Intern Journal-Coral

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 unpaid 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, engage both youth and adults in environmental education, and perform other conservation duties such as shoreline restoration and trail maintenance and construction. Learn more about the internship program here. Squam Conservation Interns also regularly write about their experiences in the Squam Watershed.

June 9, 2015


Life here at Squam is nothing less than absolutely incredible. I had never visited New Hampshire before and I have to admit that I thoroughly pleased. These past 3 weeks have been filled with many adventures, great new friends, a lot of nature, and some of the most memorable learning experiences I have ever had. We wear "staff" shirts on a daily basis, but I don't even feel like this is work. I have only known the other interns, Squam Lake, and all of the awesome employees for a short amount of time, but I already feel like this is my home away from home.

Let's take things back to one of my first days on the "job". There wasn't a single grey cloud in the sky when I was pulled aside by Brett and was told nothing more than to put on a raincoat. Caroline had dropped Brett and me off at the post office and I did not have a clue what to expect. We got out of the car and to my surprise, Brett passed up the post office and in the distance, i could see a small boat on the shoreline. Some nervous laughter poured out once I realized what was about to occur; Brett was going to make me drive the boat back all the way to Squam. Despite my feeble efforts to avoid this potential disaster, Brett taught me how to drive a boat. From showing me how to lift up the motor manually when I honestly thought I was way too weak to do so, to making me dock and re-dock the boat an embarrassing amount of times, I learned so much during Brett's very hands-off learning approach.

Instead of giving me all the answers, Brett made me figure things out for myself, which helps you become not only a better boater, but a better learner as well. Sometimes us interns moan and groan about having to do things ourselves, but it is honestly the best way to acquire a skill. I am learning new things every day and I cannot thank the SLA more for giving their interns a chance to have a summer filled with opportunities. From what I have heard from past interns and what I have already experienced here at Squam, I can already tell that this is going to be one of the best summers of my life.

Coral is a junior at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin where she majors in both environmental science and Spanish and minors in biology.

Read more Intern Journal entries here.