By Ava Rohleder, Community Outreach Intern
Putting my time interning at the National Loon Center into a few words is not easy. Throughout the summer, while explaining my role within the foundation to others, the most common response I received is “Wow, you are so lucky!” This is an understatement. Between the staff, research team, board members, volunteers, and the greater community of Crosslake, I have learned an incredible amount about how one great nonprofit organization is run, freshwater ecosystems, conservation and preservation in the Northwoods, and of course, the Common Loon. Thank you to everyone who has made these past few months immensely educational and enjoyable. I did not think I could love Northern Minnesota any more than I already did, but man was I wrong!
I am feeling exceptionally grateful as I leave the lakes region with connections and friendships, and I am already looking forward to visiting in the future. As I return to Loyola University Chicago and continue to make progress on my undergraduate degree in the School of Environmental Sustainability, I am inspired by the work that has been and is continuing to be accomplished at the National Loon Center. Special thanks to Jon, Natasha, and Mike for letting me be a part of something so special.