As we cruise into the end of the 2022 cruising season, the boat is feeling a bit empty these days. We’re happy to say that we still have plenty of enthusiastic guests on board, but we’re missing our our interns! They’ve had to go back to school, but we know that they’re carrying all of their new found knowledge and experiences with them into their studies and this gives us hope.

This year we worked with 3 groups of interns, all of which have become an increasingly important aspect of the services we offer. From our teen-aged youth crew to our college-aged watershed interns, everyone had a lot to learn and more importantly, a lot to share.

Rowan explaining the food web

Judah helping to measure the size of a trout


Our Youth Crew Program is geared towards teenagers who are still in high school. We offer them a summer of experiences working directly on out boat, the Teal, supporting our Floating Classroom educational programs, as well as our public cruises. With interests in marine ecology, environmental studies, and the desire to spend more time on boats, these youngsters are able to quickly learn the basics of our boat-based educational curriculum as well as the daily maintenance of the Teal. Before we know it, they’re helping us prep the boat for service, collecting fees from passengers, taking water samples and interacting extensively with children and adults by showcasing the various water ecology experiments that we do. Very importantly, they are paid by local Youth Employment organizations and in so doing are getting real-world, working experience in the fields of eco-tourism and environmental education. They are bright and enthusiastic and have budding talents that serve them, and us, well and we are happy when they can return for a second year with us!

We also love working with our college-aged interns, some of whom are returning to us after having had experiences as children with our Trout in the Classroom or Floating Classroom Programs. Yup, we’ve been around that long! We love the continuity and that our programs can having a lasting effect on the interests of young people. As they enter college and both expand and hone in on their interests they bring with them a deep desire to gain more hands-on experience in their fields of interest. While environmental studies and education are common pursuits, they’re also thinking about things like data collection, environmental justice, climate change, citizen science and political action. We give these interns the opportunity to contribute to our programs while also choosing specific projects of interest to develop. This year they developed and implemented innovative and fun new programming for our Family Eco-Cruises and organized a Community Cruise on the topic of Eco-Therapy in our Community. We are grateful to have these new initiatives to weave into our programs again next year.

Emma looking for insects with 4th graders

Paige demonstrating the use of a Van Dorn tube

We also introduced a new program this year called the Cayuga Lake Watershed Internship Program, which our college-aged interns participated in. This program, launched in partnership with the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Sustainable Finger Lakes and Paddle-N-More, provides opportunities to explore the sustainability of the Cayuga Lake watershed. 9 participants, each of whom had their own, paid internship position at one of these organizations, met weekly to learn from each other and consider the many different dimensions at play when considering how a watershed is managed. From visits to local parks and farms, discussions about watershed mapping, social injustice, poetry, and spirituality, many perspectives were considered. Final projects ranged from understanding how ditches drain into the lake to the designing of new inclusion-based environmental curriculum and the importance of hope during these times of social and environmental challenges. We wish these future leaders all the best as they continue to explore their interests and the needs of the world!

Final presentation of projects at Stewart Park

Final Celebration with Sunflowers for Hope!

Working with people of all ages, and from diverse backgrounds, is a big priority for us. We are honored to be in a position to bring people and organizations together to think broadly and holistically about how we can manage our watershed for the benefit of people and the planet, and to consider how all the watersheds of the world will need careful consideration as we all walk together into the future.

We will be offering these programs again in 2023. Please
email us for more information, and check our website for updates.

And if you’re interested in sponsoring an intern please let us know!