Thursday, July 28, 2011


Hello everyone, this post covers the last few weeks I missed and fell behind on my blog entries. Sorry for the wait....
The two weeks before I packed up and went to leadership were split between resource management and law enforcement (with a tad bit of interpretation). My first day with resource management was spent with the division supervisor going around meeting everyone and getting a general overview of what everyone does. the following day with resource management was spent with the museum and artifacts preservation branch. While here I worked on scanning and cataloging new documents that the park received. Most (if not all) of these documents were VERY old, some were even pre civil war. It is because these documents are so old and fragile that we scan them, allowing the originals to be kept in safe storage and out of harms way. In addition to scanning documents I also worked on upgrading the system that was in place for cataloging all of the park maps. Gettysburg is a nice sized park with over 1300 monuments and historic structures so we were working with quite a few maps. One of the more exiting things I got to do while here was assist in changing out some of the artifacts on display in the museum. The artifacts on display are all original and therefore need to be kept in excellent condition which is why these periodic changes and swaps are done.
The next couple of days were spent with the spraying crew. We went out into the wooded areas and sprayed chemicals that targeted certain types of weeds but for the most part our day was spent targeting the infamous mile-a-minute species. This was quite the experience and I even saved a couple turtles from certain death while out there. To finish off the week I saw how all of the park maps were created. This is an important task and I was surprised to see that it was all done by one man. He walk me through the map making process while we were in the office and later on in the day we went out and mapped the coordinates of the of the park boundaries. since this had not been done in a while (at least for the area we were in) it was an adventure trying to even find the boundary markers through the thick undergrowth.

My following week was spent with law enforcement. This week was basically spent getting to know certain "problem" areas of the park better, going over the code of federal regulations as well as RM-9, and reading through some of the paper work. I also sat in a few of the staff meetings where all of the division chiefs sit down and discuss what has been happening on their end and they progression of anything they have going on, as well as the different projects that they are beginning to get rolling. Being as though this was my first time with law enforcement, it being a shorter week, and getting ready to head off to leadership camp, this week was geared more towards the administrative aspect of the division.
This week I also had to go back and pull out my inner interpreter for a day while I worked the visitor desk (photos to come) and also had the opportunity to give my first interpretive talk program on the Soldiers National Cemetery/ Cemetery Hill. Being my first program I was a little nervous going out there and started off a little slow. However, once I realized that they weren't going to bite my head off if it wasn't perfect, things began to go a lot smoother and before I knew it I had completed my first interpretation program.
Once leadership camp was done I jumped right back into the thick of things with law enforcement. I learned how to properly write up reports, helped review the reports of the other LE Rangers, and do the protection division weekly report showing everything that the protection staff did and calls they had to respond to. I also did patrol with my supervisor Ryan this whole week which was really interesting. I learned how to use the portable and mounted radar units we have and witnessed a few traffic stops in the process. We also had a visitor in the park this week, country singer Trace Adkinks, who was here doing an interview. Me and Ryan controled the flow of traffic in the area, controlled the crowd, and did some permit compliance, making sure the camera crew adhered to the park policy.

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