India’s Final Reflection

Spending 10 weeks with APAP is one of my favorite things I did this summer. I feel really fortunate that I was accepted and was able to meet and work with so many awesome people. I am also so glad that I got to be a Gold Rush Gal along with Sydne and Camila.

Even though not everyone was able to be there for all ten weeks, it was still great to meet and get to know them all. I have gained so much knowledge about so many things, especially the National Park Service and American Sign Language. Honestly, I’m not sure I can even put into words how much fun I had during APAP, nor do I think I can pick just one favorite moment. Every single day I walked into Klondike promised to be even more engaged as the last. I will be appreciating my memories of APAP forever.

I know I said I can’t pick a favorite moment, but one that is definitely at the top of the list is our field trip to the Seattle Art Museum to visit the Double Exposure exhibit. It really resonated with me because one of the topics we focused on was “untold stories,” and the exhibit was a great example. It was interesting to see an outsider’s perspective of Native American people and cultures, while also being able to walk to the next room to see works created by Native artists.

Another experience I enjoyed is mock career fair in the middle of Klondike with Kelsey and Casey as recruiters. Not only was it funny to pretend we didn’t know each other, but I also actually learned a few things. I learned that I am almost old enough to get a federal job, and that some National Park rangers are asked to return their uniform socks when they leave the position!

On the other hand, I wish we had made more time to sit down with our mentor groups and get to know each other better. While I do feel very close with Sydne and Camila, it would have been great to have some downtime where we could just chat and maybe play games for a little bit every week. I think it would have been fun to have a day of competitions between the mentor groups in the earlier weeks as a team building activity.

I also would have liked a chance or the option to volunteer at the front desk. That’s actually what I thought I was going to be doing when I applied to APAP. Of course I was pleasantly surprised in the first week, but I would have loved the chance to talk to some of the museum visitors and share some of the things I learned.

One day I would love to come back to the program, either as an APAP intern or an IMBY mentor. It would be great to be able to expand my learning as an APAP intern, and I would be so excited if I could mentor other interns as an IMBY.  It would be really special to get to carry on the cycle of mentorship someday.

In sUmmary, I am extremely grateful for my experience as an APAP intern. I would like to thank everyone at Klondike, as well as Sydne and Kelsey especially, for all of the time and effort they put into making this program possible and enjoyable. I’m going to miss walking through Klondike’s doors twice a week to work with some of my favorite people!

by india – national park service intern

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