As the National Park Service looks forward to the next century, one of the goals is to engage youth as the next generation of park leaders. This project provides funding and offsets support costs for eight student interns in the Division of Interpretation. These positions will provide unique professional development opportunities for college students and recent graduates that will enhance interpretive skills and provide an improved understanding of visitor services.
These positions offer valuable support for frontline interpretive and curriculum-based programs, at visitor centers and roving details while providing valuable experience and skill development for the interns. Interpretive staff training and professional development opportunities are essential to providing the public and other stakeholders with current and accurate natural/cultural history information and support resources. The program also builds a foundation for interpretive staff to provide opportunities for meaningful connections between park resources and the visiting public. Seasonal training extends over three weeks with additional professional development and cross-training sessions integrated throughout the summer.
Feedback and mentoring provided by supervisors enables the interns to refine their skills and ensure the quality of visitor services expected in the NPS. Stipend-based internships identified in this project are not eligible for government funding and need to be funded through partner sources only.