Off to a Great Start

Hey everyone! I Hope you’re all doing well. This past week has been pretty eventful for me here in Wyoming. I shadowed a couple of the programs that I will be giving by myself here at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve. My favorite is Critter Chat, which is a family oriented program focusing on an animal (of our choice) that is found here at Grand Teton National Park and emphasizing its role in Grand Teton National Park and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. My Critter Chat this summer will focus on the chipmunk and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love chipmunks? Even though I am extremely nervous, I am pretty confident that everything will turn out fine. Aside from working on programs, I survived my first full lot while on parking lot duty. At one point we had a line of 8 cars waiting for a parking space. Here at the LSR. Preserve, there is a limit of 50 parking spaces and you might be asking yourself “Why not just make the parking lot bigger?” well… the reason for the small space is that it was actually designed like that on purpose; credit going to Laurance himself. The Preserve was designed as “a place for quiet contemplation and spiritual renewal” and keeping the parking lot small allows for visitors to have a quiet and peaceful visit. This is not to say that the parking lot itself is always peaceful and quiet because when you have 8 cars waiting in line and maybe only 2 of them know the reasoning behind such a small space, it can get quite hectic. Nonetheless, I always try to make it fun. I ask visitors hundreds of questions from where they’re coming from to whether it’s their first visit to the LSR Preserve or not. I realized that it all comes down to making the visitor feel like they’re the most important visitor we’ve ever had. Not to mention, it’s a great way to get to know new people from all around the world. Yesterday (June 7), we had our first LSR Preserve potluck at our supervisors’ house. Aside from the mosquitoes, who were having their own feast with us, I can honestly say that I miss my family and friends back home, but my team here has done such a great job in welcoming me into their family. I am so grateful to be working with such an amazing group of people who’s main concern and priority is my well-being. The mama bear of the group is Larry, who comes to the rescue whenever we’re in trouble. Then we have our dad, Clay who is pretty funny, but works extremely hard to make sure everything is always running smoothly. (Sorry we give you such a hard time. It’s all out of love.) And last, but definitely not least, we have all the aunts and uncles who make sure we have all the support and resources we need to get everything done. With that said, I’d like to give a big shout out to my team for always making me feel loved. I’m looking forward to having an amazing summer with you all. Also, special shout out to Katie for being such a great mentor and helping me out with my programs, quizzing me, and giving me some much needed moral support. That’s all for this week. Until next time…  

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