That’s a Wrap.. on RAP!

Just as quickly as it started, it is now ending...

My initial introduction and start into the Resource Assistant Program were fast, and that is an understatement: I was informed about the job opportunity with two weeks to submit my application and wait to hear back. I spent quite a bit of time praying and talking to God about the decision I had to make. Ultimately, I asked that He guide me in the right direction that I was meant to go in, and a few days later, Katherine contacted me for an interview. I was told I needed to be positively on board with the position and ready to go to Georgia in a week if I was selected. That night, I received an email saying that I was chosen to fill the position for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest intern position with public affairs, conservation education, and fire prevention and education (I must take a deep breath before telling folks my official intern title).

Everything happened so fast. I was starting my Idaho adventure three months earlier than usual, and I was also trying to plan a wedding during that time. Don’t worry, though- I made it to the altar and got that name upgrade #ItsMillerTime!

Outside the Supervisor's Office one morning after it snowed the night before.
Hanging out with Bigfoot during our RAP Orientation in Georgia!
Grocery haul to the Kelly Forks YCC on the North Fork Ranger District. These kids are so awesome!

The majority of this internship was spent on figuring out exactly what my role was in helping cultivate the Clearwater Basin and Kelly Forks Residential Youth Conservation Corps field season for this year. In the end, I really got to help with every aspect of running this program:

  • creating promotional flyers
  • conducting interviews with crew members
  • trying to figure out flights for the residential crew
  • scheduling/coordinating all Forest Service projects
  • helping develop the training week
  • teaching radio use and communication
  • convincing fire crews that they need to have YCC kids work with them for recruitment opportunities
  • buying groceries for five people that would hopefully get them through two weeks
  • … and so much more.

The theme during my entire RA-ship continues: Just as soon as my work with the YCC crews started, it ended with the start of fire season- marking my beginning adventures into fire information.

I went from recreation straight into the fire world. Now, I work on updating InciWeb pages for the current incidents that are happing on the fire, updating social media with fire activity and where the public can get more information, answering phone calls about which roads and trails are impacted due to fire activity, weighing in during fire management meetings regarding public information needs, and even more!

As I am wrapping up this RA-ship, I’m beginning to actually get the training I will need to satisfy the permanent position my Forest would like to move me into: Fire Information Specialist. 

... MEGA DESK! Being able to use three screens help me with mapping fires, updating InciWeb pages, and keeping in communication loops about what actions are being taken.
Taking notes during a call regarding the Midnight Fire. Have to make sure I am informed so others will be later on!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

I am so beyond excited to start my new journey into a permanent position. These past six months have felt like six years with everything that happened. I started a new job, moved to a new state, got married, and am looking at starting my dream career. God really is good, and I am so blessed with the experiences I was able to have during my RA-ship. I was anxious at first about starting this entire journey and leaving my family and fiancé; however, it was my faith in Christ and trust in His process that helped me navigate the ups and downs that this experience had. 

Thank you to the Resource Assistant Program and Environment for the Americas Staff for helping me navigate the journey and figuring out how to get the guidance I needed to succeed. 

Thank you to the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest for providing me with such an educational, purpose-driven, life-changing, and career-focused opportunity. Special thanks are rightfully given to the Lochsa Engine crew for pushing me in the right direction towards fire information and supporting my passion for making sure the good work they are doing is getting honored correctly by the public and media. 

If you are ever curious about what fires are going on or what prescribed burns are happening on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, make sure to ask the fire information specialist on the forest: I hear she is pretty dang cool.

Cheers :)

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