Monday, June 3, 2013
On Tuesday May 28th I started my second internship at Independence National Historical Park (INDE) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I arrived a bit early and did some site seeing on my way to meet my supervisor Ranger Snow. We met in front of the Merchant Exchange Building. After we greeted one another he introduced me to the superintendent Ms. MacLeod the deputy superintendent Mr. Dunn and Chief Ranger Mr. Suddath. They immediately welcomed me to their park and made me feel very comfortable. I am excited to be back working at a National Park and to be greeted by some of the leaders at INDE was an awesome feeling.
During the first day I met other staff members , like two of the guys Will and Rydeem that work in dispatch, and a few LE Rangers. During the night Ranger Snow and I made a few contacts with visitors on park property. He drove me around in the k-9 unit to see some of the distant parts of the park, like the Edgar Allan Poe Historic site (closed to the public for renovations). Mr. Snow showed me the inside of the Franklin court and Market Street houses, the Bishop White house and a few other important buildings. Unfortunately I had foot surgery 2 months ago and right now I cannot get around as best as I normally can, but that didn't stop me from enjoying my first day at Independence National Historical Park. I clocked out at 0330.
Bishop White House
My 2nd Day was just as fun as the first but in a different way. I was told to come to the park in regular attire and tour, like a regular visitor. Without the uniform I was able to go incognito and explore the park on my own. For the most part I stayed around the Market street area. My first stop was the visitor center, which is huge and sits on the corner of 6th and Market. I spent a few hours reading as much history as I could from the displays and the posters. I spoke with rangers and volunteers working in the visitor center. They told me about all the tours going on throughout the park and insisted that I take some time and watch the films playing in the theater I ended up watching the film (20 min long) twice to get a better idea of how people lived in Philadelphia during the late 1700’s.
Later, I went and checked out the gift shop and actually found some really nice things there. I already have plans on returning to buy my family some souvenirs. Also I got to sign my name with ink, kind of like how they signed documents back in the day. I snapped a few photos of myself signing the paper and shaking hands with a guy who was re enacting a person from that time period.
The Visitor Center
Outside of the visitors center I went across the street to observe the Presidents house sites and the building that holds the Liberty Bell. Around the 1900hr I sat in the LE division meeting. They discussed upcoming events this summer at INDE. The rest of the night I shadowed Juan, an LE Ranger, we talked a lot about attitudes, sentiments and behaviors of rangers and visitors. We finished the night by working up in the cache, sorting and organizing law enforcement equipment. I was issued a gun belt, a bullet proof vest, a flashlight, and gloves. I can already tell I’m going to enjoy my summer internship here.