Lia Bazemore: Intern Goodbyes
For the past three summers, Lia Bazemore has worked as an intern in the Children’s Garden at Lewis Ginter through a partnership with Partnership for the Future. Bazemore is a recent graduate Henrico High School in the International Baccalaureate Program. In the fall, she will be a freshman at James Madison University.
This summer has been very bittersweet. This is the where everything changes for me — I leave home, move away to college, and take some major steps toward becoming an adult. For the past three years I’ve worked all summer at Lewis Ginter as an intern and I’m used to these next three weeks before school begins as my time to relax before heading back to school. But now I’m going off to college and my time in Partnership for the Future and at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is ending and I can’t help but think about and reflect on my last few summers here working as a Children’s Garden intern. I say to myself: Wow, this is my last time helping with summer camp here. And this is the last time I will get to do Garden Art with Dawn and help prep crafts for the kids in camp. I find myself constantly saying these words to myself these last couple of weeks, reminding myself to savor it all. This is something that I will really miss.
Each of my summers have been different. Over the past three summers, I’ve done a lot of different things here. Some are normal things you’d expect to see in a garden and some have been pretty crazy. Under the normal category: helping supervise the Service Learning volunteers, helping with Green Adventures Summer Camp and school groups, and simply the most “fun” thing to do in every garden: weed.
Under not-so normal — include a few experiences that really stand out from the others. One of my favorite experiences at the Garden was from this summer when there were geese in the Children’s Garden. We can’t have geese setting up in the garden for a variety of reasons, so we had to chase the geese away. Using umbrellas, we chased them out to the lake, and they decided to go elsewhere. I also enjoyed making an “arborist” scarecrow with the other interns last summer, which was featured in the Children’s Garden during Goblins & Gourds and October Oddities later in the fall. Besides these, it was also exciting to see how people can make drinks and juices from natural ingredients in a workshop for the Service Learning volunteers.
Since I intern here, my family and relatives seem to think that I know a lot about plant life and horticulture. I’m definitely not the horticulturist that they make me out to be, but I can tell you now that I know a thing or two about gardening as a result of the tasks that the Children’s Garden has given me. I constantly learn new things, even when I help out in the camps for 4- to 12-year-olds. Working here has taught me to appreciate the beauty of flowers and plants. And now that I know all of these things, I go home and tell my parents the new things that I’ve learned so they can use them in their garden at home.
Although working at Lewis Ginter has been very exciting and eye opening, it has shown me that horticulture and education are fields that I may not necessarily choose to pursue as a career. I’ll never say never because you’ll never know, I might change my mind when I’m in college. However, I do think this internship has shown me that I like to be active and engaged and I don’t want to sit at a desk all day. I would like to be walking around and be outside if I can.
Working at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has been an amazing experience. It is not an opportunity that most teenagers in our community are able to receive. I am grateful for this opportunity and it is something I will never forget.