Coming into this position serving with the Student Conservation Association, I expected to be teaching people about the environment in general and the parks where I was stationed specifically. I looked forward to working with a bunch of different people in different environments, from the elementary schools in Manchester to the top of Mount Monadnock. And I am proud to say that I think I have been fulfilling this part of my service fairly well.
What I did not expect from this position is the amount that I would learn from those I set out to instruct. I have been shown, either implicitly or explicitly, everything from the best kind of mints to use to create cold lights at night to the sheer power of the human will. All of the children that I work with remind why I do this job and what got me into this field in the first place. The constant sense of wonder they show finding an animal that I have seen in the pond a hundred times keeps me going all summer long. Through them I recall that glee of discovery and the thrill of the hunt for the next cool thing.
On Sundays, I roam Monadnock State Park. I have seen people there who are stronger than I will ever be. People do it nearly every day with all form of prosthetics. I met a man, who despite having Lou Gehrig’s Disease, was the most enthusiastic and willful hiker I saw all day. The number of small children who reach the summit show me that I am never too young to try something. The numbers of seniors who speed past me teach me that I will never get too old to do the same. I see many people climb the mountain who I would have said are too unfit or too unprepared, and nearly every time, they prove me wrong.
The nature of New Hampshire has much to offer, both to the park visitor and to myself as an interpreter. That being said, it is the people, the wonderful people, who keep me coming to work every day. Without all of you, this position would be interesting and fun. With you, this job is amazing, exciting, and life changing. Thank you.
SCA Interpreter 2014