One of the great benefits of working in an internship with MANO and the National Park Service are all the great professional development opportunities! These past few months I’ve been able to participate in some really great training to further develop my leadership and communication skills.
At the beginning of October I participated in a four-day outdoor leadership training on hiking and camping for youth with the Appalachian Mountain Club. It was held in Vermont and was a beautiful weekend with the leaves just turning yellow and the temperature dropping overnight. I was able to meet and network with so many people from other youth serving organizations while learning knot tying skills, leading a large group on a trail, how to cleanse river water, and even how to teach youth to go to the bathroom in the woods. One of the main focuses of the training, most importantly, was helping underrepresented youth feel comfortable camping and spending the night in public lands where they may not feel welcome or know what to do. This was great to have such a diverse group of educators around me to learn from and we had so much fun! I’m looking forward to attending another training with Appalachian Mountain Club Outdoor Educators in January.
Another fun training opportunity I had in October was an Improv Communication workshop through the National Park Service. This was a one-day event that I was able to attend with many members of my team and we could not stop laughing all day! It was so great to learn techniques to help enhance nonverbal cues especially when interpreting and presenting information to youth. It was all about knowing your audience and focusing on exactly what point you are trying to get across. I also learned many ice breaker style games that I will definitely use for future field trips and camp programs.
I’ve really enjoyed this aspect of the position that I am in and looking forward to more great training opportunities that arise!