What I am Learning at my National Parks

Since I have been here at Cowpens National Battlefield and Kings Mountain National Military Park I have learned so much. I have learned the day to day operations of the visitor centers, meeting and greeting visitors and guests to both parks, in addition to my progress on my project of creating podcasts to help promote the parks and their special events. As I stated in my first blog, I am a double major in secondary education/history as well as public history. During my internship I have learned more on how to do research and on sharing that research with visitors by interpreting the history for them, In addition, I have assisted with running activities on special event planned days and I am definitely developing skills that will aid me when I begin teaching as a history teacher. As I teacher it is important for me to interpret history to my students as well as how to run the students through various activities by getting them to participate more and enjoy learning what they are being taught.

This internship has also been a major learning experience for me if teaching doesn’t work out. I have my foot in the door with how things are run at a National Park, especially if I choose to become an interpretative park ranger. In addition, I have learned skills that could apply to even working in a history museum as a curator of information for people.

This past 4th of July week I learned how important teamwork is at National parks and park rangers working together when a big event is going on such as the 4th of July or anniversary of the park.  I have learned how important it is to use every available resource to help visitors throughout the day including other rangers when you need assistance on something you don’t know or a visitor has a question about something you don’t know yourself.

The picture above is from our 4th of July Celebration of Freedom event at Cowpens National Battlefield when a reenactor dressed as a Continental was preparing to fire our three pound grasshopper cannon we keep on display at the museum. On this day our event consisted of weapons firing demonstrations by the reenactors of the South Carolina Rangers militia and the 2nd Maryland Continentals Regiment. American Revolutionary War ear rifles were being fired as well as the cannon. There were also activities for the children where they could make their own patriot or tory hats and sign their names in feathered pens dipped in ink on an oath to the United States Patriot Army.  Many children also took part in doing the junior ranger program as well. There were also authors on site doing book signings on some of their books which we sell in the book store. The authors gave a lecture on comparing both their books and talking in depth on what they wrote about.  Lastly, we had several visitors volunteer to read sections of the Declaration of Independence to other visitors who were listening.

This has truly been a great learning experience. Talk to you all again soon!

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