Intern Journal: Eric

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 21, 2017


We talk about many subjects at the intern house, and recently one of our many conversations lead to the ‘types’ of fun that there are. First, there is type one fun; the activities that are a blast in the moment. Riding a roller coaster, going waterskiing, watching a fun movie, these are all type one fun. Next is type two fun; activities that in the moment can be quite miserable, but looking back upon the completed adventure you can see the fun in it all. Over the internship we had our fair share of type one fun moments, but I feel that it was the type two moments that will be sticking with me as I head back to college this fall.

Recently I had a VERY type two day out diving on the lake. There is nothing quite like getting up at 6 am, checking your iphone to see the weather, and realizing that the “rain all day forecast” from the night before has only gotten worse in the 7 hours since you last checked. With a feeling of impending doom, Jon, Elizabeth, Nate, and I headed out to load up the boat and face our destiny, pulling gallons of milfoil in the rain.

As the day progressed and the rain got worse we erected our tiny, blue privacy shelter and huddled around to eat lunch and try to get some protection from the rain. In the moment it was quite un-fun. Cold fingers, soaked through rain jackets and shirts, work still to be done. But looking back, I wouldn't have it any other way. From the lively conversation we had to keep the mood up, to the knowledge that the work we were doing that day was making a tangible difference in the preservation of the lake, that Friday will stick with me.

Eric is a rising sophomore at Bates College where he hopes to major in environmental economics. Click here to read Eric's bio.