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A Summer to Remember

Written by Maddie Bird
    Wednesday, 12 August 2015
A Summer to Remember

"It’s a dangerous business Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” This Bilbo Baggins quote perfectly sums up my summer as an Urban Ecology Center intern. Before I came here, I had no idea what my summer would have in store. As my internship draws to a close next week, I can honestly say that the experiences and places I was swept off to by this job have been some of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

This summer I learned the ins and outs of marketing a non-profit organization. I learned how to promote and help coordinate volunteer events, and how to use photography to generate interest and excitement in the Center's programs. I had a blast running the Center's brand new Instagram account this summer, and I even got to make a few videos for the website.

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A picture taken by Maddie for the Urban Ecology Center Instagram

As valuable as all of those lessons were, marketing knowledge was not the only knowledge I gained this summer. I learned how to identify monarch butterfly eggs, and how to hold a snake. I learned honeybees are some of the smartest insects in existence. I learned that camp games like “camouflage,” “where’s my chicken,” and “bibbity bibbity bop” aren’t just for kids. But I think the most important thing I learned this summer is a stronger respect for nature and the environment I am a part of.

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Maddie (3rd from the right) with the Young Naturalists Summer Camp

The Center’s internship program allows young people of different ages, backgrounds, mindsets, and interests to work together to enhance an amazing organization. As the marketing intern, I was able to collaborate with almost all of the other interns; I worked with summer camp interns while photographing camp, I worked with and learned from the research interns to promote the Community Science program, and I worked with the visitor services interns to promote membership here at the Center! Besides working together, we all made sure to make time for play as well. One of my favorite memories from this summer is taking an afternoon off and canoeing downtown Milwaukee with some of the education interns and staff. We paddled all the way to the Third Ward, and sang Disney songs the whole way! The friendships I have made through this program are ones which will last far beyond this summer, and I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to work with and learn from my fellow interns.

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Coworkers turned friends

The summer of 2015 will be one that I remember forever. In less than two weeks I will be back at school, hearing my friends talk about their summer internships spent sitting in offices creating spreadsheets and crunching numbers. I will be proud to tell everyone I see about my summer of hiking with summer campers, paddling with friends, swimming with all my clothes on, and playing new games, all while learning how to tell the stories of the Urban Ecology Center. 

Maddie Bird

Maddie Bird

Maddie Bird is our summer marketing intern, and will be covering events at the Center during our busiest season. Maddie grew up in Milwaukee, and is currently a business student studying Marketing at Temple University in Philadelphia. She has a passion for nature, and is incredibly excited to have the opportunity to learn about and promote all of the ways the Urban Ecology Center enriches the community through ecological education and research. In her spare time Maddie loves to bike, explore, and take photographs.

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