CORBIN, Ky. (May 26, 2011) – A Laurel Lake park ranger gave direction today to hundreds of fourth and fifth graders on Career Day at Hunter Hills Elementary School.
Park Ranger Daniel Clark talked about what is involved with pursuing a career as a park ranger in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, but he also took the opportunity to stress the importance of being safe in the water at Laurel Lake.
Clark said he wanted to make the career day fun for the young students, so he handed out more than 200 Frisbees, Bobber the Water Safety Dog color books, and crayon packs to interested boys and girls.
The kids who participated didn’t ask a lot of in-depth questions about what it takes to become a park ranger, but Clark said it is enough that they were curious.
“The park rangers are the face of the Corps,” Clark said. “We’re promoting a positive image, water safety, let them know a little bit about what we do, and tell them a little bit about the lake.”
The kids seemed to be attracted to the Laurel Lake Exhibit and they interacted a lot with Clark and Laurel Lake Resource Manager Dave Robinson.
Devin Ramey, 10, a fourth grader, said he learned that he needed to wear a life jacket when visiting Laurel Lake. He added that he was impressed with the many career fields that were represented on career day.
“What I enjoyed most was seeing and hearing what they usually do,” Ramey said.
Getting students to engage and learn about what careers might interest them at this early stage is what this event is about, said Rebecca Nance, family resource director at the school.
“That’s the age when they start to think about what they want to do,” Nance said. “So we try to give them different options and try to have a wide variety of different careers here to just let them see what there is. It’s just a learning experience and it gives them something to go on and gives them something to shoot for as they go through school.”
Robinson said he encourages his park rangers to be involved with public outreach events like this career day because it’s a great way to educate the public about what park rangers do and how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains and operates its projects. And it is a great way to establish two-way communications with the people who recreate at Laurel Lake, he said.
Clark said the kids were coming and going and mingling, and it was just a great experience for him. “It is enjoyable. You get to impress upon these kids the importance of being safe, and in my opinion, that’s one of the most important aspects of this job is taking care of people,” Clark said.