Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." - Helen Keller

Hello! My name is Stephanie Hudson and I have the privilege of being one of the members of the Temple University ProRanger Program’s newest cohort. I grew up on a farm in rural North Carolina, which meant that there weren’t many things to do close to home. While I grew up less than an hour’s drive from numerous watersheds, gamelands, and State/National forests and parks, I also grew up almost 30 minutes away from the mall, movie theater, and the skating rink (and let’s be honest, that’s all my small town really had to offer for adolescents). As a result, I learned to find adventure in everything, and that is something I carry with me even today. Trying new things is something I love to do, and just this last year alone I’ve gone waterfall rappelling, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting, and I’m looking forward to going dog sledding over spring break!
While I enjoy all the new experiences National Parks have to offer, the thing I enjoy most about National Parks, Battlefields, Seashores, and Historic Sites is the dedication to preserving and protecting not only what remains of historical landmarks and landscapes, but also the history and culture that pervade these sites. As a volunteer at Carl Sandburg National Historic Site in high school, I began to understand why it is important to have resources in place to preserve, protect, and promote one of America’s most valuable resources. As a ProRanger, I am reminded that while there is a duty to uphold these three ideals of the National Park Service, as law enforcement officers our focus centers on protection: protecting both the resources and the people from each other and themselves.
For my summer internship I am really looking forward to learning about a new park and expanding my knowledge of the “behind the scenes” action that goes into running a successful park. All too often I have seen parks (and those that work there) get taken for granted, so working with all the different aspects of a park will really help broaden my respect for the enormous amount of dedication and work required to keep all the parks running smoothly. I am also excited to partake in new experiences, as that is how we learn and grow the best, and life is nothing if not one big adventure.
Overall I’m extremely excited for this upcoming summer, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for me!

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