Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Little Lost Beaver

Wearing a uniform for a season has been a weird & wonderful experience: anyone in the outfit becomes a beacon for information and veritable fountain of trivia ("walking wikipedia"). You not only assume your specific duties of your particular job description, and the responsibilities inherent with any position for the National Parks, be it maintenance, enforcement, interpretive or administration, but you by default adopt other people's assumptions of what the job requires (and occasionally the unfortunate baggage of a few folk's resentment towards the Federal government). This can entail guide service, weatherman, historian, restaurant critic, first responder, scientist, druid, scratching post, "The Man," or simply just a friendly face out on the trail
By far and away the best question of the year had to have been: "What time tonite does the park close?" ("You mean the woods?") ("Uh... 5pm sharp"). Runner-up was the absolute worst one to ask hear: "Excuse, but I was wondering if you could maybe tell me what kind of berries I ate?" ("OMG how many?" "About twenty"). Turns out yes, they were in fact blueberries.

More times than I can remember I was interviewed by prospective Junior Rangers in their quest to earn a badge, and for the most part my answers fell along these lines:
1. "What is your name?" Ranger Jamie!
2. "What is your job?" I help people enjoy the Park!
3. "What is your favorite thing about Acadia?" Eating ice-cream Hiking the trails!
*Hat-tip to my neighbor AJ, who humored me by posing for the reference shots. And Chippy too.

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