On September 27, 2017, we hosted Sam Baranski and Lorin Felter from the First State National Historical Park. They both talked about their pathway to their current jobs and provided information about the First State National Historical Park.
Currently, Sam manages all the volunteer programs for the park and does a lot of visitor communication and community outreach. She received her Bachelors in Park Recreation and Nature Services and realized she wanted to interact with the public and interpret. She got a position with assisting a volunteer coordinator and promoting social media. She also worked with the Chief of Interpretation at Harper’s fairy, developing a wayside management plan. Lorin is the head of interpretation and education at the park, and she tackles the idea of how to take initiatives at a national level. She was an architecture undergrad and mentioned always being around historical places during her childhood. She decided to switch things up and ended up going to the University of Hawaii in Oahu for grad school. She got her Masters in American Studies and Historic Preservation. Following graduation, she was an intern at Pearl Harbor, as a front lane park ranger.
Both Lorin and Sam gave an overview of the First State National Historical Park as well. The park tells the story of Delaware from colony to statehood. It was designated as a national monument and it included three initial sites: Beaver Valley, New Castle Court House, and the Dover Green. In 2014, it was redesignated and added four more sites, for a total of seven sites in all three counties. They are: Beaver Valley, Fort Christina, Old Swedes Church, the New Castle Court House, Dover Green, the John Dickinson Plantation, and the Ryves Holt House. The sites also tell about the underlying stories that have not been told about the Revolution as well as the connection between European powers and the relationship with the Lenape all the way up to the signing of the Constitution.
Sam and Lorin also emphasized ways that the public can get involved. Beaver Valley, for example, works a lot with the Nature Conservancy and partners with schools to get students engaged in the outdoors and conservation. During the NPS’ centennial, they hosted a bioblitz, where the public helped them inventory all species within a 24 hour period. Volunteers are always welcome, and when you aquire 250 hours of volunteer work, you will receive a volunteer pass. It’ll allow you to get into any park in the state of Delaware.
To conclude, this talk was very insightful as myself and the audience found out about not only the national monument in Delaware, but also the pathway both ladies took. I think I speak for everyone there when I say that their talk really connected with us all, as many college students wonder what their future career will be and how to tie in their interests to jobs.