You know summer is winding down when we have to say goodbye to our SCA interns that have been here since Memorial Day.

We were exceptionally lucky this year to have had Ben Foster and Alex Conrad to help with all our summer programs.

Alex came to us from the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she recently graduated with two degrees: BS Biology and BA Gender Studies. Her solid science background and desire to make connections makes her a perfect fit for the park. She’s also an accomplished acapella singer and a dancer.

Ben came to us from the University of Indiana. He’ll be a senior in the fall, majoring in Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Human Ecology. Ben is an Eagle Scout with lots of experience working with kids. Ask him about his passions: hiking, sailing and playing guitar!

Alex and Ben were found at our campfire programs, leading sing-alongs and immersing our campers in the world of Bats or Big Cats or Fire. You’ll find them leading walks through the North Grove, and mentoring children in our Jr. Cub and Jr. Ranger programs.

Our interns gained tremendous experience while bringing fresh ideas and unique gifts to share with our visitors. It was exciting to watch the knowledge sharing going in all directions – with interns, park staff, docents, and visitors all learning and teaching one another. Now our interns move off to new adventures but remain ambassadors for Big Trees, spreading the word about our lovely park throughout the country.

Our intern program is a perfect example of partnerships.

  • The Interns are paid for through two separate “Funds” that were set up by generous donors in honor of loved ones. Our non-profit Association,  Calaveras Big Trees Association supplements additional expenses not covered by the “Funds”, including uniforms; interviews and selects the final candidates; ensures that their housing is clean and well, furnished; and provides incidentals as needed.
  • The State provides our interns with living quarters, and State employees train and supervise them.
  • The Student Conservation Association (a national non-profit organization) recruits intern candidates and handles all the administrative details. SCA provides  intern stipends, living allowances, travel costs, etc. from the funds CBTA pays to SCA.

When you shop in the Visitor Center, join CBTA or attended an event at the park, then you have helped us raise the funds for this important program. Thank you!

We will miss Alex and Ben and wish them all the best as they continue with life’s adventures!