I only have a few fears in my life. They are, in no particular order: heights, all animals except white tigers, (though I'm sure I would be scared if I ever saw one in person) and large bodies of water. If someone would have asked me what I would be doing the summer of 2010, I would never imagined any of the three, let alone all three to be a part of it.
As part of the Shepherd Alliance, I interned with CampInteractive, a non-profit based out of the Bronx that introduces urban teenagers to the outdoors and technology.
Going into the internship, I wasn't sure about how I would be able to be of help to the organization. However, what I did know was how to interact with students. I was put on the recruiting team as one of my duties where I traveled to various schools, churches and community events to recruit students to participate in our free summer program. The culminating task of my internship however was to serve as counselor for the 10-day Vermont excursion.
On this trip, for the first time ever, I saw underwater. During a canoeing battle on the lake, our canoe tipped over and for mere moments that seemed like 10 precious minutes, I was placed under the water before my life jacket floated me to the top. Perhaps even most surprising is that I joined in on the climbing of Mount Mansfield, the tallest mountain in Vermont. Standing at the peak of the mountain, I have yet to see anything more breathtaking. I was actually sad to see the end of the camping trip and even more torn that I wasn't able to stay to watch as my cohort of students completed their websites documenting the trip.
This internship taught me about the importance of being able to survive in nature. It also increased my ability to use technology as a tool to communicate and share my experiences with people around the world. My summer with CampInteractive was an experience of a lifetime that I would readily do again if I could. Even if I had not been able to face my fears, I was able to meet many great students while interning there, most of which I still communicate with on a regular basis.