Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BOST- Week 6

At the beginning of this week, Jeff and I attended the end of the Interpretation Seasonal Orientation. We continued a few walking tours of the Old North Church and the Paul Revere House. We were given the opportunity to climb to the second level within the tower of the Old North Church and saw a video of the bells being rung. We were also going to take a stroll down to the crypt but unfortunately ran out of time. On the last day of the training, the new seasonals got the chance to give their five minute talk to the group along with three judges in their version of American Idol, "Interpreter Idol". It was great to see everyone give their talks and put the skills to use that we have learned all week. We also spent part of the afternoon walking around the Yard answering any questions visitors may have had. At the end of the day everyone then got a chance to relax and interact with other Interpretation Rangers at a BBQ. It was a very informative week that aloud me to connect many dots between Law Enforcement and Interpretation.

This past week, Jeff and I got the opportunity to attend a meeting with our Chief Ranger Mark Dowdle and the Public Affairs coordinator Sean Hennessey along with some members of Boston Police Department. The meeting discussed the issue of school and tour buses parking along one of the streets that runs parallel to the park. It was great to see the cooperation among the NPS members and the local police, just one example of the everyday interactions that can happen in an urban park.

We then spent the afternoon with Sean Hennessey. He described to us the everyday duties that he has within the Public Affairs office. He notified us that as a government agency, the National Parks cannot advertise themselves but that they rely on media and news articles. Hennessey will often send small write ups about the park to local newspapers and a few online websites. He also is the main coordinator of information when the park has a VIP visit, for instance when Sarah Palin visited. This was another behind the scenes look at how much goes in to this park that most people could take for grantid.

Today, Jeff and I got to experience part of the USS Constitution that many people are unable to. We went below deck into the hull to see part of the original wood frame that the ship still consists of. The USS Constitution is only about 10% original, while the remaining pieces have been replaced. It was a very tight space and clearly did not provide many reasons for sailors or guests to frequent this space. The wood that was used for the ship is Live Oak and can only be found in the southern parts of the United States and Cuba. It is very strong and dense and is part of the reason why the ship is nicknamed "Old Iron Sides".

Here is a better view of the inside design of the hull of the USS Constitution.

We were also on the ship to see the Massachusetts State Police use their explosives robot. They were testing to see how maneuverable the robot would be below deck as well as how responsive the cameras and communication system were. It was surprising at how fast the robot could move, and we also learned that it is for the most part water proof.

It was great to once again be able to work with another department with such important equipment. It shows how willing the National Park Service is when working with other divisions as well as other departments outside of the park system.

We continue to learn new and exciting things everyday! We look forward to seeing everyone at Leadership Camp next week, hope everyone drives safely!

ProRangers Erin Langeheine and Jeff Parente

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