Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Reflecting On The Experience So Far (Antietam National Battlefield)

I have a rare moment of down time ( I am currently working with the Maintenance Division and I finished all my Facilities Management Software Systems [FMSS] work early) before lunch time begins so I will use this time to reflect on my time here at Antietam as a ProRanger.

1- The National Park Service is a really great place to work. Everybody loves doing what their doing and everyone is extremely friendly. The Park Service culture, especially at Antietam, is in full affect. They are always willing to teach and to learn something new themselves. Progress to become better and to improve the resources the park has to offer to the American people is a main initiative and everyone believes in the shared vision regardless of division.

2-The Park Rangers that work at National Parks are extremely knowledgable and are experts in field. Whether it is Natural or Cultural resource work, Maintenance, Interpretation, Protection, or Administration these rangers hold specialized knowledge that few possess. At Antietam, there is no shortage of Masters Degrees or Phd's. Even if a degree is not held, the rangers here hold artisan skills such as masonry, historical carpentry technique, engine specialists, preservation, etc. I feel every Ranger I have met here is a specialist or Master of some skill that very few people can do. I was really blown away by the historical and artisan technique possesed by the cultural resource division, the pure historical brainpower and ability and aptitude to teach the general public possessed by interp division, the scientific genious yet physicality of the natural resource division, the drive and work ethic the Maitenance division uses to run the park, and the vital support Administration plays that all blend togther to make a truely wonderful park experience for the visitors that come. Even the protection rangers are cross trained in a variety of discilpines besides law enforcement, protection rangers are hybrids that can assist in a variety of park disciplines.

3-A National Park Service Ranger is a highly coveted federal government position that everyone wants but the opportunity is rarely afforded. I am extremely fortunate to be in the position that I presently find myself.

4-The National Park Service is an extremely stable job. I have talked with individuals who have worked at park the for long periods of time and they love their job. People have been at Antietam 10, 20, and 30 years plus and they would not trade it for any place in the world.

5-The jobs are so diverse, even within the division and crew level, that everyday is different and there is always a different task at hand. This creates a fresh and exciting feel to NPS work. One day I maybe on a trail performing maintenance, another day I maybe removing invasive species, and yet another day we maybe teaching visitors. It always changes, no day is ever the same. To put it in plain language, NPS work is really cool work!

These are just some points I have been reflecting on during my time as a ProRanger at Antietam National Battlefield. At Anti passion for the park is present and on display for all to see.

Till Next Time


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