Getting Acquainted with Acadia

Friends of Acadia’s seasonal staff get to know Acadia—from park staff to programs to how to build a Bates cairn.

Words and photos by Evie Linantud

The first few weeks as a seasonal with Friends of Acadia were a whirlwind of park tours, trainings, and explorations. And I’ve been jazzed about all of it.

When I first learned about the seasonal photographer and videographer position at Friends of Acadia, I knew I had to apply. Even though I’d never been to Maine before, I love hiking and storytelling. The position sounded like an excellent opportunity.

After arriving on Mount Desert Island in late May, I joined Friends of Acadia’s other seasonal employees—Recreation Technicians, Summit Stewards, and Wild Gardens of Acadia intern—in tours, talks, trainings, and in-the-field experiences where we learned what makes Acadia National Park what it is.

Training kicked off with personalized tours of so many different areas of the park, including Schoodic, Otter Point, and Cadillac Mountain. For my first time being in Acadia, it was great to learn from someone so knowledgeable, like Friends of Acadia Summit Steward Coordinator Steph Ley. In addition to the popular park areas and facts, I learned about some lesser-known areas and historical tidbits that I can now share with others to make their experience at Acadia even better. At the end of our last tour, we hiked the trails ourselves, where I completed a ladder trail for the first time.

Not only were the tours fun, but we got to speak with park staff we ran into along the way to see what a typical workday looks like for them.

During the training period, we also got to speak to other field experts firsthand, who were there to answer all of our questions. Through these experts, seasonals learned about native wildlife and plants, park visitors, geology, and more, preparing us for the job while getting some hands-on experience. Seasonals got familiar with the park and everything that goes with it, helping us gain a better understanding of the area and its history, all while building lasting connections with those in the field and each other.

Evie Linantud is Friends of Acadia’s Seasonal Photographer/Videographer.