Trail Stewardship - Coos County Internship 2012

Keegan and Steve, AMC Coos County Trail Stewardship Interns 2012
Hello AMC staff and volunteers, I'm Keegan and I am one of three interns from Coos County that has taken on the challenge of fully immersing myself in the inner working of the AMC. Through shadowing the coordinators at Camp Dodge our other trail stewardship intern Steven Martin and I are attempting to get our feet wet in the world of the employment in outdoor recreation. To give you a little bit of background on myself I hail originally from Central New York, but relocated to Gorham, New Hampshire and fell in love with the area and especially the wilderness of the White Mountains. I will be attending the University of Maine Orono with a major in Philosophy in hopes of one day attending law school to pursue a career in environmental law. I have taken on this internship both because I love the outdoors and because I want to learn more about the land I one day hope to defend. There are so many parts to this internship, but I'll try to give you the basic low down on what exactly it is that we do everyday at Camp Dodge.

Every day is just a bit different for Steve and me, with our activities ranging from scouting out trails in search of work for Camp Dodge's various volunteer trail crews with Zack, to manning the office chair alongside Alison at the AMC's Pinkham Notch office. In addition to these aspects of our internship we also manage to help our amazing support staff maintain Camp Dodge by doing everything from weeding the garden to sharpening tools. Also as part of our internship's many facets we work in partnership with the National Forest Service to gain an understanding of what it takes for the Forest Rangers to maintain the multitude of forest and Wilderness that engulfs Coos and Caroll Counties. Perhaps the most crucial part of our internship is joining up with the leaders of the Teen Spike crews at Camp Dodge and camping in the backcountry alongside the crews while they work on various trail work projects.

From the Maine Woods to the White and Mahoosuc Mountains, we help to preserve hundreds of miles of National Forest for the thousands of people who use the trails every year. In this fast paced, high pressure world it has become difficult to experience nature in a way that is conducive to promoting a life long love of the outdoors. Hopefully through internships such as this one we will be able to pass on a love of nature to teenagers for generations to come!