State Park hires seasonal interpretive ranger
Published 7:58 am Saturday, May 30, 2015
Gillian Roberts will be taking visitors back in time to the colonial days through a series of interactive events at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park this summer.
Roberts, 22, has been hired to be the parks seasonal interpretive ranger and will work at Sycamore Shoals from now until mid-August.
As seasonal interpretive ranger, Roberts will be conducting a series of living history programs.
During the week starting the first Wednesday in June, she will be conducting tours of the Carter Mansion.
For Roberts, being a park ranger is the “coolest job” and working as a seasonal ranger is one step closer to her goal of becoming a park ranger for a Tennessee state park.
“A couple of years ago I visited Red Clay State Park and became interested in becoming a park ranger,” Roberts said. “I asked one of the rangers there what it had taken for her to get the job. She said she had a degree in history, and I have the same degree.”
Further research told Roberts the first step would be to work as a seasonal ranger in one of the state parks for two summers and then to apply for a permanent position.
“I started the process a year and a half ago, and here I am,” she said.
She hopes that during her time as a seasonal ranger she can share some historic facts with visitors and maybe even spark a love for local history in some of them.
“Many people that you come across don’t enjoy history,” Roberts said. “For people who come to the park, I want to share the rich cultural history of this area. This is the home of the Overmountain Men and the Watauga Association. This is where Tennessee began. I want to share that love of history and pass it on.”
The living history programs that begin on June 3 will feature topics for both children and adults, Roberts said.
Topics will include colonial tunes, a Critter Creek Walk and tomahawk throws.
After her time at Sycamore Shoals is over, Roberts will return home to Inglewood in McMinn County.
She plans to put what she learns at Sycamore Shoals to use there and hopes to gain another seasonal ranger position next summer to continue on the track for her dream of becoming a park ranger.