Wilderness internship equals opportunity
I am a high school senior and intend to graduate in 2014. Before we can walk to graduate and receive a high school diploma in my school, we must complete a senior project. The project may include anything from job shadowing someone for 30 hours, doing 30 hours of community service, or some sort of internship.
For my senior project, I undertook a wilderness internship with the Center Point Day Treatment Program at the Diakon Wilderness Center near Boiling Springs. Center Point is an alternative day treatment program/school. I initially ended up here by being court-ordered after getting into a little bit of trouble. I’m not going to go into details about what I did, but I will tell you how Center Point has worked with me.
Before I came here, no one ever sat down and really gave me an opportunity. No one took an interest to help me, or gave me links to start reaching my goals and dreams, or asked me what I wanted to do.
Before I came here, no one ever sat down and really gave me an opportunity. No one took an interest to help me, or gave me links to start reaching my goals and dreams, or asked me what I wanted to do. They may have in my high school just had me sign up for things or handed out pamphlets, but that didn’t help. I needed one-on-one help.
Here I received that.
It has helped me with my behavioral issues. Slowly I’ve learned to cope with troublesome people, be patient, and help others with their issues. I’ve learned to do this by setting goals and sitting down in group sessions to share those goals while receiving peer feedback each week.
Because of that experience, I chose for my senior internship to work in The Wilderness Greenhouse at the Diakon Wilderness Center. In the greenhouse program, we grew flowers and other plants as well as worked in a field at Cumberland Crossings.
Cumberland Crossings is a Diakon retirement community and we worked the fields there, just I and a couple of other peers. What I did while I was there was more a lot of weeding, planting, and a lot of delicate field work. I had to take time to sit down and be patient planting tiny seeds one by one and planting tiny plants one by one as well. Then, to keep the tomato plants we planted from falling, to keep them off the ground, and to keep them from becoming contaminated, we used stakes and suspended them by tying strings in a method that would hold them to keep them growing upward.
The easier part of all of this, though, was harvesting. I got to harvest chives, parsley, green bell peppers, grape tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes…the hardest things I’ve done out there were not so much hard work as they were just working in extreme heat conditions. I can honestly say I’d rather work in the heat than work in the mud and rain!
By Denzel Lamar
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