Case for Support
Education or Interpretation Internships for Rocky Mountain National Park
Purpose: Students needing an internship for college graduation or recent graduates seeking field experience may qualify to work in the park as interns. Each year ten students volunteer to work full-time for ten to fourteen week periods. They assist with environmental education, conduct interpretive programs, work at visitor centers, and, in winter, may lead snowshoe walks. They work alongside the professional ranger-naturalists and learn the art and craft of conducting education programs in the field.
History: For certain college majors, a work-related experience is required for graduation. Student interns gain professional experience while the park serves as their classroom. For many students, a season in a park can be a career enhancing or even life-changing experience. They are exposed to a behind-the-scenes look at how a large national park is managed, learn about resource issues, and study the natural and cultural history of the park. Often times college credit is earned as a result of this experience.
Accomplishments: Interns help the park's environmental education program serve some 6,000 school children through outreach and on-site educational visits. They assist in providing information at five visitor centers. They conduct nature walks, snowshoe walks, and special programs.
Sample comments from Interns: "Thanks for the support, help, fun, friendship, inspiration, confidence, gifts, laughs, leadership, example, knowledge, trust, memories, love, companionship, jokes, guidance, experiences, fellowship, care, joy, understanding, advice, hugs, stories, patience, and above all a summer we'll never forget." Kristin, Andrea, and Dave, Summer Interns.
Annual Need: Interns are paid a stipend to cover basic costs, such as meals. They also receive a uniform and housing. $56,700 is needed annually to allow the program to address all expenses and expand to benefit more students.