Friday, June 19, 2009

How I came to be at Chickasaw NRA

Chickasaw National Recreation Area is in Sulphur, OK. I imagine those of you who don't know me are wondering how a teacher from DC ended up in Sulphur, OK for the summer.

Well, it goes something like this....

I knew Lauren from working with STAMPS and doing a teacher training at Ford's Theater. She used to be a National Park Ranger at Ford's Theater. Back in February 2008 STAMPS took a trip to Richmond, VA for the day. Lauren and her then, boyfriend, Chris, came along for the day with Jen, myself and a few more than 20 students. While at the McDonald's for lunch (in between the Maggie Walker NHS and Richmond National Battlefield sites) Lauren gets a phone call from a park in Oklahoma, offering her a job. She was ecstatic. As I was reminded by one of my students today who remembered the moment well, "she made a big announcement to us." The park that Lauren was moving to is none other than Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

Now, fast forward to this past winter. Jen, my National Mall friend and STAMPS partner colleague, knew that I wanted to participate in the TRT program. She shared that with Lauren and Lauren emailed me and asked if I would want to come to Chickasaw. Voila!

I was beside myself with excitement! While Oklahoma was not one of my original destination spots, I was/am very excited to be somewhere that is different and gives me perspective on another part of the country. And I was sooooo excited to be working with someone that I know and like! :) Perhaps my biggest concern was the historical aspect. Chickasaw has a lot of leisure activities, science opportunities, and nature.....all terrific, but I wasn't sure what I would be doing with a background in history. Not to worry though, there are actually a lot of history connections, perhaps the largest and most obvious being the CCC connection. In the early 1930s the CCC was responsible for building bridges, making lakes, and strengthening the infrastructure of the park.

So, I eagerly accepted the position and have been looking forward to it ever since! That, my friends, is how a DC girl came to Oklahoma for the summer.