The ProRanger Philadelphia program is an academic, technical skills training, and internship program that is cooperatively administered by the National Park Service and Temple University. The program was established to recruit, train and employ law enforcement park rangers for the National Park Service.
Students take coursework during the academic year at Temple University and participate in internships at National Park Service sites during the summer. Follow their experiences here.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
While working as a ProRanger, it becomes crystal clear that the schedule of a Ranger is far from a normal 9 to 5. With that schedule comes working nights and holidays. 4th of July weekend at Sleeping Bear Dunes was the busiest I have seen that park thus far, and it was a bit chaotic.
Drinking seems to be the theme for the holiday. We confiscated alcohol from minors.
Unfortunately, the holiday weekend began with finding minors in possession of alcohol. It is a shame that people celebrate Independence Day by getting hammered, but such is reality. This theme continued when we answered a call of an intoxicated female walking along the beach causing a concern for other visitors. When we contacted her, she was clearly lost and not sure of what was happening. It was a great experience for me to see how District Ranger Andy Blake handled the situation, as the lady was not cooperating. Due to the circumstances, the contact resulted in an arrest after Ranger Blake had no other choices. The three of us took a trip to the Grand Traverse County Jail, and I was able to witness the intake process.
SAR at Sleeping Bear Point Trail
The holiday weekend also consisted of a search and rescue where there was a lost man reported on the Sleeping Bear Point Trail. We hiked a few miles through the sand, only to get a call that he was reunited with his family. Although it was hot and hilly, it was a great feeling that there was a happy ending.
So, I didn't make the 4th of July seem to be a very pleasant experience... yet it truly was. Aside from the arrest and citations, most people use the national park the way it was designed to be used. Many people enjoyed the beaches, hiked the trails, had picnics, and attended professional firework shows around the surrounding towns. Working to protect America's natural treasures was especially rewarding during the holiday.
The celebration continued with a bunch of the rangers going to the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City.
2016 National Cherry Festival
As a ProRanger, we have a unique opportunity to work and travel to places that we may have never seen otherwise. I believe it is important to explore the community as much as possible, and do as the locals do. Northern Michigan is known as the cherry capital of the world, and Traverse City has held the National Cherry Festival in some capacity for nearly a century. This year consisted of a carnival, many food and drink vendors, and even a concert featuring Vanilla Ice!