Thursday, December 8, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
Members of all three cohorts along with some friends and family came out for a great day of rappelling at the Valley Green Inn, part of Fairmount Park. We spent the day learning how to tie seats and various knots, rappelling down the twenty-five foot “mini” rock face, learned how to put up shelter halves, and of course enjoyed some good eats with MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat).
Our rappel master, Chris Lattanze, along with some of his fellow experts showed us the proper ways to tie our seats making sure we were safe for our rappel. Many were first time rappellers, some of which were faced with overcoming their fear of heights. We are happy to say though that everyone made it through successfully with no injuries!
Many of us also had our first experience piecing together shelter halves. These two-man shelters are made from water repellent cotton sateen fabric and held up by two poles being secured with a guy rope and stakes. Of course us ProRangers needed to make a competition out of it, with the fastest assembly time being one minute and fifty-five seconds! This practice will pay off once we’re at Leadership Camp when we spend a night sleeping in them!
Everyone had a great time and enjoyed meeting the newest members of Cohort 3! We all look forward to our next event and coming closer as an overall group. Great job to all who came!
Monday, November 21, 2011
Volunteering at Valley Forge has been limited to just a few hours a week now. I need to maintain my focus especially because the end of the semester is coming closer. A few days ago Valley Forge hosted a Park Watch Patrol meeting that allowed all members to finally come together and interact with each other. Although we are modest in members now, we hope to soon expand and recruit more volunteers. During the meeting we discussed the program design, and we also discussed what our responsibilities are as Park Watch Volunteers.
Friday, November 18, 2011
The Regional Chief Ranger discussed the responsibilities and challenges that they will face as they progress through the program, and the great support available to see them through.
Dr. Tony Luango of Temple University discussed the SLETP and offered advice on preparing for the physical and mental demands of this rigorous program.
With the addition of the Southeast and Midwest regions to the program, students have many more destinations available for their summer internships.
Join me in welcoming them during our December 3rd event at the Valley Green Inn.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Around lunch time we all boarded the New Jersey boat and headed over to the Statue of Liberty. One of the rangers there gave us a "VIP" tour around the Island and up into the statue itself. This was the first time any of us had ever been to the Statue of Liberty, so it was an extra special trip for us all! After a quick lunch, we got on the ferry and went back to the Ellis Island museum.
During the last part of our work day, all the ProRangers had the opportunity to go look at the wall of immigrant names. There are several hundred thousand names on the wall right now. They are there because they have donated money to the museum/park. However, there are many more names of families on record that came through the island and into America.
It was really great to spend time at a place steeped in so much history. I was excited to find the names of several other Hyde's on the wall at the museum. It made me feel just that much more connected to the island where I was working. One of the coolest things about the park, in my opinion, was getting to meet so many people of different nationalities. I don't think I have ever heard that many different languages being spoken in one place before! It was really a great sample of the "Melting Pot" that is America.
The event was a great success! The weather was perfect and we educated many people about fires and how to prevent them. We also met a lot of new people and expanded our park service family. Now, we are looking forward to the next time we get to go back for a visit - October 28th! Thank you to everyone who made this opportunity possible.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Today, the park hosted an annual event that commemorated Von Steuben. He played a crucial role at Valley Forge, to get more info. I suggest searching his name on a reputable site. I was able to help out with traffic control and was pleased to be able to use road flares for the first time. Everyday at the park is a new learning experience!!
Monday, October 3, 2011
As for my volunteering, I’ve been hiking the many trails at Valley Forge. It has been about a week since I began and I still feel like I have only scratched the surface. The Chief was gracious enough to take time out of his busy schedule to take me on a very long bike ride that seemed to have covered every square inch of the park. Needless to say, I was sore the following day.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Starting last week I have been able to volunteer some of my time to Valley Forge National Historical Park, a place where I soon hope to be commissioned. I thought to myself that it would be beneficial to me if I started to get a grasp of a park that I know so little about. To kick off my volunteering, I was able to partake in the National Public Lands Day event held at Valley Forge. Members of the community volunteered their Saturday morning to help clean and revitalize the park in an effort to preserve its natural beauty. The event was a big success and was celebrated with a much needed barbecue.
Monday, September 26, 2011
The Chief Ranger of the Northeast region, Stephen Clark, reviewed the successes of the program and shared his personal connection with several of the students that grew up in the area, revealing a personal photo from his early camping experiences in urban Philadelphia.
Northeast Regional Director Dennis Reidenbach, champion of the Director's Call-to-Action item "Home-Grown", shared how the ProRanger programs will lead to similar programs across the park service, servicing numerous types of positions, expanding from law enforcement.
Associate Director for the National Capitol region, Phillip Sellek, a strong advocate for the program, reflected on the successes enjoyed by the NCR and renewed his commitment to developing the ProRangers into sought after Rangers.
Dr. Peter Jones, one of the programs architects from Temple university, described how ProRanger has evolved in a positive way, and looks forward to maintaining Temple's forward-looking approach while striving for excellence.
Dr. McGarvey, Vice-Provost for University College, home of the ProRanger Certificate program that she has passionately brought to reality, shared her passion for making the program even more successful as we drive forward.
After a short video, all that gathered enjoyed a "meet and greet" where the attendees asked questions and were afforded an opportunity to meet with Temple and NPS leadership.
Thanks to all the caring leaders that made the time to attend this event. the impact that your presence made will be felt by these young people for years to come.