When people think of the ideal job Park ranger has to come to mind. What could be better than being outside all the time in scenic locations helping people and taking care of wildlife? If you caught our Operations Director, Nancy Heltman’s post about Thank a Ranger you’d know that being a park ranger takes a very special individual and involves a wide range of unexpected duties. It is a fantastic job but usually it’s not what most people think it is.
Which is why we at the state parks in Virginia we created a program called Park Ranger Career Development Path. In essence it lets our interns test drive a career with parks while they are still in school. If they complete the program over two or three summers and decide they want to pursue a career in parks they will be among the best qualified candidates for Chief Ranger positions. The program will expose them to almost all aspects of park management and allow them to work at diverse park locations throughout the state.
The program is in its infancy, this summer we hosted our first PRCDP interns, Cameron Lipscomb at Youth Conservation Corps Crewmember and Supervisor. This summer he took another step in building his career. According to Cameron Hungry Mother State park was a great park for an intern. he said the excellent staff was great about showing him things. Even though its a large and busy park, Cameron said the staff seemed more like family. He participated in canoe and safety training. We are very pleased that Cameron had an educational, rewarding experience and we look forward to his continued development with us next year.
With the perfect park ranger name, Patrick Trail excelled at Natural Tunnel. The park management was very impressed with how quickly Patrick picked up on things. Patrick was brand new to Virginia State Parks but before his summer was over he was leading interpretive program independently. The park benefitted from having Patrick on board this summer and patrick learned more about park operations. Next summer Patrickwill be able toreinforce the skills he acquired this year and continue onhis path towards becoming a park ranger.
Next year we will be looking for two more candidates for the Park Ranger Career Development Path. Because of the nature of the program we will select from college freshmen and sophomores. Keep checking our website for updates or contact our Training Coordinator, Bryan Anderson [email protected] at 804-786-5053for more information on how to apply.