Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Harpers Ferry NHP Summer Internship: Week #4

Maryland Heights

This week we started off with Administration. We sat down with Sherri who taught us about contracting. After that we saw Norma for the budgeting. For the duration of the day we took the initiative to go on foot patrol in Lower Town to carry out public relations.  We also hiked up Maryland Heights to remove a cross that was illegally placed upon the rocks.  It was interesting to experience what happens behind closed doors at the Morrel House.

The next day we had some more administrative learning with Melinda, who works personnel, and then Joanne who is also a budget analyst as well as is in charge of the housing, including our housing!  We enjoyed a brick oven pizza event with all the interns that are staying here for the summer. The interns are from many divisions, including Interpretation, Living History, Visitor Services, Education, and even workers from the bookstore. Staff from the living history program dressed in period clothing cooked the delicious handmade pizza from an old fashioned brick oven.

Orientation with David Fox
Thursday we attended orientation along with the interpretation interns that are stationed here for the summer. The orientation, directed by David Fox, gave us all an introduction to the practice and style of interpretation. There are many things to learn that come mostly from experience, but getting an introduction on what types of instances may happen and what to expect, helped us start thinking about the interpretation we will be preforming in the near future.  We are nervous to give a talk in front of a large group of park visitors but Supervisor Mark Howard gave us some good advice. He explained that the best way to become comfortable with the park visitors is to become familiarized with the group by asking them questions before beginning the talk.  The orientation and Howard’s advice is helping us become prepared for our time to give a talk.   

Friday we helped Mark set up the driving training where we met with Regional Chief Ranger Will Reynolds, who was mentioned in the previous blog. Later that day, we learned how to properly break into a car using the “BigEasy” in case a visitor accidentally locks their keys in a car.  I (Renee) know from experience working for Parks and Recreation as a park ranger that it is very common for park visitors to lock their keys in their car.  It was pleasant to see a mechanism that is much more beneficial and convenient.
On Saturday we were informed early in the morning about vandalism that happened in the night at the visitor center. The vending machine was destroyed, although no drinks or money were taken from it. The men’s bathroom door was broken around the lock and the women’s bathroom sign was in pieces. I (Jackie) got the opportunity to learn how to take fingerprints from the vending machine and a light bulb, collect evidence, and then log all the evidence with proper descriptions. We did some detective work by going around to local stores and campgrounds and questioning them if they had heard anything going on during the night. We are still searching and waiting for camera footage to hopefully help us out.

Lieu day consisted of a long run with Supervisor Mark Howard.  Mark and I (Renee) ran for about 4.5 miles.  Howard met with me along a trail where he already ran about 6.5 miles.  All together Howard ran for 10 miles that day.  This is something I am striving for.  I want to be able to run comfortable for 10 miles also.  It is great to have a supervisor like Howard that is motivating me to run further then I have ever ran before.

National Park Service's Finest: DOC!

-Renee Benson & Jackie Innella

1 comment:

  1. Great updates and photos! I love the view from Maryland Heights. You didn't mention the dog. Is he the Harpers Ferry NP mascot?