The Great Lakes and Ohio River Park Ranger Community of Practice Advisory Board held their second biennial workshop at Caesar Creek Lake Nov. 6-8, 2018, after overwhelmingly positive feedback received from a similar meeting held in 2016. This meeting supports the CoP charter which states, “To develop and administer the division's 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 the six districts within the Great Lakes and Ohio Rivers Division attended the workshop that was geared specifically toward entry journeymen-level positions. Sessions included career development, interpretation, boundary line inspection and encroachment, leave and retirement, an introduction to natural resource management gateway, 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 stories from 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 area within the division. 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 rangers in their career,” said Trey Church, chair, Great Lakes and Ohio River Park Ranger CoP Advisory Board.
Huntington District Ranger Dylan Johnson said, “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.”
The ranger CoP team would like to thank the staff at Caesar Creek Lake for all their hard work and hospitality. Following the workshop, attendees were given a tour of the project which is surrounded by breath-taking scenery and stunning facilities.