2021 Curator Message

To those considering applying for the intern position:

I served as the Camp Kawanhee History Intern for the summers of 2020 and 2021. I held this position for around 8.5 weeks which includes pre and post- camp, however campers are only here for 7 weeks.

Last summer I wrote about the strong community and magic that I could feel at Kawanhee despite the absence of a normal camp season. This summer would still not qualify as “normal” with COVID protocols and precautions, but I truly was engulfed in the Kawanhee spirit and community love. This is truly a special place with special people with an indescribable energy.

In May of 2021, I graduated with my BA in American Studies with an interest in pursuing a career in museum studies. The Kawanhee History Museum has been the perfect place to gain some hands-on experience in a self-paced and self-motivated environment. I would consider myself to be quite introverted, but I can have moments of extroversion, which I tried to lean into this summer. This is an excellent environment to practice your public speaking and I (surprising myself) made a few announcements in the dining hall. I would recommend this position for someone who is self-motivated, a hard worker, and interested in museum or educational studies. Individuals can mold this position to fit their skill sets and interests.

This past summer, a few of the projects I focused on were decluttering and organizing the museum space more, creating a guidebook for future interns, re-doing the timeline that runs along the inside perimeter as well as a few other wall exhibits to make them more weather resistant and aesthetically pleasing. I also began digitizing and cataloging some photos from the massive inventory that lives in the museum. A final objective I had was to run history as a fourth period activity, which I successfully did for two days. On the third day I made two scavenger hunts of varying degrees of difficulty. 

Outside of the history museum, I helped BA Altmaier out in the store, ran the library during a free period, did night watch once a week, drove kids to the airport and doctor, and was the non-lodge staff for Coyote lodge. While you can say no to taking on extra responsibilities, I found that doing these extra jobs helped me to integrate and become more engaged with the community, especially with the campers. 

I highly recommend this experience to anyone looking for a fun, challenging, but overall rewarding summer. I not only grew in my technical job skills, but also as a person and role model. If I could come back for a third summer, I would.

All the best,

Emily Benson