Friday, July 5, 2013

Valley Forge-Week 4

Seasonal training was an orientation of the park, meeting division chiefs, and learning more about park operations. Seasonal employees from almost every division were present, and I thought that was pretty neat because I got a chance to meet other colleagues within the park. Each division prepared a presentation about their daily functions and responsibilities in the park. I thought it was interesting learning about the natural resource mission to manage the population of deer who reside here at Valley Forge.
The two-day orientation briefed us on the park's history, employee expectation, and operational leadership. It also consisted of defensive driving training and fire protection, which I thought was really fun. Defensive driving had so many different obstacle courses that we all had to successfully complete. The serpentine obstacle in reverse was kind of tricky because I wasn’t used to relying on solely rear view mirrors. I passed and made it through without running over any cones! The fire protection training was extremely fun! The fire interns demonstrated the proper way to use an extinguisher and allowed each of us to put out a fire on our own. Although I had never used a fire extinguisher before that day, I thought it was a pretty straight forward task that everyone should know how to execute. For operational leadership, Ranger Waterman discussed the different methods of risk assessment and promoted the use of PPE.

Preparing to put out a Fire!

The other half of seasonal training consisted of us getting to know the park through tours at the visitor center and the trolley, which shuttles visitors around Valley Forge’s significant historical areas. At the visitor center, I had the opportunity to tour through the archive volt full of original material, some owned by George Washington, himself. Having the chance to actually read Washington’s original letters was by far the coolest opportunity! There were authentic muskets, swords, dining items, and event cosmetic materials that ladies would have used in that era. The trolley bus tour was another exciting part of the tour. The guide was extremely informative and enthusiastic about telling history stories here at Valley Forge. We had the chance to look through a soldier’s hut and tour Washington’s Headquarters which is where he resided in that time period.


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