Finished up my first week here at Wolf Trap and it was a busy one to say the least. For me one of my biggest pet peeves with internships is when you are just sitting around kind of waiting for your supervisors to give you another task. I decided at the beginning of this internship I was not going to be afraid to ask for more responsibilities if I felt like I was not being utilized efficiently. The last thing I want to do is be considered “waste” in federal spending. My role has been quite interesting since starting. Since the negotiation meetings between the Wolf Trap Foundation and NPS have not picked up yet, I have been filling in support for several of the Divisions here at Wolf Trap. For the Deputy Superintendent I have been supporting his role as Chief of the Finance and Administration section for the regional Incident Management Team. I have mostly been taking a lot of training and trying to learn the role I will be holding during the National Mall Fourth of July Celebration, which is to support my Deputy Superintendent as a timekeeper. This celebration usually requires NPS to bring in several additional staff members from surrounding parks in the National Capital Region to help support. This year NPS will be managing the celebration as an “incident” under the Incident Command Structure. My Deputy Superintendent said it will be long hours over the holiday, but in addition to compensation, I will get the opportunity to meet staff from all over the region which seems like a great networking opportunity.
I also have been supporting the Supervisory Park Ranger. He normally was incharge of putting together the US Park Police Nightly Report. This report has several pieces of information put together for Park Police to use each night for the concerts. Although the report is only one sheet it requires communicating with 7 different groups within the park. Although frustrating at times, it does give me exposure to many different parts of the park including many Wolf Trap Foundation staff members. I also worked with my Administrative Officer to renovate the Ranger Station (picture attached which also includes Ranger John Murray. He is 85 years old, still kicking it as a ranger, and has become one of my best friends here at the Park). I know it does not seem like much, but if you would have seen this room before you would be offering us a show on HGTV right up there with Chip and Joanne’s Fixer Upper. It was definitely not what I originally expected from this internship, but any break away from a computer screen is greatly welcomed.
Last week I also got to meet the Acting Regional Director for the National Capital Region, Lisa Mendelson. Basically the way NPS works is the country is broken up into 7 Regional Offices. Each of these Regional Offices are led by a Regional Director who reports to the Deputy Director of Operations, who reports directly to the Director of the National Park Service. This was pretty exciting for me, especially since I want to work for NPS after graduating, so making connections like these are greatly appreciated. It was just a plus that she was super nice and offered to help me in my further endeavors with NPS.