Friday, November 5, 2010

Best wishes to Evan Escamilla

IMG_1855If you had any interaction with our volunteer program this summer, you almost certainly crossed paths with our volunteer coordinator intern, Evan Escamilla. Evan came to us through the Student Conservation Association in early May from Western Michigan University, and for six months served as my right hand man, answering volunteer correspondence, processing paperwork, and visiting volunteer groups in the field to welcome them to the park and thank them for their service. In many cases, he organized groups from start to finish, helping them establish the contacts they needed with park supervisors, arranging their overnight stays in the Longmire Volunteer Campground, and coordinating other logistics.

Anyone who worked with him will tell you that Evan is extremely good at what he does. He's a quick learner, highly capable, friendly and outgoing, and has an attitude of calm competence that puts everyone at ease. He was the perfect intern for an extremely busy summer in which my time was constantly pulled in other directions to deal with budget issues, various administrative "fires," and the other half of my job, managing the park's outreach program, including our highly successful but intensely time consuming CAMP program. It's good to work with someone you can trust to take a task with minimal background information, run with it, and produce positive results. Look at our numbers for this year! Even more important, listen to the feedback from volunteers and supervisors, who were universally appreciative of Evan's efforts.

Alas, it is the nature of internships and a seasonal workforce that eventually November arrives and their time is up. Evan wrapped up his job this week, turned in his keys, and checked out of his housing, departing for points unknown. He has several options, including another internship here in Washington or job prospects in Michigan or Colorado. He may return to college to pursue a graduate degree. Whichever door opens for him, I have no doubt that he'll excel in whatever he does next.

And I hope he comes back to visit. He's made a lot of friends here at Mount Rainier, and in the community of volunteers and employees that orbit the park, not least of which is me. It was a pleasure to work with Evan, as a supervisor, colleague, and friend, and I wish him well.

P.S. I just received this link to an article Evan wrote about his experience this summer for the SCA website. It's a great story!

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