Chandler Eaton, sophomore political science major, went to Estes Park, Co. this summer for an internship with the Rocky Mountain Conservancy-Conservation Corps. The Rocky Mountain Conservancy is an official non-profit partner of the Rocky Mountain National Park, giving them a chance to give the internship every year.
Eaton’s internship lasted 11 weeks, from June to mid-August. This allowed Eaton to earn on-the-job experience in natural resource management and network with land management agencies.
“Most days we hiked 10 miles carrying heavy packs and tools, including cross cuts, which are a type of saw used to cut away dead trees and limbs on the trail. I felt like a lumberjack finally worthy of my flannel collection,” Eaton said.
The Conservation Corps internship affected what Eaton was planning to do after college.
“It has shown me what I want to do for the rest of my life: impact nature and spend as much time in the woods as possible. I changed my major from chemistry to political science,” Eaton said.
All interns were provided with a biweekly payment, work clothes, outdoor gear and housing while in Estes Park. And not everything about the internship is about work, though it is a big part.
“Three day weekends. I would volunteer one day a week at the Ranger Station for fun. We would go backpacking or rock climbing every weekend and would not come back until Monday. I really miss everything about Colorado – the work, the people, the wildlife, and most of all, the mountains. I get homesick thinking about it. I can’t wait to find myself back to Colorado next summer,” Eaton said.