Officially, I have been at Cape Cod National Seashore for 6 weeks, 5 days, and 17 hours (roughly). So far, it has been absolutely amazing, and I doubt that will change! My first month, June, I spent a lot of time out in the park. I was going on multiple programs a week offered by the Visitors Centers here. I did everything from a canoe trip on our Salt Pond, to hiking the dunes in Provincetown, to learning about our Park Historian’s favorite artifacts. Never has there been a dull day. These programs aren’t just for fun either, they’re for work!

As the summer progresses, I am still participating in these programs. I attend two each week, some weeks more. At the programs I have the opportunity to meet with park staff and Volunteers in Parks (VIPs) and ask them about how our current program is working for them, what motivates them, why they volunteer, and how we as a park can give them a better experience.

A couple of weeks into my assignment I had the opportunity to meet with my Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent alongside my Supervisor, our Chief of Interpretation. At this meeting we discussed a plan of action for my year here – what would we like to see get done, how can we get there, what are my career goals, what I do here needs to leave a legacy and be sustainable and how to achieve that – among many other topics. It is so wonderful to see my superiors interested in not only what I do for the park while I’m here, but what I and we can do for myself.

We decided that I should come up with “3 BOLD IDEAS” for my time here…….check back later on that. I will say though my two big projects right now are reconstructing our promotion plan for VIP events and establishing and publishing a VIP handbook. I’ve reached out to numerous parks and gotten great information on how their programs work for them.

I also have the chance these next few weeks to work with an SCA National High School Crew! They all arrived on Sunday and have been working hard on restoring one of our park’s trails. My role with them is to be a liaison and I have been setting up education enrichment sessions for them to attend. So far, the crew is having a great time!

Cape Cod Fast Facts:
1. Pilgrims landed in Provincetown first, before Plymouth!
2. Each year the cape loses about 3-4 feet due to erosion, but in a single storm some areas can lose 20 feet!
3. Captain Edward Penniman would take his wife and 2 of his 3 children out on whaling voyages for up to 3 years at a time!
4. There are 8 lighthouses total within the Cape Cod National Seashore, but actually 10 if you count each of the Three Sisters!
5. Guglielmo Marconi, on January 18, 1903, sent a message of greetings from Teddy Roosevelt to the King of England, making it the first transatlantic radio transmission!

That is all for now, I hope you enjoyed reading this!

–Courtney Butler, Cape Cod National Seashore

Seals bobbing off of Head of the Meadow Beach.
Seals bobbing off shore at Head of the Meadow Beach.
A panoramic view of the dunes in Truro, including a dune shack.
A panoramic view of the dunes in Truro, including a dune shack.

Salt Pond

Coast Guard Station in Eastham, view from Coast Guard Beach.

That’s me!

Nauset Light, look familiar? It’s the Cape Cod Potato Chips bag lighthouse!

One of our many beautiful beaches.

A U.S. Coast Guard boat on display at Old Harbor Life Saving Station.

The stairs of Highland Light.

A Piping Plover at Marconi Beach.

The Captain Penniman House, those are whale jaw bones!