom I feel I will be referring to as my family come summer's end- can put up with me, this will be the summer of a lifetime.
Nathan is from Indiana. He graduated in May of 2017 from Ball State University with a degree in biology. Click here to read his bio.