During the summer of 2019, I got to participate in one of the coolest internships ever! I was given the incredible opportunity to be an interpretive intern at Gettysburg National Military Park.This meant that I worked closely with the park rangers and got to create my own tours, programs, and assist with special events. This internship was unique because I got to not only work on the battlefield, but I was also able to live ON the battlefield! I roomed with four other interpretive interns who became really close friends of mine by the end of the summer. Living on the Gettysburg battlefield allowed us to go hiking outdoors in a place that held an amazing amount of history. Pictured below is me in front of the equestrian statue to General Henry Slocum, my favorite of the generals at Gettysburg. Getting to explore and see Gettysburg was an amazing part of this internship.
I was also doing a lot of really awesome work while in Gettysburg. I wrote and gave my own tour of the Soldier’s National Cemetery, based on hours of my own research in order to provide an exciting, accurate tour that focused on what I felt was important. I also did the Mystery History Guest program! I was able to dress up in living history garb and present the story of one individual who was important to the narrative of Gettysburg. For a Civil War time period reenactor, this was a dream come true! I was even able to give a presentation called “Care of the Wounded” that discussed how American Civil War soldiers were medically treated during the war. While doing the work, I was also learning and teaching the public. Being able to work in this field helped me to realize what I want to do with my life and my career. I loved the work that I did with Gettysburg National Military Park!
However, one of the best parts about this internship was the people that I met. Through Gettysburg, I met some amazing friends from places that I never would have seen otherwise! My roommate was from Texas and there were other interns from New York, California, and closer to home in Pennsylvania. By working together with these people, I was given the unique opportunity to forge friendships with people who hold the same love for the past that I do. We all worked hard to interpret our heritage and make history come to life. I am so beyond glad that I was able to spend my summer working at Gettysburg National Military Park, but I am happier about who I got to spend it with. So don’t be afraid to try new things! You might just fall in love with the past and meet your best friend!