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Contact: Robin Snyder, 304-640-0724
Glen Jean, WV, March 19, 2014–The National Park Service welcomes Angela Allison, a new AmeriCorps VISTA intern funded through the Department of Interior who will provide a year of service at the park. Angela will interview partners, community groups, and park staff to gather program ideas, research grant opportunities and develop programming for Camp Brookside, a residential youth camp located near Hinton, WV. Construction on the site will be completed in the fall of 2014, and this position will work with the management team at the park to develop the plan of operation for Camp Brookside including a summer, residential youth employment program and year-round educational opportunities for local community groups.
The internship program is a partnership between New River Gorge National Riverand the Appalachian Coal Country Team (ACCT) located in Beckley. ACCT coordinates the Office of Service Mining / AmeriCorps VISTA programs in rural mining communities in Appalachia and the Rocky Mountains to build capacity for local organizations and governments that are working towards healthy futures, economic development, and environmental stewardship in a ten state service area (PA, OH, MD, WV, VA, KY, TN, CO and NM). Since 2002, the Appalachian Coal Country Team (ACCT) has consistently placed OSM/VISTA's in the most rural and impoverished communities in Appalachia, serving rural people in need by working directly with community members and organizations. The DOI/VISTA program is modeled after these teams and will be managed through the Appalachian Coal Country Team's Beckley Support Office. To learn more about these innovative teams, visit www.coalcountryteam.orgorwww.hardrockteam.org.
New River Gorge National River is excited to host an intern for the Camp Brookside project. Camp Brookside was developed in the 1940s and operated as a summer cam p for children of employees of the Union Carbide Company. Located along Route 20, in Summers County, park staff is restoring the cam p facilities including cabins, a mess hall, bathhouse, and caretaker's residence. NPS wants to develop a residential youth camp for underserved youth from all over the country who can spend their summers working, learning, and recreating in the park. However, the residential camp will operate a few weeks each year, so Angela will research opportunities for a variety of on-site programs that can take place all year long.
Angela graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in Maryland with a degree in Emergency Services Management. While she started her post college career working in the health care industry, five months of hiking portions of the Appalachian Trail shifted her career focus. She describes her decision to serve in an AmeriCorps Program with the Maryland Conservation Corps as the best decision she has made in her professional life. In this position, she worked on several projects including trail work and restoration and monitoring the Patapsco River for erosion damage after dam releases. Most recently, she served as a Volunteer Coordinator for Delaware State Parks, organizing and implementing activities and projects in five park locations. Her experience of organizing people to engage in outdoor activities and providing leadership for groups performing a variety of tasks will serve her well in planning and coordinating programs at Camp Brookside.
Angela is beginning her year-long internship at the park by interviewing individuals who attended or have a connection to the site in an effort to better document the history of the camp. If you or someone you know attended or were involved with activities at Camp Brookside, please contact Angela at e-mail us or call 304-465-6508. You can also reach Robin Snyder, at e-mail us to share information.