Intern Journal: Olivia

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 26, 2016


It’s only been just over a week since I’ve arrived at Squam Lakes, but with the vast array of activities and chores we have already completed, I feel like I have been here for much longer. Coming from Florida and being completely new to this area, I think I can have fun doing anything here (even just picking up sticks). Every day, I constantly find myself entranced by the beautiful scenery, weather, and wildlife in this area. The mountains are stunning. The water, though much different than Florida oceans, is serene and surprisingly refreshing. The wildlife is beautiful and thriving. The air feels crisp and cool every morning and I feel like I can actually leave the house without having to worry about suffering from heat stroke, which is a pretty good thing.

Over the course of a week, we have already completed so much. We’ve passed both of our boating tests and have begun driving the boats, and more unnervingly, docking them. We have also gotten belay certified for rock climbing, hiked a few mountains, kayaked around Squam, and much more. Currently, I’m currently trying to control my excitement to get back in the water and start scuba diving again (I was certified in Florida last month), but until then, Maggie G., Stevie, and I have been busy with a myriad of tasks while the others are in training for scuba. We’ve tied and stacked bundles and bundles of firewood, done water quality testing on the lake, and best of all, scrubbed composting toilets until they’re sparkling clean.

One of my favorite parts of the internship so far has been the boating. I have realized that I truly belong on the water, and you can clearly see from this photo that Maggie K. and I have already advanced to professional captains. In a very short time, we interns have seemed to click extremely well and I’ll definitely miss us all being able to spend time together as our schedules become more and more packed. Thankfully, we have a group camping trip planned for tomorrow to look forward to!

Olivia is from Florida and is a rising senior at Florida State University pursuing a biology degree.

Read more Intern Journal entries here.