Assistant Park Manager Adin Fell
No 9-to-5 Job for Me
Growing up on a large farm with everything from livestock to produce, Adin Fell always knew he wanted a career that would allow him to enjoy the outdoors. As a South Carolina Park Ranger, he’s had just that.
A small-town boy from Kansas, Ill., Fell was one of 13 in his high school graduation class. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Forestry-Outdoor Recreation Management from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. During college he worked in maintenance with the Illinois State Parks system. “I learned that being a park ranger would be the perfect outdoor career, allowing me to pursue many different avenues of work and to break away from a monotonous 9-to-5 type job,” Fell said.
After college, Fell landed a position with the South Carolina State Park Service as an assistant ranger at Edisto Beach State Park. “It was here that I learned there is so much more to the job than mowing and weed-eating,” Fell said. “I’ve tried to learn from everyone I work with to understand how I can more successfully do my job. I’m always involved.”
Fell spent a year and a half at Edisto Beach before moving to Dreher Island for his first full-time Ranger I position. Next was Hickory Knob as a Senior Ranger. Fell is now Assistant Manager at Santee State Park, a scenic park on Lake Marion.
“The main aspect of my job is the park’s 30-cabin operation. I make sure park guests are getting not only what they pay for, but that we’re working to give them an above average experience,” Fell said.
Working closely with his manager, Fell’s major area of responsibility is managing and protecting the park’s 2,500 acres. This includes oversight of the park’s rangers, housekeeping and maintenance duties. He also works with the park’s budget to ensure it is managed properly and efficiently.
“It’s never dull, and it’s never the same,” said Fell. “I enjoy the people I work with past and present. It’s a career that teaches you plenty about anything you could ever want to know. You literally become a ‘Jack-of-all-Trades.’”
A five-year veteran of South Carolina State Parks, Fell has enjoyed each park he’s been assigned.
The funniest thing to happen during his career occurred during an annual Managers’ Conference at Hickory Knob a few years ago when he side-swiped a table while presenting the Ceremonial Colors.
On the other hand, letting people down is hard for Fell to deal with. “When complaints come in about anything – the campground, cabins, the look of the park – I take it very personally because I see it as a reflection on me and the job I’m doing,” he said.
Would he encourage others to become a park ranger? “If you enjoy being outdoors and working with the public, this is the job for you. Just don’t try to take things seriously all the time,” he added. Asked to sum up his job in a phrase, Fell concluded, “We’re getting there.”
Ranger Fell has since been promoted to Park Manager at Lake Wateree State Park.