Change is in the Air

Message From The Director

Change is in the air and for most of us, change isn’t that easy. If you have been following South Carolina State Parks at all lately, you may have noticed some dramatic changes.  For example, if you are reading this, you probably noticed the change in director and many of you have heard about our new reservation system, but those are not the biggest changes in parks this fall! It seems as rapidly as the leaves change their colors, much of our park staff has changed as well.  The familiar faces at your favorite parks are not so familiar anymore.  Since October of last year there are many regional chiefs, managers and assistant managers in new locations- 37 to be exact.  While you may recognize some of them from previous park visits, others are brand new to the system.  It is not just managers though, in August and September alone we had 19 additional new hires or promotions.  Indeed the park service, like the leaves of our woodlands, is going through a massive transformation.

For many of us on this journey together in the park service, the excitement is almost palpable. We have so many faces in new places that we are keeping spreadsheets just to know who to call or email at a given park! Our staff is getting to experience many firsts as well- their first summer working at a beach park, assisting with a festival, guiding a house tour, leading a paddle and so much more.  They are preparing for fall events at parks that have long-standing traditions, learning about the local flora and fauna and exploring trails of all kinds so they can share them with our visitors.  Our “new” park rangers are out there right now delving into their new locations so they will be better prepared to share the incredible resources of our state parks with you.

Change of any sort is always easier when you do it with others.  Whether the goal is to learn a new instrument, develop a new habit or get out to parks more, it always helps to have friends to do it with.  As you watch the leaves change this fall, join our park staff as we explore and learn our new jobs together.  I have been bouncing around the state to programs and meetings and exploring some of our incredible resources again myself.  So grab a new Ultimate Outsider guide, check out programs on our park web site, dust off the hiking boots, grab your camping gear or get a cabin, but don’t miss the opportunity to start this new journey with us! 

I will see you in the parks,