Monday, April 30, 2012

First Post

Hello Everyone,

My name is Eric Morgan and I have just recently joined the blog. I was accepted in January into Cohort 3 of the ProRanger Program. I learned about this program through a fellow classmate of mine who is in Cohort 2. This is an opportunity for all of us to succeed in life in doing something we love. I have always had a passion for criminal justice and being accepted into this program has helped bring me one step closer to my goal of being a part of law enforcement. I will be the first one in all of my family, even my extended family, to be in law enforcement. I am looking forward to becoming a Law Enforcement Ranger. My internship this summer is at Valley Forge and I am very excited for that. It is less than two weeks away but I am ready to begin the internship, learn and experience the Ranger position. I will be attending the Seasonal Law Enforcement Academy in the spring of 2013 and when the time comes, I will be ready to conquer the challenges of the academy and start my career in a federal law enforcement position.

-Eric Morgan

Sunday, April 29, 2012

ProRangers at Temple's Annual Earth Fest

On April 27th, myself and fellow ProRanger Rachel Smith volunteered at Temple University's Annual Earth Fest, held at Temple's Ambler Campus. With the help of Kelly Fellner, Volunteer and Youth Programs Coordinator for the National Park Service's Northeast Region, Rachel and I were able to set up a table at the fest and talk to hundreds of individuals about the mission of the Park Service, and what they can do to get involved in some of the volunteer activities within local National Parks such as Valley Forge and Independence. We were both surprised at the overwhelming amount of Elementary and Middle School visitors, and we had to adjust our information to keep these age groups interested. Rachel and Kelly talked to many kids about what a National Park is and gave out information on Junior Ranger Programs. Older visitors wanted to know Rachel and mine's affiliation with the Park Service, and we explained what the ProRanger Program was, and even talked to some potential recruits for the upcoming year. One of our most successful activities was having the visitors pin on a map of the all the National Parks which parks they had been to, and the result was interesting and very fun to look at! (A picture of the map is bellow). Overall, despite the windy conditions fighting against us, we had a very successful day and Temple Earth Fest was a hit once again! Rachel and I cannot wait for next year!   

Monday, April 23, 2012

National Park Week, April 21-29, 2012

CNN: Hidden treasures in our national parks

ProRangers Compete in the 7th Annual Revolutionary Run at Valley Forge National Historical Park

Sunday, April 22, 15 ProRangers turned out to compete in this worthy fundraiser for Valley Forge in their 5-mile Revolutionary Run. Although the weather conditions were uncooperative, Cohort 2's, Charles Papacostas placed an incredibly impressive 3rd in his age group out of 1200 runners logging a time of 33.25. Jay Copper placed 5th in his age group with a respectable time of 35.29 and beat his personal best by more than 1 minute from last year. ProRanger Eric Morgan, a member of the recently selected Cohort 3, came in with a time of 36.29 placing 142nd in the field of 1200runners. The ProRangers expressed their sincere gratitude to Superintendent Kate Hammond and Chief Gregg Tinkum of Valley Forge for their post run hospitality. Also, supporting the ProRangers and the Revolutionary Run were: Chief Joe Hinkes, Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational Area, Chief Glen Clark and Law Enforcement Park Ranger, Sierra Daniels from Ft. McHenry National Monument, Park Ranger Mark Howard from Harpers Ferry and Supervisory Park Ranger Ryan Levin from Gettysburg. Representing Temple University was Mr. Anthony Luongo, Director of the SLETP and rounding out the supporters of this worthy fundraising event was NPS volunteer Steve Sweet.
Congratulations to all the runners for their efforts!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pro Rangers Program

Hello everyone! My name is Saran Watts and I am currently a junior at Temple University. I have been here at temple for three years now and looking forward to graduating with a BA in Criminal Justice. I am originally from Washington, DC. I extremely excited about joining cohort 3 and the amazing opportunity NPS has given me!

                I heard about the ProRanger program while in one of my criminal justice classes. Don Sweet came to do a presentation during career week. After hearing the presentation I did more research on NPS and I became hooked. NPS encompasses everything I want in a career. It involves protecting a history greater then I for the future generations. The ProRanger program gives me a chance to give back the place I love and call home in an amazing way.

                This summer I will be at the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park. My park is 184.5 miles of canal along the Potomac River. It stretches through three places from DC to West Virginia. I am looking forward to learning everything there is to learn about the park and its surrounding history. I plan to become a sponge and soak up as much as I can during this internship. C&O seems like a great place and I can’t wait to spend my summer internship there!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Gateway Nation Recreational Area: My First Internship

Good evening, my name is Vinny Lemba and I am currently a freshman at Temple University, studying Criminal Justice. I am from a small town in northern New Jersey, where I lived my whole life, up until this year where I lived on campus in Philadelphia. Back in October, adapting to a new school I decided to go on a camping trip to find ways to get involved and meet new people, that is where I first heard about this program. After the trip I really didn’t do much thinking about it and was skeptical. It wasn’t until a month later where my Criminal Justice professor reminded me about Pro Ranger and recommended me to apply. I took her advice, although still skeptical and went out on a limb. The program grew on me throughout the process of filling out my application and talking to people, especially Mr. Sweet. By the time my interview came up I knew this was the right program for me. By the end of November I found out I was one of the few selected for the National Park Service’s Pro Ranger Program here at Temple.
Throughout high school I was always involved and maintained a busy schedule, I told myself I would be just involved here in college. I always took on many responsibilities and looked for my next challenge. Back in my home town I am a Police Reserve Officer where I went through an academy and graduated May of last year. For the past few years I knew law enforcement was the right fit for me. It would be a career where I would have the opportunity to serve and protect and most importantly help people. This program gives me the opportunity to do just that and much more. In fact it gives me an opportunity of a lifetime for which I am grateful. Not only will it allow me to see many sites of this country I would not normally get to see, but it also gives job security during a time of a poor economy.
In December I found out I will be stationed at Gateway Nation Recreational Area, in Sandy Hook, NJ, where I have many found memories. Back in my scouting days I visited the Park twice, where on my second trip I organized the entire campout; we took a tour of the historical sites and enjoyed the wilderness. Throughout my life I visited a few other National Park sites as well, such as Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Gettysburg, Valley Forge, and sites in Washington, D.C.   I look forward to the journey this program will bring me!

New ProRanger

Hi everyone! Thanks for taking a look and this post and getting to know me. My name is Jess Cooper and I am a sophomore at Temple University. I am currently studying Political Science as well as minoring in Chinese. I am a native of Philadelphia and I am very excited to be  to studying at Temple University where I got the opportunity to join the third cohort of the ProRanger Program.

I heard about the ProRanger Program during my freshman year in college from a few people who were already in the program at the time. I thought about seeing what the program was all about and once I decided that it was a wonderful opportunity, I applied in my sophomore year and got accepted! I am excited to be working for the National Park Service because I am passionate about what the NPS does for the American image. People from all over the world come to this nation to see our parks, and I would love to be part of their experience.

This summer, I will be doing my first internship at Prince William Forest Park in Virginia. This marks the first time that I will be away from home for more than a week. This is something new for me so I will be going there with my eyes and mind wide open. Because this is my first time actually living in a national park, I will be taking pictures and making sure to document every new experience here on the ProRanger blog. I hope you will continue to follow me during this brand new experience. Thanks again for reading!

ProRanger Intern

   Hello bloggers, my name is Daviryne Hall, and I am a junior at Temple University. I major in Criminal Justice, minor in Sociology and plan on graduating from Temple with a certificate in National Park Service Management, and another in Spanish. I am originally from Washington, DC but I currently reside in Philadelphia year-round, because I am a Supervisor at Payless Shoe source in North Philly.
   I became informed about the ProRanger Program last summer by a friend who also attends Temple. Immediately I took interest in the program, reviewed the ProRanger website, and scheduled a meeting with Mr. Don Sweet. During the meeting, Don informed me about the Program in further detail and quickly I knew this was an opportunity of a lifetime. I was so attracted to the law enforcement and job security aspects of the program. I went through the application process and was selected for an interview.
   A few weeks later I was notified that I had passed the interview and I would be interning at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. I was delighted with my assigned park because I love to travel and I have never been to Ohio. I completed some research on CUVA (Cuyahoga Valley) and found out that CUVA was a great place to work and it was originally a National Recreation Area before it became a National Park.
   Lately, I have been steadily maintaining a relationship with Don Sweet and Kim Coast, my Philadelphia ProRanger managers, and establishing communication with Christopher Ryan my CUVA supervisor and Justin Pugh my CUVA mentor. We are constantly discussing the events that I will be included in this summer. All of these people have been helping me transition into the National Park Service.  I plan on learning more about the management of the National Parks, how to help preserve the park, and last but not least how to secure and enforce the safety of the visitors this summer. The location of CUVA is ideal for me because it is located between Akron and Cleveland; I also find the wild life in this National Park to be quite interesting. I cannot wait until my internship begins.

Hello ProRangers!

Hello fellow ProRangers and future colleagues! This is my first blog post and I am excited to introduce myself. My name is Rachel Smith and I have been a student at Temple University for two years. I am a Social Work major and next year will be my senior year. I was drawn to the ProRanger program because working for the National Park Service is like a dream to me. I have been lucky enough to visit some national parks, Antietam National Battlefield and Harper’s Ferry to name a few. I have always loved the outdoors, and am thrilled to work in a career that allows me to be outside.

 This summer, I will be starting my internship at Independence Hall. I am looking forward to learning about everything there is to know about working in an urban park. I am especially interested in learning about the history of Independence Hall, and working in interpretation. I have been living in Philadelphia for over three years now, and want to learn as much history as I can before I move out of the city. Law enforcement duties are another especially captivating area for me, as I will be working as a law enforcement officer in the future.

I am looking forward to seeing Philadelphia in a new light after my internship at Independence Hall. I also am eager to visit other parks where other ProRangers will be interning this summer. I will be posting frequent blogs to update all of you on my internship experience and am enthusiastic to hear about all of your experiences!

Waiting to be in Colonial National Historic Park

Hello all! My name is Jennifer Pflugfelder and I am a member of the newest cohort of ProRangers at Temple University. I want to start off with taking the time to thank everyone connected with the NPS ProRanger Program. I am more than grateful for such an amazing opportunity to become an intern with such an esteemed agency. Being a transfer sophomore, I have almost concluded my first year at Temple. Although I am definitely not a city person, I can say I have adapted well to the atmosphere of the campus. I am really enjoying school, even with most of the time being stuck in the books studying up on my major of Environmental Science.
I have lived in South Jersey all of my life, and I have fallen in love with the state’s Pine Barrens. Here is where I grew my love for nature and the outdoors. Once I am out there in the woods, it takes much persuasion for me to leave. My passion for nature is what first led me to want to be a park ranger. All wildlands are under constant attack by human activity and overdevelopment. Protection of these lands is very hard to control, but the National Park Service has been successful with their mission of preservation of such pristine landscapes for current and future generations. I knew I had to be part of an agency that has the same views and goals as I have. I feel the best (and also the happiest) workers are the people who are passionate about their job and what is entailed with daily duties. I cannot think of a better job than protecting what I love the most.
The National Park Service protects more than just natural wonders. They also preserve cultural and historic resources, which is of equal importance to our nation’s people. Our country’s history unites all of its citizens together, not only with remembrance and pride, but also with education and understanding. I could not think of a better place to embrace our nation’s history than Colonial National Historic Park in Virginia. I have been honored with being positioned at Colonial for my first summer internship. I have always loved history and I am more than excited to work with such a fantastic park.  Colonial is home to Jamestown, which was the first English settlement in America back in 1607. The park is also the home of Yorktown, where the American Army ultimately won the Revolutionary War in 1781. I have only been to the area once when I was much younger, so it will be a great summer full of new and lasting experiences. I cannot wait to meet and work with my new co-workers, as well as connect with and service the park’s history loving visitors. So stay tuned to my blog if you want to hear about my exciting journey in Colonial National Historic Park. Thanks for reading!! 

A summer at Shenandoah National Park!

Hi! My name is Joanna Velasco. I am a senior at Temple University, 1 month away from receiving my BA in Criminal Justice. I was born and raised in South Philadelphia. I am so excited to be a part of Temple’s ProRanger Program. This experience is an opportunity of a lifetime as well as an awesome career!

This summer I will be in Shenandoah National Park “almost heaven”. My park is home to the world famous Skyline Drive, this is a 105 mile drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains. I am looking forward to the wild life that lives within the park {not the ticks though}. I cannot wait to get the one-on-one experience of working for the National Park Service. I am going to Shenandoah National Park by myself on May 12th; I will be living in housing within the park. I am a city girl so this is going to be challenging but I am 100% positive that I am going to love it and be awesome at it.

I plan on sending, taking, and posting lots and lots of pictures, I am sure everyone at home is going to be jealous.  I will also be keeping all of you updated on everything that I learn and experience throughout the summer. From everything I hear it is absolutely beautiful!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jordan Keiffer- Greetings NPS!

Hello all, my name is Jordan Keiffer and this is my first post on the ProRanger Blog. I am currently a sophomore Criminal Justice major at Temple University, and I was recently added to this amazing program late last year as part of the third cohort. I chose Criminal Justice as my major because I always say that I was lucky enough to grow up in a place where I could walk around at any point in the day, on any street, wearing and carrying anything, and not feel threatened. I realized that this was a privilege that not many Americans have, and I wanted to provide that feeling of safety and security to others. When I came across the program in a University email, I was blown away by the opportunities that it offered, and told myself that I would be a fool to not apply. The training opportunities are something that is very hard to come by, and the job security upon completion of the program was something that I could not pass up. I’ve visited dozens of National Parks thanks to family and friends, and their importance and beauty is truly something that makes this country great. The mixture of law enforcement and protecting our National Parks for future generations is a mission that I plan on fulfilling for the rest of my life. This summer I am being sent, with fellow ProRanger William Martinez, to the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, also known as the Upper Delaware Water Gap. The park is located on the northeast border of Pennsylvania and New York, and follows the Delaware River for several miles. The park has a lot to offer, from the recreational activities like boating, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and hiking, to historical opportunities like the Zane Grey Museum, portions of the D&H canal and the oldest wire cable suspension bridge in the nation, The Delaware Aqueduct, designed by John A. Roebling, the future designer of the Brooklyn Bridge. From exploring the park through its website and other media, I can tell that this park is not only a fantastic place to spend a summer vacation, but is an even better place to live and work in. Exploring the parks cultural and natural elements is something that I am really looking forward to. I will also be given incredible training opportunities this summer, from basic law enforcement training to water safety courses, CPR, and instructions on how to operate government boats. We will experience firsthand how the park operates by working not only with the law enforcement Rangers, but with other departments like maintenance and interpretation as well. I have been told by Chief Ranger Joe Hinkes that William and I will be combating a recent problem at the park, water safety and drowning deaths. We will be helping to implement new water safety regulations, like life preserver usage, proper boat handling and understanding weather conditions that make the river more dangerous.  These water safety techniques and rules will make the visitors experience safer and ease the minds of the many volunteers and Rangers within the park. I cannot wait to leave for my park in less than a month and I look forward to keeping everyone updated on my summer experience!

A Summer in Colonial

First, I want to start off my introducing myself. My name is Erik Escalante and I have lived in Philly all of my life. I look forward to spending time in Colonial. It will be the longest time that I have ever spent away from home. I not only hope to learn a lot about what I am in for as a ProRanger, but I hope to learn a lot as a person as well. I hope to grow and most importantly have fun! I am fortunate enough to have this oppurtunity to be in the ProRanger program and I plan to take advantage of it to the fullest. Again I cant wait to cruise down the Colonial Parkway and experience Virginia for the first time. It will be an adventure and this last month here can't seem to go fast enough.

Charles Papacostas ProRanger Seminar: Looking Ahead to the Summer

Once I learned of the ProRanger Program during my sophomore year, I was immediately attracted for several reasons. Growing up, I thought of pursuing a career in law enforcement, and once I read about what it is like to work as a U.S. Park Ranger, I was immediately interested. I visited several national parks as a kid, such as Gettysburg, Colonial National Historical Park, and Fort McHenry, to name a few. Throughout my life I have enjoyed studying history, particularly American history, and after hearing of a federal law enforcement career where I could work to help preserve and protect such beautiful treasures and lands, I was instantly hooked. Lastly, it seemed like an excellent opportunity to make new friends and form connections with people who have many years of experience working for the National Park Service.
For my second internship with the program, I will be returning to Prince William Forest Park, where I spent last summer. Upon hearing that I would be back at that park for another summer, I was very excited, since I had such a fantastic experience last year. This summer, I hope to build on what I learned about law enforcement from the rangers there. I also look forward to more wildland fire training, as I enjoyed the field exercises we did last year, and this is another aspect of the job that is really interesting to me. The history of the park is intriguing as well, particularly with the use of the land as the training ground for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, so I hope to gain more knowledge about this too. All in all, I am thrilled for a summer full of more meaningful experiences and opportunities to learn, and it sure cannot come soon enough.