Intern Journal-Ryan

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.

This has been the best summer of my life so far, without question. When I reflect back on everything we’ve worked on, everything we’ve learned, I feel as though I have been living in a dream. Every aspect of this place has worked out so surprisingly well, especially with the dynamic of the house. From the first hour of the first day, we all got along famously. My only fear is that I lose contact with these seven wonderful people, but I know that we have become much too close for that to truly happen. With Sydney leaving early, and feeling the bitter twangs that came with her departure, I knew that we would all be lifelong friends. As embarrassing as it is to admit, while writing the “What I Like About You” for each of my fellow interns, I did shed a few tears on behalf of how amazing this summer has been because of them.
On a more positive note, I can’t wait to use my experiences from this summer in new settings. For example, my adventure ecology trip, which set out to observe water quality through the biodiversity of aquatic macroinvertebrates, was simple enough that even small children could understand and enjoy it. And yet, I think I will try to implement that same basic idea as an independent study project when I go abroad next year in Tanzania. Even the loon banding with Tiffany will probably come back to help me in my future endeavors as a wildlife biologist, if I’m lucky. Of course, all the little handy things that Brett and Rebecca have taught me over the past three months will undoubtedly make my everyday life easier.
Although I will be upset to leave this place, I will keep the experiences of this summer in the highest reaches of my memory. Every sunset and starry night sky, every solemn loon call in the dusk of the lake, and even every squashed mosquito on the back of my neck; there was not one moment of being on Squam this summer, where I wished I was somewhere else. Thank you Brett and Rebecca, for letting me participate in the summer of a lifetime.

Read more Intern Journal entries here.