PERKS OF BEING A PARK RANGER
My last park ranger list dealt with the moronic, but this is about the memorable. So as suggested by @smallthings, my favorite parts from being a ranger (with park pictures as well).
- •While I was inside a lot, I was still surrounded by pristine natural beauty.
- •Meeting repeat visitors who return because of a great first experience and developing a rapport with the "regulars." I was on a first name basis with many people and it meant a lot that they would go out of their way to seek me out just to say "hi."
- •Educating the public about conservation, history, native plants and animals, etc., and seeing the excitement of those who have learned and experienced something new.
- •The uniform. It's easy and efficient and you're automatically trusted by (most) of the public. Whether an injured person or a lost child, people seek someone in uniform. On the other hand, when people see a ranger approaching them for an unknown reason, some naturally become nervous.
- •Caring for the park animals who became like my step-pets. The best was always handling the animals for visitors, especially kids, so they could touch and have an up-close experience with native and exotic snakes, turtles, salamanders, etc.
- •Meeting people from all around the world. I've had great discussions with visitors from seemingly every corner of the globe. Some of my favorites included a British couple who would bring me homemade cookies (I liked them regardless of the baked goods) and the stories a group of New Zealanders and I swapped about their home country.
- •When children showed a real curiosity for nature and after their visit wanted to become a park ranger. ☺️
- •Patrolling the park on bike or ATV. Completely freeing and relaxing, until you have to shoo a copperhead away from a picnicking family.
- •Free hikes, archery lessons, private tours, kayaking/paddle boarding/boating anytime, and complimentary REI merchandise.
- •The friends you make. The staff becomes your extended family and I've met some of my closest friends from my time at the park.
- •If you're interested in pursuing it as a career, go for it! Everyday is different and you'll learn a lot, just don't get into it for the money.