The annual SLA fall workday this past Saturday was the perfect opportunity to reconnect with SCI alums and local volunteers alike, meet the current interns (they gave us a run for our money!), and breathe some fresh autumn air while lending a hand to the season’s closing tasks with the SLA. Six out of the seven 2012 interns showed up to help out, and we couldn’t have been happier to be reunited on the lake! After arriving on Friday evening from all over the country and catching up over slices of pizza, we were ferried out to Bowman Island by Ian, Allie and Taylor, where I happily pitched a tent. The full moon was one of the most spectacular I have ever seen on Squam, and the night was crystal clear. What a treat!
Even better was waking up the next morning on the beautiful lake clad in its fall colors. We returned to SLA HQ for a breakfast and met some more local volunteers, and after packing a picnic lunch we set out in various directions to attack our task lists. Swim lines and docks were removed, fire rings were shoveled out and rebuilt, and a tent platform was redecked.
This last task was especially fun for me as I never got the chance to build a platform when I was an intern. I quickly got the hand of swinging the hammer under Taylor’s watchful eye, and she showed me how to measure and space the planks to ensure an even surface. The 4 of us working together had it done in under an hour, and we broke for lunch.
With so much good teamwork, we finished our tasks early in the day and had plenty of afternoon time to relax before heading back out to Bowman for a campfire, group dinner and discussion facilitated by EB. Together, we talked about our experiences as interns and future directions for the SCI program, and shared ideas for SLA program development. It was great to weigh in on some of these points, and hear others’ thoughts. Before we got too sleepy, we convened at the campfire for a few s’mores before saying goodbye to Brett, Rebecca and EB.
Another sparkling morning greeted us on Sunday, and we enjoyed a relaxed brunch on the island before heading back to HQ and going our separate ways. Needless to say, this weekend of work, play and catching up was enjoyed by all and we are all greatly looking forward to next year! Thanks to everyone at the SLA for organizing it, and to the other participants for making it the great experience that it was. See you all in 2014!
Anna was a Squam Conservation Intern during the summer of 2012. She currently lives in Burlington, VT.
Posted on the SLA website, October 29th, 2013