Making of an Experience

Message From The Director

In my position I get to see some great things happen on our team. The South Carolina State Park Service is blessed, like many organizations working in our field, with talented, passionate and creative people. Given the tools and the time, they create experiences from nothing, support each other and find ways to make your SC State Parks relevant to both new and experienced users.  In the past few days, I have received updates on park programs, information about creative trainings, reports about staff assisting in emergencies and with marketing promotions at our parks. In fact, these things come across my desk so often that it is easy to take for granted and forget the amount of planning and work that goes into these activities.  

This morning I woke up to pictures and reports from two very different programs that happened in parks in the past few weeks. These programs brought new and experienced visitors together for what was surely a new experience for both. One program invited people to fly kites on the beach, while the other worked with under-served communities to take a group hiking to the top of Table Rock for a sunrise. I was not fortunate enough to participate in either of these programs, but I do know one thing for sure, the visitors who came and joined us, made some memories that will last a long time. They had an experience with friends and family at some of our state’s most spectacular vistas, hosted by some of our incredible team. 

These experiences don’t just happen. These experiences are the result of creative people trying to find ways to share what we love in new and/or exciting ways.  They take planning, staffing and promotion.  There are calls, forms, supplies and run throughs.  For the visitor it seems like an easy, flawless activity, but for the staff it is an exercise in planning and management.  They coordinate resources and schedules and arrive ready to give the customer the experience they expect.  When it goes off well, like these two programs did, staff and visitors leave on a high note because of the experience. 

These employees are kept engaged and challenged by inspired leadership --and I don’t mean mine. The park leadership team, including park managers, regional leadership and section chiefs, work hard to support and create opportunities for our parks to succeed. Our leaders provide creative training and exposure to growth opportunities like leading programs or practicing writing skills. They seek outside groups who can add to the tool box with information or by adding educational trails.  Our park leaders push for new facilities like pump tracks and advocate to enhance opportunities like glamping, axe throwing or zip lines. They find the edge of the envelope and push. 

Getting to come to work and be inspired by the people you work with is one of the most exciting parts of my job.  Our team pushes for new and exciting experiences in parks because of their passion for sharing our resources.  Even more impressive than that, is how they support each other’s efforts because of their desire to see their park service family succeed!!  I know your experiences in parks are better because of our team and I am proud to be on it!!