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The Signpost Newsletter

Second Quarter 2018

Yosemite Reflections

On the 2018 Parks Conference

 

by Candi Hubert, Director Region 5, Vice President

 

As I reflect on this years' PRAC Conference, I am reminded why I love attending each year. I drove up to the Tenaya Lodge with another Park Ranger from Orange County Parks. As soon as we reached the foothills below Yosemite, the drive started to get exciting. Once we reached the winding road to the Tenaya Lodge, the scenery was spectacular with snow everywhere. It was a beautiful winter wonderland.

 

Once we settled in the hotel with snow all around, I realized this was one of the most beautiful trips I've had to the area. Our rooms were conveniently located near the lobby and the conference rooms. It's always great to hang out with park staff who you normally don't see outside of work and often only at meetings. Jackalope's became one of our fun dinner spots.

 

Our keynote speaker this year was Captain Ken Brink from Larimer County. He gave a wonderful and inspired talk for all park rangers in attendance.

 

This year I noticed many new faces and returning attendees also. There were many interesting sessions to choose from. The first day, I went to The Use of Game Camera's for Park Law Enforcement, Where Can A Story Take Us and Wild land Fire Evacuation. I was curious to see how another agency handles their game cameras.

 

The instructor Matt Cerkel gave many good tips on the use of cameras from where to position them to the type of cameras. He also gave us a draft of their policy on Park Law Enforcement Surveillance Camera's, which is a useful reference. The second session focused on how public libraries and National Parks forge new experiences for communities.         (continued on Page 8)

What's in it For Me? (continued from Page 4)

 

Just belonging to an organization is giving back.  Sacrificing and supporting your profession with your hard-earned dollars is giving back.

 

You get many things out of a professional organization that are hard to measure. No matter what the thoughts are about Scouting in this modern age, I took away a lot out of that organization, including my land ethic, skills in living and surviving in the outdoors, and leadership skills. Skills I have used often. When you belong to a professional organization like PRAC, Education, friendships, comrade are all bye products of membership. Things that you just keep with you a lifetime.

 

There are probably some pretty diverse issues as to the causes for our organization's membership loss. Changing demographics to a more urban society and perhaps a loss of our "land ethic", law enforcement issues and organizations that support those, and the cost of memberships could lead to the attitudes of "what's in that for me? Costs were even an issue when the membership was less than ten dollars!

Smitty

It might be time to take a long look, in this electronic age, to revisit those costs. Demographic changes include organizations like Rotary, Elks, and other like organizations finding that the new generations are not joiners. They are also having membership problems.  It all boils down to being the best you can be and having a passion for what you do. Being a PRAC member helps you do that.  Think of all the people in this world that envy what you do. Rangers have the best job in America!

 

I always fear when I write something like this that I am preaching to the choir. Then I am reminded that even a choir is part of a congregation.  Hope to see you soon, if the Lord lets me.