I have arguably one of the least stressful positions of Chief Ranger Interpreter. My job involves developing and implementing educational and interpretive programs, volunteer coordination, marketing, public relations, and grant writing. There are also those “other duties as assigned.” I also help train new interpreters in canoe safety.
The job does have stressful moments, usually involving trying to pack too many “things to do” into a week. But since most of the job either involves playing or planning what to play, there are plenty of moments that actually get rid of stress. Working with volunteers, helping kids discover the outdoors and learn something while playing a game, or just helping a visitor feel welcome all make the stress go away. One of my favorite programs involves canoeing or kayaking under a full moon as it reflects on the water, and bringing that same joy to the visitors on that trip. I feel fortunate to do what I love for a living.
People often wonder if we go to the “big city” to get away from nature since we work in it all of the time. I’m usually in nature on vacation, and often on someone else’s program. Many of my vacations have been in a state park, either in Virginia or another state. Here is a picture from my last vacation in Alaska, getting ready to go white-water rafting. That’s my husband and me in the front row.