It is said that as an intern, you should take away as much from your internship as you put into it, and my time with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation definitely exceeded those expectations! My experience was exciting and challenging throughout the summer--there was never a dull moment. CBF and its staff did everything in their power to make every intern feel welcome and part of the team.
Since early 2012, I continuously checked CBF's website in hopes of a communications-related internship. That dream became a reality when I was thrilled to accept the Communications and Digital Media Internship earlier this spring. Being a part of the CBF community was a natural choice--I grew up on the Bay, and protecting and restoring it has been important to me for as long as I can remember.
Saving the Bay
Throughout my work this summer I've been able to use skills I gained throughout college at the University of Maryland. I set up new social media platforms, assisted in existing social media platforms, wrote blogs, marketed CBF's Speakers Bureau, conducted research, and compiled influential news and media lists. I also assisted with the implementation of CBF's digital library, which stores all its pictures and news articles. I gained some hands-on, real-world experience that has furthered my skills and understanding of the communications field.
Environmental Field Experiences
I started my internship by attending an orientation with the other interns and CBF's Executive Management Team. That day was dedicated to getting to know each other and learning our individual connections to the Chesapeake Bay. We even had the opportunity to sit down and talk to CBF's President and CEO Will Baker, about his experience and history with CBF. From then on, CBF had multiple intern events scheduled:
- Oyster Olympics at CBF's Oyster Restoration Center (ORC)--Intern oyster restoration competition;
- Environmental education experience on CBF's skipjack, the Stanley Norman--Educational trip to dredge for oysters and learned about the health of the Bay;
- Kayak paddle at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refugee--Day-long paddle to observe the wildlife and learn about the history of the region; and
- Boat excursion to Cantler's with CBF volunteers and the Digital Media Team--Trip to Cantler's Riverside Inn with some of our dedicated volunteers for lunch.
My two favorite events were the Oyster Olympics and the trip to Cantler's restaurant. The Oyster Olympics took place at the ORC in Shady Side, Md., where interns learned about the importance of the oyster population, while competing in a restoration-related competition.
The trip to Cantler's restaurant and crab house was a blast! The Volunteer Program Manager Heather Tuckfield and the Digital Media Team took 12 dedicated volunteers out for lunch at Cantler's. We hopped on CBF's workboat the Marguerite and spent an amazing day eating crabs and boating on the Bay.
This internship has introduced me to the world of environmental nonprofit organizations--in a word, it's wonderful. Every day that I come to work, everyone at CBF is in a great mood, and the atmosphere here is like no other office I've experienced. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is an outstanding organization, and I will continue to support it in the future.
--Kevin Painter, Communications and Digital Media Intern