Let’s ask the experts! Over the next couple weeks, I’ll be doing a series of posts focusing on seasonal employees at Holliday Lake State Park. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to spend the summer working in a state park, please stay tuned! Each employee highlighted has his or her own experience and I’ll just let them tell you all about it.
This interview is with Sharon.
What was/is your position at Holliday Lake State Park?
How many summers/seasons have you worked in this position?
What are some of your duties in this position?
Duties of an interpreter: interacting with people who come to Holliday Lake and giving Nature Hikes, Canoe Tours, Geocaching programs, craft programs etc
What is a typical workday like?
When I come to work I make sure I have everything I need to do the programs I have (scheduled) that day. Then I go roving and walk through the campground and along the beach talking to people and inviting them to the programs that are going on that day. Then I get ready for a program! When the program begins, I get to know my audience and conduct my program. When I am finished with a program, I go around and talk to more people and tell them about the rest of the programs going on over the weekend.
What have you learned about customer service or working with the public?
I have learned that working with the public you meet all kinds of people, and it is always important to have patience. I have also learned how to respond in different situations when dealing with people by recognizing cues and responding in the ways that will best help a customer or guest.
Tell us about one memorable experience you have had while working at HLSP.
One of my favorite programs was a campfire program where we made ice cream. A lot of the campers came out for it and it was a lot of fun just getting to know all of the campers and telling stories about the park and listening to the guests talk about their experiences.
What do you do when NOT working at HLSP?
When I’m not at the park I am in school slowly going for my degree in Business Management (or something close to that),while working as a Nanny during the weekday. I also enjoy visiting other parks and seeing what programs they offer and how they differ from HLSP.
How do you think working at a Virginia State Park has helped prepare you for the future? Or helped you meet your personal career and/or educational goals?
I enjoy interacting with people and being in nature so being an interpreter for HLSP is really an amazing job (for me). So it has made me realize that I would love to stay in the Virginia State Park System and continue doing what I love.
Would you recommend a seasonal position in Virginia State Parks to a friend or family member? Or have you done so?
I would recommend a seasonal position to friends because it is a great opportunity and a good work experience. You also meet some great people while you are there and they can help you get started in career choices.
Is there anything else you want to share about your time at HLSP?
I have met some really great people while working at the park and other parks while at trainings. When you work at HLSP or any other State Park you get a completely different experience than you would if you had a different job. There is always something to do and there is always something going on so every day there is something new.
Sharon works closely with Dr. Jim Jordan,Park Naturalist at Holliday Lake State Park. Sharon brought a fresh, energetic spirit to many of our listings of other Virginia State Parks and apply if you’re interested. Don’t think you have to be a teenager to apply either; we have lots of seasonal employees who have let’s just say a little more life experience.