The YCC Interns

Greetings! This week in the Grand Canyon I got to meet all of the YCC SOAR students. And what a week it was! We always started our mornings at 7:30 a.m. and the YCC students would finish at 4:30 p.m., while the folks running the program would stay an extra half hour to debrief. So my days have been very long and busy, but it was a really fun week. Our first day was pretty relaxing since we were all getting to know one another and spend some time getting to know the park a bit. We took the students on a scavenger hunt around the park, so that they would know how to help visitors with frequently asked questions such as “Where is the visitor center?” or “Which bus do I take to get to _____?” and so on. We took plenty of pictures and did plenty of running.

At the historic train station!

On Tuesday we had the chance to watch a super duper great interpreter give a couple of his programs. Ron Brown is the interpreter who has been here the longest, so it was an amazing experience to see his programs and listen to him explain why he uses different techniques. He is expressive, engaging, and informative, which is why so many people enjoy listening to his talks. The next day we went to visit all the different areas of the park where our interns are working. Some will be in maintenance, the greenhouse, the sign shop, the auto shop, and one will even be working in the museum. It was a good morning because we all got to keep moving around and the interns didn’t seem to get too impatient from place to place. Afterwards, they were put into CPR training and Suicide Prevention Training, which were both very engaging topics. The interns asked tons of questions, which made me proud.

At the greenhouse

The auto shop

Thursday was probably the toughest day for the interns. In the morning we mostly sat in one room and listened to different people from different areas in the park talk about their projects and, although it was interesting, it was a long time for them to be sitting down and not doing much. I was impressed with how well they behaved (for the most part), and was overall pleased with them. After lunch, we got to do a some radio training and and introduction to Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR). That was fun for the interns as you can see below.

How to carry an injured person through the trails

Friday was my favorite day since we got to hike and have an ice cream party! The hiking was much better than I was anticipating, because we had a nice breeze while we hiked so it wasn’t so terribly hot. Then it totally made the hike worth it when we got to come back for a quick game of Across the Canyon and ice cream! Overall the days were long, but I had a ton of fun with the interns and I am so excited to watch them grow and transform into professional workers.                      And in case anyone is wondering, I did have time for a social life with my cabin-mates after work! On Tuesday we went to yoga class at the Rec center, which was very calming after the work day. On Wednesday we went to another one of Ron’s programs, but this time it took place at the cemetery and it was nighttime! It was packed; there must have been at least 100 people there to see him. He is such a great interpreter and I hope to learn more from him! Thursday was just a calm afternoon in the cabins, and I don’t know what the plan is tonight but I’m sure it’ll be adventurous! Stay tuned for next week!

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