A Hands On Internship

A Hands On Internship

This internship offered me unique hands-on experiences in the field of history. During this internship, I had the opportunity to work on projects relating to public outreach and history. Over the course of the last few months, I worked on planning and executing behind the scenes work on the Whiskey Rebellion Encampment and Market Fair planned for next year, the 225th anniversary of George Washington gathering his troops in Carlisle. Through this experience, I gained knowledge of borough codes and policies, 18th century vendors and reenactors, and all the planning that goes into an event like this. This event will feature an 18th century market, reenactor encampment, parade with President Washington’s review of the troops, address to the crowd by President Washington, and a Pennsylvania Whiskey Tasting. This event will be an amazing way to bring the community together and honor the anniversary of a local event with such national significance.

In addition, I was able to come alongside a local group interested in preserving a community cemetery in Lower Allen Township. Having the opportunity to visit the site, meet the community members, and start the application process to Cumberland County Opportunities Preservation Watchlist was integral in my understanding of how historical preservation works. Through this experience, I gained knowledge of how to interact with community members. I also become familiar with the steps of the preservation process. The Cumberland County Preservation Opportunities Watchlist is an important opportunity for historical sites to be preserved or restored and remain integral parts of their community. I was grateful to play a role in securing the future of the Lisburn Community Cemetery.

Another valuable experience that I will bring with me into my future career was the opportunity to be involved with the Carlisle Journeys conference. As I observed the employees, volunteers, and attendees of the conference, I saw a community that sought to engage the hard questions and begin to seek reconciliation through education and sharing of experiences. The conference was a respectful way to acknowledge the past and help shape the future. I can see myself engaging in these types of conversations and experiences in my future career and community.

This internship was a valuable opportunity in my college career.  I have learned through these experiences what public outreach at a historical society consists of and have been inspired to look into the field further. From the interactions I had with employees and volunteers to the experiences with borough policy and drafting proposals, I learned many practical skills and gained topical knowledge that will influence my educational and career path going forward.

Anna Strange, Messiah College

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