Staples Interns Explore 3 Generations Of Fun

Back in the day, Staples High School seniors spent the last month before graduation marking time.

Stricken with severe cases of senioritis, with classes essentially over and warm weather beckoning, even the most diligent students checked out.

For nearly a decade though, Staples’ senior internship program has provided an excellent bridge between school and the real world.

Last week, over 450 soon-to-be graduates completed their 4-week internships. They worked for marketing and financial services firms; at Town Hall, the police station and in Westport schools. They helped doctors and lawyers, builders and caterers.

They got a taste of commuting, writing lesson plans, being part of a company team. They learned about punctuality and customer service; how to write business emails, answer the phone and (yes) make coffee.

Ella de Bruijn did her internship at Wakeman Town Farm.

I could highlight any one of 450 interns. But I chose Zach Howard and Alison Lindsey-Noble.

They interned at Aspetuck Land Trust. Part of their work was creating a video.

Together, they interviewed 3 generations of local residents. First, they asked: “What did you do for fun as a kid.”

The grandparent and parent generations talked about being outdoors: fishing, bike riding, playing games, jumping in leaves.

The youngest generation — today’s kids — mentioned video games, computers, watching TV with friends. One talked about rock climbing — the Xbox version, that is.

Asked what they can’t live without, the youngsters said Wi-Fi, technology, cell phones, and TV (“because there’s nothing else to do,” one girl added).

Two boys sitting on a couch playing video games

Zach and Alison then asked the older generations why it’s important for kids to go outside.

“To have a good relationship with the natural world,” one said. “You get a healthy perspective on life in general; how we relate to the environment.” That helps everyone make “good life decisions,” he noted.

The video ends with this message: “Aspetuck Land Trust has 45 trailed preserves available to you.”

Now, hopefully — thanks to Zach and Alison’s internship work — some kids may put down their phones, turn off their Wiis, and take a hike.

Click below to see Zach and Alison’s video.

7 responses to “Staples Interns Explore 3 Generations Of Fun

  1. Nell Barrett

    How can we see the video?bit sounds great. And our family members are all big fans of the aspetuck land trust.

  2. Alan Phillips

    Well done Staples interns!

  3. Kerstin Rao

    Just wonderful! Great use of internship time – creative and meaningful. In fact, I think I’ll plan a hike this weekend. 🙂 (Oh, hi Alison – Vijay and I are proud of you!)

  4. Aspetuck Land Trust loves the Staples High School Internship Program! Zach and Alison did a great job for us this summer! Their video highlights a very important issue – kids and the pervasive and unhealthy use of technology. Let’s all give our phones a “timeout” and get outside. And parents (including myself, a parent of 12-year old twins) give your kids free, unstructured time to play outside! I know it’s not always easy, but free play is a kids first real job. And it’s an important one. Or take your kids on a hike at one of our many local nature preserves. If you have young children take them to Aspetuck Land Trust’s Natural Playground at the Leonard Schine Preserve in Westport, named after the late Westporter Leonard Schine. Thank you to local Red Shoe Film’s Brian Russell for giving the students advice along the way.

  5. Fred Cantor

    Very well done. It’s interesting that no one, regardless of the generation, mentioned reading a book.

    Tommy Greenwald: a lot of kids read your books for fun, right?

  6. K . F. Spearen

    What a wonderful video , and very well done .. Our times sure have changed due to the internet , it’s kind of sad in a way thou .. I hardly ever see children playing outside much these days , due to their stuck in the house playing video games , or playing on their Smartphones .. We live in a area with Beautiful open spaces , including several natural preserves , that are owned by Land Trust’s …. Sometime’s I do Blame the Parents , for not giving their children a Time out from Technology , so they can get outside and Enjoy the Beauty … Thats just my personal opinion ………