Learning to Explore through Environmental Center Internships
This summer, several Milton Hershey School students had a chance to complete internships at the MHS Environmental Center. Whether they were caring for animals, maintaining campus trails, or completing invasive mapping exercises, they learned the importance of keeping our environment healthy.
In their own words, they describe their experience:
Venice Trail Work
“Last year, we poured all of our energy into the Venice Trails on MHS’s north campus. We made the trails walkable and made them look nice—we were also attempting to empathize with the Middle Division students who would be using those trails. We made benches from scratch and painted them, and we planted trees by the stream. After all we did, it was empowering to head back to the trails this summer for maintenance and see they were still in good shape.” –Kaela, an MHS sophomore
Trip to Appalachian Trail
“The Appalachian Trail adventure had to have been the longest walk I’ve ever done. There were many things to learn about and observe on the trail. We met a lot of people walking the trail, too. I overheard some people telling stories about their journey from Georgia to Maine, and I was dumbfounded. How could anyone walk so far? How could anyone have such resolve to walk over 100 miles in one trip when I can’t even do five? These questions came to me like the heat in the middle of July.
At the end of the trail, there was a ridge looking over a small valley. I was in awe. The view was so breathtaking and it captured the moment perfectly. My hard work paid off and led me to a beautiful overlook.” –Juan, an MHS senior
“My favorite part of the 2016 internship was animal care. I liked how we had animals to care for and were able to enrich their habitat. We had just enough time to get to know them. My favorite animals were the Tiger Salamander (Sallow) and the Ball Python (Ben). I let Sallow sit on my shoulder as I fed and cared for the other animals. And every day I took Ben out to slither around!” –Casey, an MHS sophomore
“My favorite animals during the animal care [component of the internship] were the snapping turtles. The turtles were most excited when we fed them live fish and they could run around trying to bite at them. I can’t wait to come back when the small turtles get bigger and start snapping. I learned how to properly take care of the turtles and switch up their diet. It was fun being able to alter their lifestyles to make them more relaxed and positive. To do this, I changed up the turtles’ habitat and food and also gave them toys to play with to help them exercise.” –Khyree, an MHS sophomore
“The invasive mapping project has, undoubtedly, been one of the most difficult projects I have worked on at the MHS Environmental Center. However, I believe it has also been one of the most important. Invasives are nasty plants, and if they aren’t taken care of, they can decrease biodiversity within an ecosystem. Unlike some projects we complete, the mapping project was something that applied to the entire campus to keep the Milton Hershey School campus diverse. This project really showcases how important it is to keep our environment healthy.” –Kaela, an MHS sophomore
Student Voices Blog
Milton Hershey School students are confident leaders, global citizens, compassionate members of the community, focused scholars and fearless problem solvers. They also have strong voices and inspirational stories. Follow our Student Voices blog series to read students’ perspectives on service, graduation, internships and more, written in their own words.