You know that feeling you get when you’re inching your way to the top of a roller-coaster? The one where excitement and fear are warring in your chest and you’re trying to convince yourself that you didn’t just make a mistake by getting on this ride? Well, that’s how I felt when I accepted an internship at the Cody Firearms Museum.
My name is Kirsten Belisle, and I learned words like “Remington” and “Colt” at a young age, closely followed by “Winchester” and “Second Amendment.” When I found out that the Cody Firearms Museum hired interns, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to apply. I’d grown up hearing stories about the museum and its legendary firearms collections.
The chance to spend a summer working in an institution that prides itself on preserving the history of firearms is truly amazing, wouldn’t you agree? I hope so since, as the Firearms Education Intern, I plan to create blog posts that give you sneak peeks into the collections and the efforts that go into preserving them. Not only that, but I will be working to develop educational programs that tell the stories of firearms and the people who created and owned them.
As the Visitor Studies Intern, I will be asking you—yes YOU—what you think about the museum, its amenities, and its collections. The mission of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is “to inspire, educate, and engage global audiences through an authentic experience with the American West.” It is part of my duties this summer to find out if we are doing our jobs. Consider this a chance to have a voice in the museum.
There are other tasks that I will do this summer—working in the Firearms Records Office and helping with social media are just a few. Still, I grew up with a gun-safe in the basement and firearms hidden in the walls, so excitement mixed with a little terror is not unusual for me, but the longer I’m here, the more I realize I have to learn.
Let me tell you, this summer is going to be the ride of a lifetime.