Week 2 was also exciting here at Shenandoah National Park; on Tuesday I went on patrol with District Ranger Dixon Freeland and got to see more of Skyline drive. Every time I have driven on it the experience has been breath taking. I saw my first black bear he was maybe two or three years of age and about 150 pounds. I was super excited that I got to see a bear for the first time in the wild. Dixon has taught me a lot about my career so far and for that I am very thankful; he has made me realize that I will love and fit in with this career.
Thursday I attended basic Search and Rescue training (SAR). I also took my pack test, which consisted of, a two-mile walk with 25lbs on my back and I had thirty minutes to complete this task. SAR training in my opinion is something that everyone, who is should have to take and be apart of because it is something that will be helpful during my career. I am going to continue to complete more of the SAR training.
Friday and Saturday I worked with fees in Big Meadows Campground. It was very busy because it was a holiday weekend; they have over 200 sites that you can rent and they were basically filled by Friday around noon. I learned that if you work for a fee operation you need to be detail oriented; small mistakes in someone’s reservation can cause huge problems. People reserve campground sites up to six months in advance for holiday weekends.
We also had to drive around in a golf cart and make sure that the visitors were abiding by the rules and regulations of the park; if they did not they received a written warning from a ranger and if they continued to break the rules then an LE Park Ranger would be notified and deal with the visitor. Utilizing a golf cart we patrolled Big Meadows Campground and spoke with visitors about food storage and other regulations. I helped register campers and make sure they got to their appropriate campsite. In conclusion I learned a lot in a few days about what employees do in different fee operations especially in campground. This is a great way to get to interact with all of the visitors and get to know people who come back every year.