Addison Swindell

Windy Peak Intern

New or Returning Intern: New
Hometown: Arvada


Why did you want to be an Intern?
I decided to be an intern at Mt. Evans because I have a strong passion for the work done at Outdoor Lab. The message that is carried on every week through our visiting sixth graders is unlike any other. This experience is so special and unique that I couldn’t help but want to be a part of it. I wanted to give each and every sixth grader that visits Outdoor Lab a one-of-a-kind experience, and being an intern is one of the best ways to do that.

What do you look most forward to during your internship?
I most look forward to all the struggles I’m going to face as an intern. I know that there will be rough patches here and there, but I also know that experiencing these things will make me a stronger person in the end. The outdoor classroom is an environment that can bring struggles and successes, both of which can be hard to deal with, yet very rewarding. In addition to that, I’m extremely excited to make so many connections with all my peers. Our experiences together are going to bring tough times and lots of laughs and I can’t wait for those and everything in between. I know this semester is going to be amazing and I can’t wait to see what’s in store!

What skills do you hope to gain from this experience?
I hope to gain many skills from this experience. My biggest goal is to become a stronger public speaker. I would love to work on handling tough situations as well– practicing coping skills and experimenting with what works best. I also hope to gain teaching skills from this experience, which I’m sure will get better and better with time. I can’t wait to learn more about myself and our environment while gaining knowledge and irreplaceable experiences.

If you attended Outdoor Lab as a 6th grade student, where did you go and what was your favorite experience?
As a sixth grader, I attended both Windy Peak and Mt. Evans. With my elementary school, I went to Windy Peak and during the summer I attended High Potential week at Mt. Evans. At Windy Peak, my favorite experience was going on the camera hike because it gave me time to stop to admire and appreciate the environment. I also loved astronomy night because it’s one of my biggest passions. During High Potential week, I studied astronomy. The most memorable part of that week was having the chance to watch the transit of Venus through solar telescopes. Both of my experiences at OELS truly changed my life. My love for astronomy started to bloom during these times and has only grown stronger since.

Did you serve as a High School Leader? If yes, where did you serve and what was your favorite experience?
I did serve as a high school leader for my elementary school at Mt. Evans last November. By the Tuesday of that week, I knew that I wanted to return as an intern because it felt so much like home. My favorite experience as a high school leader was watching the kids earn their trophy and their fire of stewardship alongside a perfect week. When I was a sixth grader, my elementary school earned a perfect week. Being able to say I’ve been a part of two perfect weeks with my elementary school is pretty amazing.

Do you have plans for after your Internship? If so, what are they?
After my internship, I will go back to Arvada and graduate from Ralston Valley High School in the spring of 2018. Furthermore, I plan on attending college for astrophysics/astronomy. I’ll take what I’ve learned here and deliver to my community and wherever I go afterwards!

Check out more Interns here.