By Rangers Brandy Acord and Mike McCoyNovember 29, 2018
The Great Lakes and Ohio Rivers Division (LRD) Park Ranger Community of Practice (CoP) Advisory Board held their second biennial Workshop at Caesar Creek Lake November 6-8, 2018 after overwhelmingly positive feedback received from a similar meeting held in 2016. The purpose of this meeting was to support the CoP charter which calls "To develop and administer the LRD Park Ranger CoP; to serve as a direct link between the regional Park Ranger CoP with its constituent District communities and the larger national Park Ranger CoP; and to provide a unified and ongoing support platform for Park Rangers."
Park Rangers from six LRD districts attended the workshop that was geared specifically towards entry journeymen-level positions. Sessions included career development, interpretation, boundary line inspection and encroachment, leave and retirement, NRM Gateway introduction, critical incident stress management, as well as media relations and visitor assistance. The career development was set up panel style in which Rangers were able to have a group discussion with success story members of the Natural Resource Management community. One participant noted, "The career development panel was less formal, and more approachable which made questions easier to ask."
The goal moving forward is to have different rangers attend each workshop, the next of which will tentatively be planned for November 2020. "The CoP's goal for attendance at the event was at least one journeyman-level Park Ranger from each OPM area within LRD. With this goal in mind, the CoP was able to limit the topics to be covered to those which directly serve to benefit the journeyman-level Park Ranger in their career" said Trey Church, Chair; LRD Park Ranger CoP Advisory Board.
"The biggest takeaway for me was the ability to see what others are doing out in the field and put it to good use at the home project," said Dylan Johnson, Ranger, Huntington District.
The Ranger CoP Team would like to say a special thanks to the staff at Caesar Creek Lake for all their hard work and hospitality. Following the workshop, the attendees was given a tour of the project which is surrounded by breathing scenery and stunning facilities.