Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Antietam National Battlefield: Week 7

Hello all,
During our seventh week at Antietam, Morgan and I were assigned to the Interpretative Division. While assigned to Interpretation, we assisted the Rangers at the Visitor Center and welcomed visitors to the park. In addition to our front desk duties, we also attended multiple Ranger- guided tours and assisted the Rangers during their programs.
While at the Visitor Center, Morgan and I staffed the front desk and greeted visitors as they entered the park. This included collecting the park entrance fee and distributing the various park passes. The fee collection operation includes individual and vehicle entrance fees as well as fee waivers and access passes. The Ranger at the front desk is responsible for keeping track of all tickets and passes in addition to welcoming school groups with fee waivers. Park entrance fees allow Antietam to maintain its exhibits and are a vital component of park operations.
After collecting the entrance fee from the visitors, Morgan and I oriented the visitors to the park and provided them with a park brochure. The park brochure contains a map of all of the park roads and is a great tool for the visiting public. Following the brief orientation, the visitors were instructed to watch the park film in the theater.  Antietam shows a 27-minute film every half- an- hour, and presents a one-hour film once a day.
When not staffing the front desk, Morgan and I attended several Ranger programs on the battlefield. These tours are very informative and they help us learn the history of Antietam. Each interpreter has a unique style to his or her tour, which makes each program entertaining. The visitors thoroughly enjoy listening to the Ranger talks, and the Rangers enjoy interacting with the visitors.
In addition to our Interpretative duties, Morgan and I spent an afternoon with the Education Division. During our time with Education, we administered several school and Boy Scout programs. These programs teach the groups about the Battle of Antietam and the National Park Service. Most of these groups visit several parks each summer, and learn to appreciate and enjoy our National Park System.
Our week with Interpretation provided us with a good overview of the park's Interpretative operations and allowed us to interact with park visitors. Morgan and I enjoyed assisting the visitors and helping them get the most out of their visit. I hope everyone is having a great summer! Leadership Camp is just around the corner.

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