Tuesday, August 2, 2016

We Can Do 3 Internships, Right?

As the time at our parks is nearing the conclusion, it's definitely odd to think about the drastic turn that our lives are about to take. It is already August, and my senior year of college is right around the corner. As I think about walking the streets of Philadelphia, going to class, and enjoying the smells of the subway, I realize how much I am going to miss Sleeping Bear Dunes. Not just because of its beauty, but because of the people here and the nature of the job. Being able to work and patrol with the Law Enforcement Rangers has been the greatest privilege, and I've learned more than I can even start to explain. Last week involved a great amount of being out in the field and patrolling. During a patrol, we stumbled across a site where illegal camping has been occurring.
Illegal campsite
Just off the beach and hidden in deep forest, the shelter pictured above is quite common and we are working to enforce that people aren't destroying the landscape and illegally camping in wilderness areas. It was an impressive structure, but it has no room here.

Bottom of Pyramid Point
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore consists of 35 miles of coastline along Lake Michigan, and we try to monitor many beaches. It amazes me that people feel like a National Park would be a good place to smoke marijuana or perform certain activities, but that's why we need law enforcement. I have been exposed to many great learning opportunities this summer. I have seen how Rangers handle themselves, in situations that may be uncomfortable for some, with ease. Even giving out a written warning notice could turn hostile, but handling yourself in a cool and collected manner can go a long way in helping everyone stay happy and healthy.

Warning Notice Book
My supervisor had me fill out warning notices for people who had glass on the river. I am fortunate that I have gotten lots of practice with making contacts with visitors, and I now feel more comfortable. Coming up: one more blog, last week at SLBE!

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