Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Vicki and Adrian's visit

This week was very busy but fun also. This was the week Vicki and Adrian came visiting and we all know what that means. I was busy making sure they met everyone and everything went well. I was their tour guide (more like Vicki’s) and I gave a decent orientation of St Croix and what I have been doing as a ProRanger here in St Croix. Like I said I was Vicki’s tour guide because Adrian used to work here so it was more like an oral examination with him. He had a lot of questions and when I answered correctly, he kept playing the “are you sure?” game and made me rethink myself over and over till I learned to stand by my answers. I showed them all the three sites here in St. Croix and what we did in each of them. I got to showcase my boating skills to Adrian and we did some MOCC training. Vicki was our drowning victim and I had to throw the rope in a bag to retrieve her. It was great having them around.
ProRanger and Ranger Laurencin at the FBI training
Later that week after Vicki and Adrian left, I attended FBI training on weapons of mass destruction and incendiary devices. The training included a lecture and field demonstrations that took place in the Virgin Islands National Guard premises. I got to see how explosives could be made out of day to day home materials.
As previous weeks have ended with a wedding at the Fort, this week wasn’t any different.
This week was both my evaluation and that of St Croix’s, and we both aced it. Until my next post, stay tuned.

 P.S. Vicki got in our waters first in the course of her trip to beaches this summer J

Week #6

Like I said in my previous post, this week was going to be busier than the previous week. It started with the naturalization ceremony. I had never been to a naturalization ceremony before so it was cool to see what it was all about. We had people mostly from the Caribbean’s like Dominican Republic, Barbados, and so on. We also had a couple from European countries like Germany. The event was a success and the swearing in went as planned. I assisted with parking on this day and traffic in general because it took place on park property.
Judge handing a Naturalization Certificate to a lady.
Later in the week we had court hearings for the citations we issued the previous month. It was a quick hearing because we had only one defendant and she wasn’t present in the court and so the judge only issued a summons for her presence in court. We delivered her summons to her but locating her address wasn’t the easiest but then again it was expected.

The week ended with yet another wedding at the Christiansted Fort. Even though it was a rainy day and their decorations were destroyed, this couple improvised and used the walkway of the Fort.
It was yet another good week here in St Croix, stay tuned.

P.S. Rumors have it that we’ve never lost a court case here in St. Croix.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Manning the Desk

            I spent another week within Visitor Services and Resource Education. Most of which, was spent at the front desk fielding questions and explaining the battlefield’s trail network. Something different from my experience at the desk a few weeks back was all the different visitors coming in with Pok√©mon GO open on their phones. It’s sort of a touchy subject among staff, but some are embracing it. I believe it is a good opportunity to rope in a new generation for engagement in Civil War History. Our education ranger has her work cut out for her in devising a possible program that incorporates the new game.

            I also went on a trip to the National Archives at College Park. I accompanied the Chief of Museum and Library Services, her intern, and an intern from the Historic Preservation Training Center to do research on Antietam. The HPTC intern was attempting to find information on the Burnside Bridge before the Battle of Antietam. The Chief of Museum and Library Services was searching for more information on the time Antietam Battlefield was under the administration of the War Department. The nature of the research process was impressive. The first thing we did was dig through binder catalogs for any keywords surrounding the Battle of Antietam. We got a little creative in some instances by defining key words. Once we found a promising box, we had to fill out a pull slip and turn it in before the predefined pull times. The rest of the day was spent looking through various records that were close to the subject matter. The highlight of the day was finding the Antietam National Battlefield Master Plan. This document was the planned transfer of leadership of the site from The War Department to the National Park Service. The maps included the property line that was color coded in order to label the historic farm plots and area for further acquisition.
The Master Plan

Photograph of Middle Bridge

My Summer View: Big Cypress National Preserve

Most Beautiful Spot In: Big Cypress National Preserve

The Four Legged Park Ranger

Oscar, the explosive detection canine 

             My week had a great start. I spent the day with Oscar. Oscar is Boston National Historical Park’s explosive detection canine. I learned how training is done as well as how the park handles getting a k-9 unit. It was really exciting to learn about the importance of what Oscar does. He will be helping out at the democratic national convention down in Philadelphia. The ranger in charge of Oscar showed me how Oscar trained every day. This was really neat to watch.
I also learned about “use of force” this is something I will learn a lot more about in the academy. It was really good to get an introduction into this, especially with current events and everything else going on in the news right now. I watched a number of videos and had to answer weather or not the officer used proper force given the circumstances. This exercise really helped me learn and understand what to do in certain situations and what not to do.
Spent the day answering visitor's questions

I spent some more time with interpretation. I got to hang out at the Bunker Hill Monument and the Bunker Hill Monument Museum. I surprised myself with how much I knew about the history of the battle. I really enjoyed being able to smile and be friendly towards the visitors. I answered questions about the history and general questions about Boston. In the afternoon I moved back down to the navy yard, I sat at the visitor center and directed people toward the USS Constitution and the USS Cassin Young. I t was a lot of fun, I was able to learn even more facts from the other rangers and even some from the visitors.

Throughout the summer I have learned a lot from doing various tasks and watching how things are done. I also really benefitted from talking to other rangers about their past experiences.  This communication with other rangers has proven to be so enriching and helpful for my future. I am able to learn from their past successes and even their failures. I continue to learn and do as much as possible during this internship. It is hard to believe I have less than two weeks to go.      

It is not hard to see why I am going to miss this place after the summer ends!

Most Beautiful Spot in: Boston National Historical Park

Most Beautiful Spot in: Boston National Historical Park