Bald Head Island Conservancy

Intern Spotlight: Ava Reed, Business/Retail Intern

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Reed opening the Hatchling Hut

Ava Reed, a junior Communications major from The University of Charleston located in Charleston, West Virginia, is a business intern for the retail division of the Bald Head Island Conservancy.  As a member of the Turtle Central team, Reed has dedicated much of her time to the launch of The Hatchling Hut, a welcome center kiosk housed at the marina on the west end of the island. 

Reed’s educational interests include retail marketing with a focus on social media communication. The promotion of The Hatchling Hut was a perfect match for Reed’s internship project, which entailed researching the lifespan of the kiosk, from idea origination to end-of-season data analytics and all of the special events in between. 

“My ultimate goal is to become a store owner,” Reed began. “So, the idea of being directly involved with the start-up of a pop-up or kiosk was very exciting. It has been a valuable experience that wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else,” she said. 

The Hatchling Hut opened on Memorial Day weekend, with a formal grand opening in mid-June. Intracoastal Realty partnered with BHIC to provide a home for the welcome kiosk, which is a porch-based extension of the real estate office.  The Hatchling Hut serves as an island nature information center, providing tips for conserving and preserving Bald Head Island, along with enjoying the many excursions led by BHIC staff members. 

“Part of my work involved keeping a detailed record of visitors and the types of questions asked of us, sharing program information, registering guests for special events, and of course, selling Turtle Central merchandise,” Reed explained. “The best parts of the job were meeting first-time visitors to the island and forming friendships with long-time residents who shared their stories with me,” she said. 

In addition to launching The Hatchling Hut, Ava has been involved with the promotion of the 40th anniversary of Bald Head Island. Special anniversary merchandise was created to celebrate the island’s milestone birthday, which has been a popular selection of apparel and keepsakes for visitors and residents alike. 

“I arrived at the right time,” Reed continued. “I have been able to take part in so many celebratory events, from Sea Turtle Week and the Simply Southern Island Clean-Up Day, and all of the Turtle Tuesday socials and weekly Turtle Trot marathons – which I captured for social media channels.” Check out @turtlecentralbhic on Instagram and Facebook to see some of the posts created by Reed. “Being a part of the 40th anniversary of Bald Head Island is very special not only professionally but personally, because my family has vacationed here for over a decade. It’s a second home to us.” 

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Reed releasing a sea turtle hatchling

Reed remarked that the BHIC internship experience provided a surprising twist. “Even though I am a Communications major serving as a business intern, I have become a quick student of environmental science,” she added.  “The purposes of Turtle Central and The Hatchling Hut are so much more than retail sales. Both entities are providing support for deeply important programs and causes. My experience has been rewarding in so many different ways, and I have developed a new attachment to BHI because of it.”

The Hatchling Hut is located in the harbor at #4 Marina Wynd, directly across from The Dockmaster. Click here to learn more.


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