Hello all! As my first post as the Pennsylvania correspondent, I wanted to write about something that you definitely can put to good use.
Being a high school student, my thoughts recently have turned to summer break. Every year for the past several years, my parents, brother, and I have taken a two-week vacation to a different area of our country, hitting up the national parks as we pass them. This year, however, with my brother a freshmen in college and the economy tanking, I began feeling a wee bit guilty about simply flying all over the country and goggling at our nation's beauty. I wanted to give something back to the areas I have loved to visit. So this year, my family and I decided that instead of going on a large family trip, I would join a nearby work project over the summer. I went through the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) and picked a trip that included some trail maintenance work as well as some education about park preservation. I hope that this summer will be both fun and useful!
If you’re also interested in spending your summer doing work like this, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in types of work in all kinds of places around this country, and I’m sure that without too much trouble, you’ll be able to find a program near you. I’ll provide a couple links that you can use to start your own personal search.
1. Appalachian Mountain Club
. The AMC organizes trips both for fun and for conservation work all throughout the summer. The work-oriented trips tend to be much cheaper that the pure adventure ones ($500 vs. $2000), so choose those if you are hoping to have a wallet-friendly vacation this summer. Most of the programs lean towards the younger crowd (13-17 seems to be the most popular range), so tough luck if you’re a college kid looking to do some work.
2. Student Conservation Association
. The SCA is larger program than the AMC, offering programs all over the country instead of just within the Appalachian Mountains. Check out the Community Programs page
for the closest one to you. The SCA also has a huge database of available internships
organized by state, so make sure to give that a look.
3. TIDE summer program
. This is a neat program in the Delaware Bay area dealing with marine biology and related fields. The tuition is a bit steep ($1,300 for 12 days), but it includes room, board, food, and all materials associated with the camp.
4. Acadia Institute of Oceanography
. Another marine biology camp, but this one is located in Maine for any of you northerners. They run beginner, intermediate, and advanced level programs, but you can join any level without prior experience. The work and time commitment just goes up between each level of the program. They range from one to two weeks and they run from mid-July to early August.
So that’s it from me this week. I hope to get something else up in a week or so. If you have any topics you’d like me to write about, leave your comments below. I’m open to suggestions!