Park Manager Dawn Weaver
Park Service Profiles
Dawn Weaver has been a part of the South Carolina State Park Service for just three years, but her ties to her park and its community go back generations. After her youngest child started high school and Weaver was faced with an empty nest, she turned her thoughts to becoming a park ranger. Her degree in Business Administration and Psychology from Presbyterian College served her well and Dawn says, “After coming to work with the park service, I became interested in Interpretation and became a certified Interpreter under the National Association of Interpretation program.” She is now working to change her certification to Certified Interpretive Manager. In addition to her varied programs of study and additional certification, Weaver has extensive personal experience. She says: “At least as important as training and education is the fact that I grew up on a family farm. Raised by great aunts and uncles, I learned a skill set that was very out of sync with my peers. I learned the maintenance basics of mowing and bushhogging and sometimes just taking stuff apart and figuring it out.” And all of that comes in very handy today!
Weaver grew up on a five generation family farm right up the road from Musgrove Mill. She says: “It’s a unique opportunity for me to manage this park, particularly because I grew up here. I am a ‘local.’” She started her ranger career at Musgrove Mill and then moved to the coast and worked at Huntington Beach State Park before returning to her childhood stomping grounds and eventually becoming the manager at Musgrove Mill. As manager of the park, Weaver does everything from interpretive programs and preservation of two American Revolutionary battlefields to the management of employees and volunteers and very importantly, maintenance- and often all on the same day! Weaver says: “At Musgrove, though a historic site, we have significant recreational use of the Enoree River and Horseshoe Falls. We have a lot of tourism season visitors. There’s never an excuse for being bored here.” You could say that again!
As for her favorite part of her job, Weaver loves the challenge of balancing the day-to-day needs of running a park with great front-line customer service. She enjoys the park ‘regulars’ as well as meeting people from all over the world. We asked Weaver to sum up her job for us and she said: “At the end of the day, my job is about protecting and preserving a significant historic place and its story and helping people make their own connections to the place and the history. It’s seeing the light in a visitor’s eyes when history comes alive for them and they totally ‘get something’ that they’ve only read about in books.” Thank you, Ranger Dawn, for all that you do!