Park Manager Daniel Gambrell

Park Service Profiles

Daniel Gambrell was introduced to state parks at a young age. As a child, he tagged along on annual family camping trips to Table Rock and Lake Hartwell, and it was there that he fell in love with the outdoors.

Gambrell, now the Park Manager at Hunting Island State Park, received a bachelor’s degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management from Clemson University. After graduating he took his first job in the park service as an assistant park ranger at Devils Fork State Park.

“It wasn’t long after I started working there that I was certain I’d chosen the right career,” he says. “I would even encourage others to consider this as a career. It gives you an opportunity to make a positive impact on peoples’ lives while protecting our natural resources.”

Gambrell has spent the past 15 years working his way up in the ranks of the South Carolina State Park Service, working everywhere from Edisto Beach to Santee, Dreher Island, and Sesquicentennial, the first park where he was employed as a manager.

“I’ve enjoyed every park I’ve worked at,” he says. “The best part of this job is building relationships with the staff at each park and enjoying time together while working.”

Gambrell’s positive outlook on life and his career has helped him through some of the more difficult times in the park service.

“This job has been challenging at times, especially dealing with the budget cuts,” he says. “The bright spot on this is watching all of the park staff work together to continue to make sure everyone and everything is taken care of.”

When asked to sum up his job in one phrase Gambrell says being a park ranger isn’t only a job, it’s also a way of life.

Daniel has since been promoted to Chief of Operations in the Central Office for S.C. State Parks.