As I sit at my desk during the final hour of my final day here at Bernheim, I can’t help but to feel thankful for all the love and support I have received during my 12 weeks here from the staff, volunteers, and guests. Bernheim is such a welcoming community, and it has been a great summer serving as the nature-based education intern and getting to know all the intricacies of this facility. Not only did I assist in the education efforts of Bernheim, but I also worked in various departments throughout the park from working with catering in Isaac’s Café, to assisting in the quail restoration, to clearing invasive species along some of the most popular trails in Bernheim. This opportunity Bernheim has given me strengthened my career skills as well as my own personal skills. I was given more responsibility in this role than I’ve ever had previously, and my confidence and leadership skills have improved greatly.
Although the work I conducted this summer was challenging, fun, and a great learning opportunity, this internship would not have been the same without all the people that supported and encouraged me along the way. Because I was a part of the education department, I worked with many volunteers throughout the summer. The volunteers at Bernheim are some of the greatest people I have ever met. They are dedicated, caring, and altogether great people. I hold all of them dearly in my heart and hope to possibly meet some again in my future endeavors.
The staff at Bernheim have been nothing but welcoming to me throughout the summer. There is not a single staff member that doesn’t genuinely enjoy being at work and their love for conservation is portrayed through their enthusiasm and care for others. During my time here, I never felt out of place, unwanted, or inferior to any staff member. I know there are many interns in college that do not have this experience, and I am beyond thankful for the amazing support system I had in the staff for the past 12 weeks.
It will be very hard for me to leave, but I know that I am always welcome back to volunteer and visit. Although I will be leaving Bernheim, I know that Bernheim will never leave me. The knowledge and skills I have gained through this position will be useful in my education as well as my future career. My passion for conserving our natural landscapes and wildlife has only become stronger over the course of the summer, and Bernheim has truly inspired me to pursue a career in conservation.
Thank you Bernheim, and thank you to all who have supported me in this experience,