I love people. Everyone has something about them that makes them unique. I am fortunate to work as a ranger at the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. As a ranger I get to meet so many different people, listen to their stories while sharing with them the stories of others that came before us. As a second year SCIP student I am getting immersed in my park by learning to write captivating tours and presenting it to the public.
Part of the reason why I love being a SCIP student is that we are never allowed to get too comfortable in our roles. Just when I got comfortable presenting tours, another layer has been added to enrich my experience as a park employee with the goal of making me well rounded. This translates into working two days at the visitor’s center at Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence Rhode Island.
To work in the visitor’s center is to combine all the different concentrations in the park service into one. At the visitor center you are the interpreter, the educator, the expert on other national parks, a genius at giving directions on all things fun and historical near the park and most importantly the face of the park. You are there to cater to the needs of the visitor which is challenging but exciting. You never know what the visitor is going to ask which keeps you on your toes.
It’s been a scary yet exciting experience always waiting in anticipation for the next visitor. So far I have learned to work the cash register, give directions to other historical attractions around the park, answer the phone “ Good morning/afternoon this is Roger Williams National Memorial how may I help you today!!”. I am learning about the brave yet dangerous story of Roger Williams. A man willing to sacrifice all to create a haven for all those persecuted for their religious beliefs.
I am getting better at answering questions the more I learn about Roger Williams and currently in the process of developing my own tour of the park. On Wednesday I will be manning the visitor’s center all by myself! I am terrified but cannot wait. It is time I fly from the comfort of my training ranger Sparkle. Wish me luck!