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Alley Pond Park

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Parks Interns Challenged At Alley Pond Park Adventure Course


Thirty interns showed up at the Arsenal building one morning, ready for another day at Parks. That afternoon, they were suspended 45 feet in the air, swinging between two poles, and walking across metal beams.

“I got shipped out here to this amazing place I didn’t even know existed, got a huge adrenaline rush and got to meet great people I never knew before,” said Daniel Waldron, 24, an intern at Prospect Park.

Last Tuesday, Parks interns attended a full-day program at Alley Pond Park Adventure Course in Queens, a park consisting of obstacle and ropes challenges.

The day began with two warm-up exercises before the interns divided into three groups of ten, each led by a course facilitator. Interns were guided through the main stations and team-building activities—inventively named Moby Deck, Nitro Swing, Team Triangle, Spider’s Web, and Teepee Shuffle—each involving coordination, problem-solving, balance, and teamwork.

After a lunch break, the groups moved on to participate in the high elements, for which they were required to wear harnesses and helmets. In the Human Swing Shot, interns climbed a ladder to get off the ground and were lifted by their teammates, who pulled a long rope attached to the harness. Once the participant releases a string, he or she is propelled forward and rocked back-and-forth in a pendulum motion.

“It was a thrill to fall down to the ground and have no control. You didn’t know when and if you were going to stop,” said Kate Kinsey, 21, who interns with the Green Apple Corps.

In Pipe Dream, the interns had to climb a 30-foot pole and walk across two steel beams, while strapped to a rope. Participants moved carefully with each step.

At 4 p.m., Facilitator Christine Kelevh asked for feedback on the day’s events, thanked everyone for coming, and mentioned that the Alley Pond Adventure Course is open to the public on Sundays. Free programs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

“We had a diverse group of interns from various departments throughout the agency and throughout the borough,” said Leslie Nusblatt, the Intern Coordinator who organized and took part in the event. “I thought we met the day’s goals of everyone having a fun day out of the office and being challenged physically and mentally.”

As the interns returned to work at the office, they had more events to look forward to this summer. On Wednesday, July 8, interns will participate in a “meet and greet luncheon” with Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

In addition to Parks-organized events, interns are invited to attend a “Good Government” seminar on Thursday, July 9 at City Hall and a summer intern barbeque at Gracie Mansion with Mayor Bloomberg. According to Nusblatt, the Alley Pond Adventure Course and the other intern events are intended to be an enriching counterpart to the work experience.

“The interns got to know everyone else and themselves a little better,” she said.

Written by Michael Young

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

Marie Curie
(1867 – 1934)

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