Monday, July 16, 2012

SLETP: Academy Week 9

Greetings fellow ProRangers!

I am so excited to be back on the blog again reconnecting with all of you!  I have absolutely loved reading about your summers so far and all the amazing experiences you have had the opportunity to participate in.  Last summer I was blogging from Shenandoah NP (definitely the best park of them all... although I am a little biased :)  This summer, I am writing from the far-away land of Ambler, PA.  I have missed contributing my thoughts, feelings and experiences here every week and so I am excited to do so once again.

Every year at this time I find myself in a new and different place.  I have spent several summers abroad and a couple very valuable ones here in the United States as a ProRanger.  This year, on the eve of my 21st birthday, I now find myself having successfully completed over half of the Seasonal Law Enforcement Academy!  If you had asked me at this time last year what I expected to be doing right now, my answer would have probably been much different.  However I would not trade this summer for the world.

Being at the academy has stretched me in more ways than one.  Most of this I cannot even begin to put into words, either because I am not allowed to, or because I'm still in the process of being shaped and molded and the changes I am going through are not yet complete.  It has been a rigorous summer of writing papers, taking tests, and learning.  We (22 cadets) have all grown so close over these past couple of weeks and the last thing I want to think about is leaving them!  Amber said it right when she commented on the fact that there is no distinction between ProRangers and the others in the academy - or at least there doesn't have to be.  Take the opportunity to meet people now and make connections with others that can help you get to where you want to be in the future. 

Some of the moments that stand out the most for me this summer include shooting at the range, learning defensive tactics/ground fighting, PT every tuesday and thursday, OC spray (I am dreading the day when I have to be sprayed again!!!! )/Taser, and basic tactics.  All of our instructors have been great and have contributed a lot to our "KITE" (Knowledge, Information, Training, and Expertise).  Ever day I am guaranteed to learn some new fact to add to my arsenal/"bat belt" that will help me to be the best LE Ranger that I can be. 

I have already changed so much during these past 9 weeks.  Although I am far from being finished with the learning process (which I believe will extend even into the days and weeks after the academy ends), I think I can safely say my confidence has grown, my physical fitness is improving every day and, it might sound silly, but I think I'm over all a lot tougher than I was on Day 1.  I have pushed myself farther than I would have ever thought possible and, when I didn't think there was anything left to give, I dug deeper and found those last reserves of strength.  Every morning I try to resolve to put forth at least 100% effort and every evening I believe I return home, not only more tired than I have ever been before, but also stronger than I have ever been before. 

For those of you in parks this summer, keep up the good work!!!  The training you are receiving now is helping to prepare you for the academy when it is your turn to come here finally.  One thing I have learned is that physical fitness is crucial!  Even if it means waking up at 4:30 to go for a run because you literally have no other time in your schedule, make it happen... I have been doing exactly that!  Be professional.  Always put your best foot forward and make sure you look good in your uniforms.  Be on time.  Be flexible (law enforcement is a constantly changing and rapidly evolving field of work)! If you learn all of these things now, you are well on your way to being prepared for the SLETP. 

I'm sorry this turned into a book of a post, but I hope that it has helped someone, somewhere and has given you all a little bit more of a peek into what this summer has been like for the 8 of us ProRangers living anti-social/somewhat secluded lives here in Ambler.

Loving life and working hard,
Heather Hyde           


1 comment:

  1. Heather
    I am glad to see that your having so much fun learning at the academy. I am looking forward to being there one day. Being a Pro Ranger has brought so many good experiences into my life. I am also looking forward to seeing how this program makes us all better people.
    Daviryne Hall