Do You Know This Grand Teton National Park Ranger?

Too often we don't hear the small stories of national park rangers interacting with visitors to help them get the most out of their vacations.

The other day Jan Boice contacted us to pass on the following story from her recent visit with grandchildren to Grand Teton National Park. She related a simple encounter between a young ranger in the park and three youngsters that not only made for a great fishing experience, but just might have influenced her granddaughter to a career with the National Park Service.

Here's Jan's story:

I would like to comment on the young man who is currently a ranger in the Signal Mountain area. We have taken our grandchildren fishing below the Jackson Lake dam several times in the last week. This young ranger comes by to check for fishing licenses several times a day. He is always extremely personable and helpful. He loves his job--that is very apparent.

As I was sitting in our vehicle to warm up a little I watched a man and his three little sons arrive with their bag of newly purchased Zebco fishing gear. It was obvious that this was a first-time fishing experience for all of them. The young ranger walked over to them and proceeded to help the father put all the fishing poles together.

With that done, he took each boy and showed him how to put a worm on the hook and cast the line. Before long one of the boys caught a fish! The ranger took the fish off the hook, let the youngster touch it, and then "threw" it back.

It was heartwarming to watch. What a great ambassador this young ranger is for the NPS!

My 15-year-old granddaughter, somewhat smitten with the handsome young ranger, decided she might want to be a ranger someday. It is so nice to see someone who goes the extra mile and he should be commended.

Sorry I didn't get his name. I hope you can hunt him down and give him the recognition he deserves!

If anyone recognizes this ranger, please let him know his actions didn't go unnoticed.

Comments

Absolutely, I know who that Park Ranger is.

He was the Ranger that sat down on a rock next to me, at Bear Lake, in Rocky Mountain National Park one hot August evening as we both waited for my parents and sister to meet up with me. I had hiked ahead of them, from Emerald Lake. I was only 8 years old, that day in 1963. He was an amazing man, large hands, creased face and his voice sounded clouded by years of cigarettes. I remember his Stetson as he placed it on my head, even if it only was for a few minutes, as he described the animals around us we could not see but they could see us. I didn’t know then, but 13 years later I was working that same place, as a Park Ranger myself.

I know this ranger.

Because he is the same one that I met at Heart Lake, in Yellowstone National Park, as he helped me find my designated camp site, knowing that it would only delay him getting back to his cabin, after patrolling the area of the South Boundary Trail. Years later I met him again, retired from the backcountry position, but working the backcountry office at Grant Village Visitor Center.

I know this Ranger.

She helped me find her favorite angle of photographing the Lincoln Memorial, in the early morning light. She waited to make sure that I was set and could see in my viewfinder the shot that would please me.

I know this Ranger.

As the Ranger that stopped to check on me, knowing that I had a Grizzly Bear encounter while paddling my Kayak through the still waters of Lewis Lake in Yellowstone. We had talked the day before and instead of closing the camps around the lake, he allowed me to stay, but counseled me in the danger.

Yes, I know this ranger.

As he lives in many men and women that put on the Green Uniform, whether Trail Rehab, Fighting Fires or driving a patrol car out to the next bear jam. They often live in less than perfect living conditions and working in weather situations that would otherwise drive one indoors. They remain the positive compassionate person that you saw in this ranger, along the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park. We are lucky that we have such dedicated persons, and families that support these people so they can go out and repeat this day again. I promise to always approach one of these people, in their Green Uniforms, no matter what their position and thank them for their work. I hope you will do this too.

Yes, I know who this Ranger is . . .

bryan

Absolutely, I know who that Park Ranger is.

He was the Ranger that sat down on a rock next to me, at Bear Lake, in Rocky Mountain National Park one hot August evening as we both waited for my parents and sister to meet up with me. I had hiked ahead of them, from Emerald Lake. I was only 8 years old, that day in 1963. He was an amazing man, large hands, creased face and his voice sounded clouded by years of cigarettes. I remember his Stetson as he placed it on my head, even if it only was for a few minutes, as he described the animals around us we could not see but they could see us. I didn’t know then, but 13 years later I was working that same place, as a Park Ranger myself.

I know this ranger.

Because he is the same one that I met at Heart Lake, in Yellowstone National Park, as he helped me find my designated camp site, knowing that it would only delay him getting back to his cabin, after patrolling the area of the South Boundary Trail. Years later I met him again, retired from the backcountry position, but working the backcountry office at Grant Village Visitor Center.

I know this Ranger.

She helped me find her favorite angle of photographing the Lincoln Memorial, in the early morning light. She waited to make sure that I was set and could see in my viewfinder the shot that would please me.

I know this Ranger.

As the Ranger that stopped to check on me, knowing that I had a Grizzly Bear encounter while paddling my Kayak through the still waters of Lewis Lake in Yellowstone. We had talked the day before and instead of closing the camps around the lake, he allowed me to stay, but counseled me in the danger.

Yes, I know this ranger.

As he lives in many men and women that put on the Green Uniform, whether Trail Rehab, Fighting Fires or driving a patrol car out to the next bear jam. They often live in less than perfect living conditions and working in weather situations that would otherwise drive one indoors. They remain the positive compassionate person that you saw in this ranger, along the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park. We are lucky that we have such dedicated persons, and families that support these people so they can go out and repeat this day again. I promise to always approach one of these people, in their Green Uniforms, no matter what their position and thank them for their work. I hope you will do this too.

Yes, I know who this Ranger is . . .

bryan

Bryan, that is just awesome! I think WE all know who this ranger is, but your post here nailed it perfectly.

Kurt, Bryan's writing needs to be headlined somewhere. I'm going to try to forward it to the editors of EAA's Arrowhead newsletter, but it needs much wider circulation than just that.

Thank you, Bryan. That's a fantastic description of these men and women who are there to make sure our visits are all we want them to be. Not enough can be said for their dedication and service. Thank you.

Well written Bryan. A tribute to all the hard working National Park Rangers of the past and those still out there today. This also serves reminder to us all how our actions in just one brief moment can positively influence others.

Thank you so much for the kind words.

Like you, I visit this website because of the content and the passion I share with many of you, for our National Parks. My comments were just that, comments and not to single out any one Park Service individual. I believe each and every one of these employees deserve recognition. I believe you understood exactly what I was trying to convey, that we all make impressions on those around us, whether we are aware of it or not.

Thank you again and feel free to forward my comments on, as well.

Bryan A.

It would be good to include the numerous concession guides and others that love their jobs, their workplace :) and find that they actually like connecting to the people that come through their lives and share the moments of connection to these great place, am awesome payoff :).