26 May Prepping for Jewel Cave
As I diligently pack for my internship at Jewel Cave National Monument, I am reminded of my childhood trips to my mother’s hometown in Callao, Peru. With the rush of organizing and the constant worry of leaving something behind, I find myself in her footsteps! I try to keep a level head by remembering the experiences that await me in South Dakota and the sense of adventure that made Jewel Cave stand out. Thanks to my supervisor, Aimee, I own a few of the brochures and handouts of the site, along with a map of the Black Hills. These handouts helped me learn about Jewel Cave, its history, and what the National Park Service and those at Jewel Cave wish to highlight through these handouts, such as the bats of Jewel Cave. When I looked at Jewel Cave online, I saw beautiful videos of geological structures, but I wasn’t aware of the wildlife in Jewel Cave. One of the handouts primarily educates visitors about bats’ importance in the ecological system, along with dispelling myths, such as the belief that all bats carry rabies. Given my background in the Maryland suburbs near DC, I thought the same way until I read the pamphlet, showing firsthand its effectiveness. Overall, these handouts have given me a taste of the importance of interpretation for Jewel Cave and an understanding of the site I will call home this summer. I am excited about this change of scenery and all the national parks and places of interest I will witness in South Dakota!
Map of the Black Hills, along with some pamphlets on Jewel Cave National Monument