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Sanibel Sea School welcomes interns for summer

By Staff | Jul 29, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Abby Hendershot and Mary Buerer are excited to share their passion for the environment this summer.

The Sanibel Sea School is excited to welcome two seasonal interns to help with educational programming and administrative work.

Originally slated as summer camp counselors, Abby Hendershot and Mary Buerer are working as education interns through August. The cancellation of the summer camps slightly changed the course for the two interns, but it has not halted their passion for working with children and the ocean.

Both interns are working with the team to deliver marine science education during the programming. Both are environmental advocates and enjoy inspiring others to care for the oceans and planet.

Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Hendershot started as a Sanibel Sea School student at the South Seas Island Resort campus. She attended classes until she aged out of the program, and soon after volunteered as a junior Counselor in Training at the school’s Sundial Resort location. She brought her CIT skills to the week-long summer camps, where Hendershot climbed the ranks to become a Senior Counselor in Training.

In addition to her passion for marine science, Hendershot has been swimming competitively since the age of 8 and has future goals of making it to the College Club Swimming Nationals. Her passion for swimming has easily translated to sharing her love for the water with campers over the years.

“Having the chance to work at sea school helps me spread ocean love and hopefully inspire the next generation to love and care about the ocean,” Hendershot said. “It reminds me of how I got started with sea school when I was a kid and the importance of ocean education.”

After the internship ends, Hendershot will remain in Southwest Florida to attend Florida Gulf Coast University in the fall to major in marine science. She also looks forward to engaging in club swimming, water polo, and joining the Campus Naturalists.

Buerer comes new to the Sanibel Sea School program, but she holds a strong background in environmental advocacy. She recently earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy from Loyola University of Chicago, where she learned more about the rules and regulations surrounding land use development and promoting a sustainable environment through conservation efforts and energy use.

Buerer has been a summer camp counselor for the past two summers and was looking for similar opportunities when she found the Sanibel school. Having relatives in Southwest Florida, she jumped on the chance to take her skills to the beach this summer as a counselor with the Sanibel Sea School.

“The idea of combining getting to work with children and environmental and ocean conservation together was so awesome I knew I had to apply here,” Buerer said.

She will now have the opportunity to assist with the half-day classes for ages 4-13 and has been inspired to potentially pursue marine science education as a future career.

“In my time so far at Sanibel Sea School, a type of environmental education job has become more compelling,” Buerer said.

Whichever career path she takes, she looks forward to improving the environment in some capacity.

“I look forward to what each day may bring. The thrill of never knowing what sea creatures you might see that day on the beach or what project is going to get started that day is exciting,” Buerer said, adding that she looks forward to learning more about the sea creatures, plants and shells that occupy the beaches.

The interns are helping with day classes, answering phones and helping clients, and also assisting with keeping the grounds tidy. One of the highlights is the opportunity to create a new lesson – including a lesson, field activity and art project – to add to the school’s repertoire of courses. At the end of their internship, they will have the opportunity to teach their course to a group of students.

To read full interviews with the interns, visit www.sanibelseaschool.org/experience-blog.