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.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
One Big Happy Family
“Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” –Edna
I have now been at BUFF for five weeks and have grown to
not only love the park itself, but also the community within it. My supervisor
Kevin Moses told me even before I arrived in Saint Joe, Arkansas that Buffalo
National River was “one big happy family” and that working at BUFF was one of
the best places to work because there is just an awesome sense of community and
Kevin was one hundred percent right... here at Buffalo National River, everyone
Over the past five weeks, I have made so many friends within
the BUFF family and have made so many memories that I am sure I will remember for
years to come. BUFF is home to some of the nicest, most caring people that I
have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Everyone is constantly checking in and
making sure that I am feeling at home and at ease. I feel as if I have known
the BUFF family for years and it has only been weeks.
Chrissie (center) and I (right) at the starting line of a local Fourth of July 5k
Just this past weekend, I was able to ride along with an
Upper District protection ranger, Billy Bell. After our shift, Billy invited me
to his home to have dinner with his wife, Chrissie, and his parents. It was one
of the best meals that I have ever had! It was COMPLETELY homemade! Everything
we ate was grown in the Bell family garden. The next day, which just so happened to be the Fourth of July, Chrissie and I ran a local 5k together and enjoyed the "Fire in the Sky" event that was held in Harrison, AR. Billy and Chrissie told me that I
was welcome to stay at their home anytime I would like and come to find out… I
am not the first to have felt at home at the Bell’s.
Eating some post-race watermelon
After dinner, they told me that their home has always been
open to seasonals, field trainees, and interns alike that may be feeling a
little homesick or lonely. The Bell’s even took in a local teenager and gave
him a home when he needed it the most and helped him get into college and start
a life for himself. They are two of the most caring and thoughtful people that
I have ever met and they are just two members of the “big happy family” that is
here at BUFF.
I have come to realize that, much like BUFF, the National
Park Service is also “one big happy family.” As an agency, the NPS is small and
close-knit. Everyone in the Park Service is working towards a common goal… to
conserve, preserve, and protect our national parks and this common goal is the
glue that holds the family together.
My awesome experiences at BUFF have made me very excited for
my future within the National Park Service because from this point forward, I will always be a part of the National Park Service