Intern Ellie's Final Thoughts As Her Summer Work Finishes Up

As my internship comes to an end, I can absolutely say that it was a great way to spend the summer. I was finally able to use summer as I think it is meant to be used, exploring different places and doing outdoor activities that are impossible other times of year like swimming in the many lakes of the state parks.

This summer has kept me active and able to stay outdoors all the time, which was a big change from my technical institute where much of my time is spent indoors doing homework or projects.

Vermont in the summer is a haven for doing the physical work for my internship, removing invasive species. I was glad to have cooler summer weather than southern New York and a surplus of beautiful scenery. I expanded my nature portfolio and took some great wildlife shots while learning. I especially learned a lot when it came to camping, since I had never really done any solo camping before.

What made my first real camping experience especially memorable, were all the friendly people I met and worked with and all the great stories they shared with me. While camping, I noticed the difference between the summer months too. June is cooler than July and the campgrounds were not as crowded. I enjoyed the chillier nights because a fire was always welcomed. When the warm/hot weather came in July, I appreciated having cool water in a nearby lake to jump into.

Vermont State Parks are places you can explore by yourself or with a group of friends or your family. There's always hidden gems within parks that many times you don't find on the first visit. I always got excited when I saw a cool animal or bug but also when I spotted an interesting natural land formations (like Button Bay's famous clay buttons to Quechee's huge gorge). It's a place to bond with family and friends too, whether it's great talks over a fire or cooking food while listening to the sounds of crickets.

Some of my favorite activities were watching the sunsets with a bag of munchies, exploring the miles of trails, and resting in a shaded quiet area to read a book. As more of a city girl, I didn't find it too hard to live out of a car for eight weeks and it prepared me for my next adventure - living out of a backpack off of a motorcycle!

I feel fit, relaxed, and happy after my summer in the parks and fully understand why people come back year after year for their vacations. It's sad to already be done with my park tour, but I am already looking forward to coming back again.


NOTE:  We want to thank Ellie for all her great work this summer.  She's captured the beauty of the parks on film up close and personal like no other photographer to date and has worked tirelessly to get rid of the "bad plants" in the park.  As a nod to Ellie and her great work, our current profile photo on Facebook, and our avatar on Twitter is one of Ellie's photos that she took at Branbury State Park.

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