An intern's season comes to a close.....

Ethan Spoerry– Wilderness Ranger Intern

Luther College

Chaffin Creek

August 7-11


It is difficult to describe the bittersweet feeling of the last hitch of a season. There is excitement for what lies ahead in our schooling or careers, trepidations over having to leave such an amazing place, and hope that we will someday be able see the people and places we have come to care for and love throughout the internship, an internship which has been so much more than a summer job or a resume builder. Though we did receive a significant amount of training and instruction which was both necessary and helpful for our work, I believe the true value of our time spent with SBFC was not in the training. Rather, it has been the life altering experiences and connections that occurred as part of the work we did. Though every intern came from different backgrounds from across the country, we all leave bonded together over one commonality; Wilderness. It is difficult for me to say goodbye to such a wonderful and wild place in order to return home to a state that has not retained such magnificent and preserved places. However I know in my heart that I will not spend the totality of my life bereft of wilderness because of the impact it has had on me. I leave two quotes from Edward Abbey that meld with those who have been into the wilderness and found a piece of themselves in the process: “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit” and “Wilderness needs no defense, only more defenders”. As you progress through your life I hope that you will join those who proudly defend wilderness, both in practice and spirit.