Type of Project: Internship
This summer I worked at Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River as an interpretive intern. Through this internship I would do the same duties that a national park ranger would complete. I would staff river accesses, historical sites, and even canoe down the river to provide interpretive information to the park visitors. I also was responsible for developing interpretive programs and presenting them to kid’s summer camps. I posted a picture a day on Instagram on “@adventures_of_haley” to document my whole journey. I spent a total of three months at this internship and lived on the Pennsylvania and New York border with three other interns and an amazing group of coworkers that helped me explore the area.
I have been presented with so many opportunities to grow as a person this summer both professionally and personally. I came into this internship with a list of goals, and I was able to accomplish many of them and more. I was able to apply many of my skills from school in my career; I especially had the opportunity to practice my public speaking skills. I also had the chance to become more confident in my quick thinking skills while talking to visitors. With all of the training that the park provided, I learned Red Cross canoeing skills, CPR, and wilderness first aid. I was able to become much more confident about my skills and qualifications to help me become a park ranger.
I developed a passion for the national park service through this internship. The diversity that the national park service draws, especially one near New York City, made me realize how important the park service is in connecting people to nature. My park helped others connect with nature which many people did not have the opportunity to see coming from a large city. This is important so that people can respect the resources that our planet provides and can help with conservation efforts.
I spent most of my summer talking to diverse groups of people: from many ethnicities, backgrounds, classes, genders, ages, and so much more. I had the opportunity to learn about view on the environment by hearing stories about other people’s experiences with nature. This internship had many ups and downs in learning about how people’s values align with my passion. If anything, I have become even more passionate about learning how to connect people with nature.
My fellow interns, which whom I lived with, and my coworkers were very supportive of me this summer. I learned so much through my coworker’s skills and knowledge. They encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone, and by doing so, I explored so much more of the area I was in. I was encouraged to explore my values and identity as well and have gained so many memories that I will cherish forever.
I developed an even deeper connection with nature. I worked outside for eight hours a day, five days a week, and then I would spend my nights off and weekends outdoors exploring the park and the areas around it. I grew up with nature around me all the time, but I really had the opportunity to dive deep into my passion this summer. I realize that there is nothing that makes me happier than spending my time outside. I cannot imagine myself doing anything else in my life than working outdoors.
This experience has allowed me to become more independent, passionate, open minded, and just happy in general. I’m so glad I had the chance to be myself and do something I love to do for work. I mean, who gets to say that they get to go canoeing and hiking for work? I was this summer, and I am lucky enough that I will eventually be able to say that in my life. This internship has helped me put a foot in the door for my future career path of working in a park.
If I have the opportunity to complete this internship again or work at the same park, I will take the offer immediately. I could work at this internship for the rest of my life and be completely content. I have learned skills and made memories that will last a lifetime regardless of where I decide to go and what I decide to do. This experience was completely priceless.