Last updated: June 27, 2016
Hi! I'm Emma King, one of the four 2016 George Perkins Marsh SCA interns. I was born and raised in Woodstock. I have walked the trails of this park for all my life, so spending even more time on them thrills me. I chose this program because I am interested in history and curatorial programs, as well as education and interpretation. I'm most excited to become a mansion steward and getting a behind-the-scenes look of what happens when the doors of the mansion close and the visitors leave. Working with historical documents and artifacts is another aspect of this internship that fascinates me- I cannot believe I have an opportunity to actually touch history.
There are three other interns who work beside me. There is Bella, who is another local intern. Gigi is from NYC and lastly, there is James, who is a student at Dartmouth College but calls Sedona (AZ) his home. There's also Newt (who just graduated from UVM), who is our mentor throughout our internship.
We just finished our first week of orientation. It was long and filled with lots of information, but provided us with an idea of what our internship will look like. This week was dedicated to learning about each other, the park and its history, and our roles as interns.
One of my favorite parts of the week was seeing various animals throughout the park. I'm not much of a science person, and when I joined this internship I thought that in order to love animals and nature, you have to love science. Turns out this isn't true, and you can still love animals and nature while still being bad at doing math and scientific calculations. For example, when the interns went to Billings Farm and Museum, we saw baby calves licking each other. It was beautiful seeing two cows be so free to do such things, as it was clear that they were pleased. This made us all question the treatment of animals within the dairy industry (vegans and non-vegans alike). I also enjoy the squirrels (or "nature's acrobats," as the park rangers call them) that roam the park. I don't know why, but it gives me much pleasure seeing them chase after one another, climb trees, and run off with nuts and berries. It makes me happy to know that these animals are able to roam around in a safe environment.
We also met various park rangers throughout the week. We talked to them about their various responsibilities, and why they chose to do their job. I was most drawn towards the curators and historians- they seem to be really committed to their mission, which is to connect the park to the history of the three families (Marsh, Billings, Rockefeller). Ranger Jim, an interpreter at the park, gave us a tour of the mansion that really sparked my interest in interpretation. He (as well as other rangers) made it clear the importance of educating people about conservation and the park's legacy. Interpretation and education is a cause I care deeply for, so seeing others do it as a career really influences me, and makes me more determined to do the same in my future.
The first week gave me a clear picture of what my internship is going to look like. Working both on the trails and in the buildings of the park, we as interns will have the chance to explore all the career opportunities the National Park Service has to offer. I'm excited to know my fellow interns more, and to see what the NPS and the SCA have to offer.