Intern Journal-Dougie

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.

MAY 28, 2015


Our time here out on Squam Lake has been a bit of a work-cation, I’d say. Things are heating up (literally) as we enter into our third scuba lesson tomorrow, with the certification dives on the radar for this weekend. Same goes for the commercial boating test on Saturday. More responsibility is loading onto the shoulders of us interns as we pick up on new skills and procedural protocol to follow out on the job. There’s a ton out there and a lot of it matters. All the care given and attention paid to the lake and trails reflects back visibly in the degree of enjoyment reached. This is just one of the huge reasons to walk out of the cabin everyday ready to take on a new challenge and learn a new trick or two.

I would like to add that my first few times out were truly adventurous and threw me onto the learning curve in the blink of an eye. Packing my bag haphazardly for our group campout on Bowman Island was a big mistake that ended up with me drying my cotton pants by the fire for quite some time! They got soaked after a couple of choppy splashes reached the inside of our boat on the way over. It was cold that night, and they dried before nightfall thankfully. We all fared well, and since then I have not gone out without thinking twice about where we’re going and what we’ll be up to.

I’m also feeling all this hot weather is doing a great job of bringing the lake temperatures up for us, and the weeds. The birds have been loving it too, and many come out to the water’s edge when the clouds part and the sunlight hits fully, just as we’re getting ready to take off and bring supplies out to the camping islands. It’s a bit of an entertaining spot watching hawks dive in only to be warded off by protective nesters, and an occasional standoff between local catfish and wandering bass below the dock. It’s only May, and if you haven’t got all you’re summer outings booked yet get up to Squam Lake, or else you’re missing out bigtime! You’ll surely see us interns somewhere between the boat launch and all this crystal clear water. This entry represents only a fraction of what’s going on up here, keep an eye out for the next one!

Dougie is from Walpole, Ma  and just graduated from Plymouth State University with a degree in Environmental Science. 

Read more Intern Journal entries here.