My name is Jamie Husain. I am a 21 year old student at UC Merced. Right now I am sitting on a bunk bed in Quito, Ecuador. I am resting from backpacking and rock school at high altitude. Without the YLP internship I would not be here in Ecuador mountaineering and going on adventures. In the next paragraph I hope to quickly summarize what I did this summer through the YLP internship.
I applied for the Search and Rescue internship and was assigned the Wilderness internship under the supervision of Jay Sammer. When I am asked to describe what I did I feel reserved because future applicants might get excited about one job but be assigned another. From the previous interns I have spoken with, not being assigned their first choice job actually benefited them. We arrived in Wawona, and lived in two big cabins together as a tight community. Wawona has swimming holes, the air smells amazing and the entire experience felt like a dream come true. We had leadership class outside of the Sierra Nevada research Institute with delicious snacks and sunshine.
A typical week would consist of waking up, putting on my uniform and walking down the hill to the wilderness center with another intern. We would enter the wilderness center, turn on the lights, start the computer for the wilderness permit system, stack a few bear canisters and write information on a whiteboard to do with road closures, camp site availability and the weather. For most of the day, visitors would arrive and want to know what to do in the park, where to stay or need a wilderness permit. Learning how to open the wilderness center and issue permits made me feel empowered and fulfilled.
Every week or two I would go on patrol with an experienced ranger. We would clear the trail of trees, reduce or remove fire rings, communicate with dispatch by radio and enjoy the beautiful national park.
I was introduced to climbing through the internship, learned how to use a park wide radio, figured out how to eat well in the wilderness and had serious fun. There are a thousand things I could list to do with social change, or hammock camping or chasing away bears or figuring out things to do with Yosemite/backpacking/climbing/leadership/swimming holes/solitude/community but really you have to experience it for yourself.
I really enjoyed cooking and laughing with the interns who I now hang out with regularly at UC Merced.
As a Wilderness Ranger working in both the front and backcountry you will encounter a wide variety of situations which require you to use your best judgment and work as a team in the center or with your partner in the field. From this array of encounters you will learn or hone your customer service skills, visitor and resource management knowledge, Wilderness skills and values, and communication skills. Past employees have remarked on how much more confident they feel and that they have more faith in their skills to handle dynamic situations.