Every week, we spend an average of 40 hours working away from our loved ones, away from home. This translates to half of our waking time dedicated to earning a living, hopefully doing what we love and pursuing our passion.
Some fortunate people get to work at the parks. The National Park Service has positions all over the country, 401 national parks provide an “office” like no other. Yes, there are over 3,800 Rangers that help enforce the rules and protect our national parks, historical monuments and landmarks. But volunteers and interns dedicate countless hours to take care of our beautiful natural resources making a difference in their communities.
In order to work outdoors you don’t just need to be fit for the job. To be a Ranger you should ask yourself if you enjoy the challenging outdoors, if you like to learn and share the history of a place, and if you are committed to preserving our ecosystem. Of course, if you are passionate about being a witness to breathtaking views, this may be the perfect job for you.
Consider that you may be going to a campsite or the wilderness, assist visitors or help build a fence. I remember that at the Appalachian Trail we met a couple of volunteers that were clearing the paths ensuring the markings were visible and in good condition. We fully appreciated their work as we made our way through the Shenandoah Trails. Sometimes the tasks at hand could be as fun as taking inventory of fauna and flora, or as tedious as cleaning up debris. Keep in mind that basic outdoor ethics require that you leave no trace. Leave no garbage behind.
For more information read this Volunteer-In-Park brochure or visit the National Park Service website. While you are there, check out the kids programs at National parks such as Yellowstone and Grand Canyon. Junior Ranger programs for children as young as 4 years old. Through exploration and fun activities children develop an awareness and learn to take an active role in protecting our environment.
Credits: “The Sign Old Wood Of Way To Office” by cbenjasuwan at freedigitalphotos.com