Ranger Dave


David Stapleton


As a young child my Dad would take us camping at parks for vacations. My first memory was of Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas. Mostly we camped at Great Smokey Mountains National Park. When I decided to go to college (after getting married and having a child) I felt called to the outdoors for a career. I graduated from the University of South Alabama with a BS in Leisure Service with a concentration in Outdoor Recreation Resource Management. While in college I did a summer with NPS at Fort Frederica NM in Georgia and later did a 6 months temp assignment there. Needing to feed my family and not being able to do the temp work necessary back then (early 1980's) to get into a full-time job, I turned to the state parks and landed in Virginia State Parks. That was 29 years ago and I'm near the end of that career.

I have travelled with my beautiful wife and our five sons to national parks all across the country. I have my favorites but I fell in love with Yosemite the first time I visited. However, Glacier NP in Montana also has me wanting to spend more time there.

I am a strong advacate for the National Parks and belong to several organizations who lobby on behalf of the parks. My retirement plans (not far away now) include seasonal work in the parks out west, doing a little writing, and sharing my love for the beauty bestowed on us by the Creator that this nation had the forsight to protect and set aside for future generations. Maybe I'll see you in a visitor center out there one day!


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2 years 34 weeks

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