Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Day Full of Hats

I wore many hats today, and explored every inch of the Assistant Manager Position.  I think that my week will continue this way.  We are once again, down several people and operating on the bare minimum with staff.  We also have Ranger Academy beginning tomorrow.  It is going to be a busy week.
My coworker is off today and tomorrow, so I am both the field supervisor and the administrative supervisor.  A tree fell in the picnic area yesterday evening and a ranger was able to get it chopped and ready to be picked up.  A group of us tackled the tree debris with the dump truck and the tractor first thing this morning and made quick work of the tree mess.

With everyone off in their separate directions, I headed to the office to finish up the paperwork from the north properties that I started yesterday.  I took care of all of my office work and headed home for a quick bite to eat.  When I returned, I met with the closing staff who were just arriving, and discussed the game plan for the rest of the day.  We had to put the finishing touches on the youth camp area in preparation for Ranger Academy.  The newest Park Rangers from all over the state will be staying at Wekiwa for the next week while they get to know each other and the Florida Park Service.  I helped to blow off walkways while another ranger mowed and weed trimmed.  I washed the dining hall windows and lined up the rocking chairs on the dining hall porch.  I even spent some time troubleshooting the audio-visual equipment.  It was a long and busy day, but it was full of fond memories of my Ranger Academy.  As I walked the pathways around the cabins and fire circles to make sure that they were clear of debris, I remembered lots of late nights with my fellow rangers around the campfire.  For a full picture of the youth camp area, follow this link to an informational document about the youth camp.  The second page has a map of the area and shows the arrangement of the cabins.

I spent a little bit of time in the Rec Hall, which functions as the classroom during the Academy.  It was fun to see all of the books and notepads and pens lined up for the new Rangers.  Their cups say Water Is Life, Drink It Up!  When we had the AV equipment up and running with the bugs worked out, we tidied up the room a little more and headed out.

Tomorrow, our guests will arrive and Ranger Academy will begin.  We will also be carrying on business in the park as usual.  I have quite a few commitments throughout the day tomorrow.  I hope it all runs smoothly.

Thought of the Day #72
What do you have to teach a person to make them a good Park Ranger?  Priorities have shifted back and forth throughout the years and its fun to listen to the stories of Ranger Academies of years past.  There is always a large classroom element to the Academy because there is a lot of information to take in regarding the rules and regulations, the function and workings of park service, the history of the state and our organization and every graduate of our Ranger Academy must be able to recite our mission statement.  There are also classes or physical team challenges to touch on the topics of prescribed fire, vehicle maintenance, park maintenance, visitor services, etc.  It is a great experience, and I think that the friendships and acquaintances that I made throughout Academy were the best part of it all.


Linda said...

And what is the mission statement?

Ranger Amy said...

To provide resource based recreation while preserving, interpreting and restoring natural and cultural resources.