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Connecting Youth To The Outdoors

Benjamin Polgar, PSAR


YLP Intern

My name is Benjamin Polgar. I am currently attending UC Merced as a junior majoring in Human Biology. Last summer I was given the opportunity to take part in the Yosemite Leadership Program. My position was in Preventative Search and Rescue.  The summer I spent in Yosemite was unforgettable.  For the first two weeks I was trained to be a search and rescue technician.  I drove an ambulance, took a technical ropes course for rescuing climbers, and practiced hands on rescue techniques such as tying patients into litters, and horsing out injured visitors.  A day on the job usually consists of: hiking/patrolling the trails near little Yosemite Valley (about 3 to 4 miles up the trail from the valley floor) and talking to people making sure they have enough food, water, and the proper hiking shoes for their travels.  Another part of my job was to check the half dome permits at the base of the subdome. I would spend 3 to 4 days a week up in little Yosemite Valley doing PSAR work.  It was an honor to be working with the expert Yosemite search and rescue team.

This internship was—by far—one of the best investments of my life.  I gained so much confidence in myself.  I feel wiser, more mature, responsible and independent.  Environmental leadership class was spectacular.  Every class session reminded me of how powerful a person I am; and how I am truly capable of making a difference in this world.  This internship experience has set me up for success, as I now believe I can take on any challenge.

Some of my favorite things about this internship are: the close bonds with the other interns that are formed as everyone experiences this eye opening summer together, the accommodations from UC Merced such as the housing, the positive support, the delicious barbeques, and so much more.  I will never forget my summer spent in Yosemite, I would recommend the Yosemite Leadership Program for anyone and everyone!

Intern Video

Internship Description

The Yosemite Valley District Protection Rangers request one UC Merced Intern to assist Rangers with day to day operations in Little Yosemite Valley from approximately June to September. Little Yosemite Valley (LYV) contains the trail network leading to Half Dome. While there are no roads in this wilderness area it is one of the busiest trail systems in Yosemite and the National Park System. Due to the volume of
hikers in this area there is often a need for extra persons to patrol the trails and assist visitors..


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