Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wilderness Institute Internship by Kaydee Borchers

For my Internship at the Wilderness Institute I will be working on some specific projects that are both long and short term throughout the semester as well as other smaller duties that will help things run smoothly in the Wilderness Institute. The larger projects include Wilderness and Civilization outreach, planning for the Freshmen Wilderness Experience, as well as the 40 year anniversary for Wilderness and Civilization Program.
Above is a scan of a Kodak slide taken by Bob Ream during the first Wilderness and Civ trek in 1975
Above is a scan of a Kodak slide taken by Bob Ream
during the first Wilderness and Civ trek in 1975.

My first project for the internship has to do with digging into the history of the Program. So far I have scanned photos from the first Wilderness and Civ. trek in 1975. Bob Ream has a collection of Kodak slides from that year and I got the privilege of browsing through them while converting them to digital files.

I am learning more about how the Wilderness Institute works as I spend time around the office. I am learning more about the Wilderness and Civ. program and what goes into making it happen. I am finding additional meaning to the program and appreciating the fact that it has not only survived but made significant difference for 40 years! I am learning all about the history of the program through interviewing alumni who are glad to help and have added to the stories in my mind about the program.

A photo take by Bob Ream while the students were taking a load off.
A photo take by Bob Ream while the students were
taking a load off on the Fall Trek, 1975.
The Interviews include a variety of questions that pull some interesting stores out of the program’s history as well as explain how Wilderness and Civ. helped these people become who they are. I will choose 5 or 6 of these alumni to feature on the Wilderness Institute webpage with a blurb and a photo. I will eventually represent the diversity that comes from the program by choosing the 5 or 6 that have all taken different paths in life. I will be interviewing people who are artists, scientists, activists, federal agency employees or maybe all of the above. I am thinking about doing a father daughter feature of my dad and myself on the alumni page because he was a Civ. student in ’83.

A potential profile for the Wilderness and Civ alumni
page  is my dad and me.  This photo was taken on a fun
day of fishing in the Narrows of Flathead Lake with
my dad, also Wilderness and Civ alumni, Bill Borchers.
Along with digging into some of the program’s history I have also been geared toward promotion of it for the future. Thanks to over a dozen class visits which put me on the side of the podium that I am rather unfamiliar with, I have gained communication skills. I also am becoming more familiar with techniques for outreach, from radio ads to stealthy poster distribution.

During classes last semester I gained a lot of passion and the internship has helped me follow through with inspiring people to do the same, even if they are not interested in the program I believe that through my enthusiasm I can inspire people to live it up and work hard. This internship has expanded on what I have learned in the wilderness and civilization program, specifically the history of such a program and what it’s all about.

I have been working on outreach primarily with Marie who has been working in the office as well. Marie and I are able to work very well together because we encourage each other to push ourselves and have high expectations for each other’s success. Because of this we can push against each other to get $hi* done! It doesn’t matter if it’s licking 500 envelopes to stuff the endowment proposals into or planning the 2015 Wild/Civ. spring campfire.

As this semester continues I will be learning about what goes into the planning of 2 projects. One is the planning of a program such as the Freshmen Wilderness Experience. The other will be planning the 40th Anniversary event. I am excited to contribute to these and put forth my ideas. My learning objectives for the remainder of the semester include those based around acquiring the knowledge of how a nonprofit operates as well as how the institute cooperates with the University of Montana and other agencies. I am also interested in learning as much as possible about outdoor education so I can be better prepared for my career after school in this setting.
Above is a photo of the most recent Wilderness and Civilization 
class taking a journal break in the sunshine. 
This photo is too great not to add to this blog. 

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