Adaptive Profiles
September 21, 2015

Vermont Adaptive: Achieving experience through a dynamic internship

Vermont Adaptive: Achieving experience through a dynamic internship

By Anne Koch

One moment last winter, I sat in Kim Jackson’s office at Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, interviewing as a college student, still unsure of what I wanted to do after I graduated. Now I am sitting in my very own office at Vermont Adaptive, with the job I never knew I always wanted.

When people ask me what I did with my summer, I find it hard to summarize all that I observed and felt during my internship. I grew personally, more than I ever thought possible in one summer.

I can say without a doubt that interning at Vermont Adaptive gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. This past summer I helped plan a major event, The Long Trail Century Ride to benefit Vermont Adaptive, marketed Vermont Adaptive’s brand to audiences on a national level, orchestrated a silent auction, trained with the northern volunteers on Lake Champlain, was a guide to participants who were visually impaired, and paddled in a kayak for the first time. I traveled to places I had never been to before in Vermont (and I’m a native!) and met people from all walks of life. When I started the internship, my goal was to gain professional experience in the industry and help people with disabilities experience opportunities to recreate and overcome their own challenges. But during a time of very difficult transitions in my life, Vermont Adaptive has been my anchor and helped me adapt and overcome as well.

Moments of vast mental clarity have a habit of finding us in random ways. I found mine as I sat in the conference room at the Long Trail Brewing Company next to corporate and town leaders of Killington Resort, the Town of Killington, Long Trail Brewing, the Lookout Tavern and Vermont Adaptive, to plan the Long Trail Century Ride. Coming into the conference room, everyone worked together for one common goal — to help provide adaptive sports to people of all abilities and to create an empowered community at the end of it all. Through the experience, I saw commitment of the whole community, brought together through Vermont Adaptive, to make a difference in the lives of people with special needs and disabilities. It is because of these efforts I can see a brighter future for the community and for people with disabilities throughout the state of Vermont.

This December I will graduate Magna Cum Laude with my degree in hospitality and resort management from Green Mountain College in Killington. In August, I was hired as the new projects and services assistant at Vermont Adaptive. My academic career has overlapped into my new professional world and no matter where my career takes me, Vermont Adaptive is the start of my biggest adventure.

Becoming an intern

Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports is now hiring for winter interns. An internship with Vermont Adaptive is a full time, semester long position, working directly with participants with physical, developmental, emotional behavioral disabilities in a recreational setting. Interns must be available to work flexible hours including weekends, evenings and holidays. The Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports internship is designed to provide learning and hands-on experiences to individuals interested in adaptive sports, therapeutic recreation and adventure recreation to gain knowledge and professional experience in these growing fields. Interns get hands on experience in all aspects of programming, ski and snowboard instructing and event planning.

To qualify for an internship you must be enrolled in, or recently completed a college/university track related to outdoor programming, therapeutic recreation, adventure education, special education, physical therapy or related field. Interns must be at least 18 years of age with a clean driving record and reliable transportation, be proficient in skiing or snowboarding, and be committed to the entire winter season from December to April. All interns must have a strong work ethic, flexibility, a love for the outdoors, an open mind and a love for working with people. If you have some experience or desire to learn about adventure recreation and working with people with disabilities visit www.vermontadaptive.org/interns.php to view more information and apply.

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