New or Returning Intern: Returning
Hometown: Westminster, CO
What was your most memorable experience as an intern in your first semester?
My most memorable moment last semester was from the very last week. I was on a class that I created called “The Lorax Hike”. The Lorax hike is based around the natural desire for kids wanting to explore and connect with the Earth. I was taking my core group, the bear group, on the hike. Every single kid was as excited to go on the hike as I was. They were even more excited to hear that they were leading the hike in any direction they chose. I can remember very vividly the faces on each of the kids while they were just exploring and having fun in the woods. As we were wondering through the woods, we came upon a large boulder. The whole bear group and I safely climbed up this boulder, and we discovered the most amazing view of the campus and the mountain range. When everyone was done being shocked by the beauty, the kids ran up to me and gave me the biggest group hug! One of the boys said to me later that day, “Ms. Cooper, that was the best hike I have ever been on in my life! You opened me up to a whole new world. I can’t thank you enough! You are the best intern!” My heart was full of so much joy and love! To this day, I still get choked up when I talk about the story.
What was your biggest take-away from the experience so far?
I would say that my biggest take-away from being an intern, is happiness. I love being an intern so very much. Every week I have the chance to brighten a new person’s day, week, or even 6th grade year. For many 6th graders, Outdoor Lab is the most memorable week of 6th grade. To be able to share such an amazing experience with thousands of kids just fills me with so much joy. I am able to do everything that makes me happy, while making other people happy! It is a dream come true!
What have your learned about yourself?
Wow, I have learned so very much about myself. Each week we are faced with new challenges and I have learned how to overcome most of them. I would say that the biggest thing that I have learned about myself, is my capacity to care about a stranger. I care so much for every child that comes up every week. Somehow I am able to grow attached to all of my kids in my core group every week. I know that may sound silly, but I truly do care for the kids
What goals do you have for your 2nd semester interning?
My goal for my second semester interning is to stay grounded. With so much change and constant insanity, I struggle with staying grounded to my roots. I often times do not think about myself until the day is done and I’m in bed. I still want to have those connections with the kids, but I also want to work on my connection to myself
Do you have plans for after your Internship? If so, what are they?
In the next year I have three very fun and exciting plans. Next semester I plan on doing a high school outdoor schooling program ran through Bear Creek High School, called Senior Field Studies. This coming summer, I hope to be a backpacking instructor for a summer camp in Michigan. And when school time comes back around, I plan on going to college for elementary education and minor in outdoor education. Very exciting things!