A Summer at Ephrata

Our guest blogger this week is Henry Carlson, a junior, majoring in History at West Chester University. With the assistance of Prof. Charles Hardy, Carlson applied for and was granted an internship at Ephrata Cloister, which he will complete at the end of the month. Thank you, Henry, for your work this summer and for sharing your experience with Trailheads.

As my internship draws to a close, everyone here at Ephrata Cloister continues to do nothing but make my summer amazing. I am extremely fortunate for this internship and look forward to coming every Tuesday and Thursday through the end of August. Giving tours, working with visitors, taking trips to other facilities, handling artifacts, and selling tickets, are just a few of the things I do here. These activities and interacting with the guests and staff provide a great deal of information that cannot be provided in a classroom. My internship this summer exposed me to a plethora of different experiences and activities. Being the summer intern meant that I filled in where it was needed. This is a learning experience that I will cherish forever.

At Ephrata I learned about the business of Public History, the challenges facing this area, how to present history effectively, how to conduct research and most importantly about myself. I want to be a historian, contributing to the field of Public History, and Ephrata has given me that opportunity. Working with the educator and the director here I have begun a research paper to better understand the Householder congregation and their place here at Ephrata. I am now able to better understand what I am good at and what I personally need work on. Presenting history and making it interesting to all ages and demographics proves quite challenging; not everyone wants to hear the same stories through the same media. Some people prefer guided tours, others like touring by themselves. Some are more attracted to the religious aspect here, and others simply want to marvel at the old buildings. This internship educated me in more ways than I thought possible and provided me with so much; I cannot thank everyone enough for their help.


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