Friday, August 12, 2016

Program Visit: BOST

The program visit to the Boston provided a nice opportunity to visit family who live in the Boston suburbs!   On the first day of my visit to Boston, the junior (Pro)Rangers spent the day with their cousins while I braved the infamous traffic to meet Brennan McAuley bright and early at the Charlestown Navy Yard which is part of one of the three sites under the National Parks of Boston umbrella:  Boston National Historical Park, African American Historic Site, and Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area.

ProRanger Brennan McAuley outside his summer housing at the Charlestown Navy Yard
Our first stop was the Superintendent’s office located in the former Marine barracks which now serve as offices and housing for park staff and is Brennan’s summer home.  After discussing the program, Brennan presented Superintendent Michael Creasey with a plaque recognizing Boston NHP’s four years of participation in the ProRanger Program.

ProRanger McAuley with Superintendent Michael Creasey
My tour of the park began with a visit to Brennan’s favorite place in the park:  the Bunker Hill Monument.  And what better way to start a hot summer day than by climbing 294 steps to the top?  But, the view was all worth it.  I was also humbled to learn that Brennan and his supervisor RUN to the top as part of their workouts!
That's a long way to the top!
Brennan and I made it!

We then checked out the visitor center and I learned about some the activities Brennan had been doing there with interpretation.  We also had private tour of the U.S.S. Cassin Young.

ProRanger McAuley, Chief Tinkham and Ranger Clarke

Brennan and I then toured the Ranger Station with his supervisor, Ranger Mark Clarke (I am alwasy thrilled to see our ProRanger alumns on duty!)  It was also great to see Chief Gregg Tinkham, a long-time supporter and friend of the ProRanger Program.  
Boston NHP Law Enforcement Challenge Coin

Brennan and I spent the afternoon with a ranger-led tour of the Freedom Trail as well as some of exploring on our own.  Our visit to the Northeast Regional Offices were a highlight where Brennan was greeted warmly by everyone we encountered – I felt like I was traveling with a celebrity!  It was a long day of walking – my fitbit clocked in over 9 miles.

On the ferry, Finn and Brennan working on the junior ranger book.

Day two of the visit showed us the view from a different side of the National Parks of Boston – the Boston Harbor Islands NRA!  We took the ferry to Georges Island and used the time to begin work on our junior ranger books.  We only had time to visit one island, but we'll be back -maybe for some camping?  These islands are an incredible mix of history and nature, all with an amazing view of the Boston skyline!

At the island, Brennan led us on a special tour of the fort, the junior rangers received their first badges and inspected some sealife that had washed ashore.

Georges Island Junior Ranger badges
Inspecting a crab that washed up on shore

Touring the fort on Georges Island

Check out that view!  Who knew there were 34 islands in Boston Harbor? 

Boston Public Gardens
Back in Boston, we explored the Boston Public Gardens with its famous swans, swan boats and statues based on the children’s book “Make Way for Ducklings.” 

Demonstration of a cannon firing.
The junior ranger and some sailors!
We returned to the Charlestown Navy Yard for a tour of the U.S.S. Constitution, a cannon demonstration and another junior ranger badge!
Brennan presents the Navy Yard's Junior Ranger Badge
 Of course, we couldn't leave without a final goodbye to Ranger Clarke and ProRanger McAuley.

Ranger Clarke and McGarveys

Brennan and the junior rangers

Up next:  VIIS

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