What Ben Oliver does at LeesylvaniaState Park everyday both amazes and frightens me. Ben, is our Junior Ranger leader and I think it’s safe to say our young rangers couldn’t be in better hands.
I’m constantly amazed by his knowledge and patience and I’mterrified by the prospect of leadingJunior Rangersmyself. Making day camp fun and educational for all different agestakes a very special personwith special skills. It is also very hands-on, hard work leading Junior Rangers on a dailyexploration through the park.
So, thank goodness for Ben,Junior Ranger’s fearless leader!
Each week he greets a new pack of Junior Rangers and the fun begins!
It’s almost like Ben was destined to lead today’s youth through this Virginia Outdoor adventure. Ben was born and raised in Woodbridge and has been coming to this park for years. In fact, his dad was one of the first law enforcement rangers to ever work at Leesylvania State Park.Ben’s mother works for the County’s Public Works Dept. and is a leader in the local conservation movement.
As a matter of fact this is Ben’s third summer season at the park. The first two years he worked in the Visitor Center and was a Junior Ranger assistant. this is his first summer as the Junior Ranger leader. The other nine months of the year Ben is a student at St. Johns College in Santa Fe, New Mexico majoring in History.
After moving to New Mexico for school, Ben discovered a new interest, search and rescue. He’s trained in high angle rescue. That’s thescary kind, hanging from a cliff with ropes.
You can see why I say the junior Rangers are in good hands, with his medical training, knowledge and rescue skills Ben is more than capable to handle anything that might come up on our Virginia hiking trails.
Ben’s still keeping his options open with his final career choice. He’s considering back country search and rescue, emergency medical or possibly even a career in parks.
One thing he is sure of is that he’s enjoying his job this summer, getting children in nature. The best park according to Ben is showing the children things they’ve never seen before. Every day he has a new opportunity to expose them to a Virginia outdoor education.And I know for sure the kids are having fun exploring northern Virginia outdoors with their Junior Ranger leader!