Ranger Andrew McCune

Park Service Profiles

Meet Andrew McCune, a passionate park ranger dedicated to preserving the natural resources of South Carolina's state parks. Originally from Cottageville, West Virginia, his love for the outdoors began at a young age. Fond memories of exploring the outdoors after school and family vacations to state and national parks sparked his enthusiasm for nature, a passion that now defines his career.

Andrew's journey into parks began long before he decided to obtain a degree. He worked for almost a decade in food service, working up to becoming a General Manager. Andrew says "A lot of the skills I obtained in that profession were surprisingly transferable to a career in parks. These include customer service, communication, coordinating tasks with others, quick decision-making, and business operations." From here, he decided to pursue a career in natural resources by attending Marshall University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Natural Resources and Recreation Management. Andrew realized that he wanted to become a park ranger when he was hired at West Virginia State Parks as a Park Guide, where he saw just how passionate parks people were about what they do. 

Since joining the South Carolina State Park team over two years ago, Andrew has served as an assistant ranger at Colleton State Park before assuming his current role as Ranger I at Poinsett State Park. His duties encompass a wide range of responsibilities, from overseeing campground operations and coordinating volunteer programs to supervising trail maintenance and ensuring top-notch customer service.

Andrew's favorite part of the job? Weekend patrols, where he interacts with visitors, hands out treats to kids and pets, and shares his passion for nature:

"My favorite duty is the weekend patrols. This is when our park is at our busiest and we have the most visitors. I get to ride around the park and introduce myself to the visitors and ask them about their experiences at our park. This is when I have some of the best moments of the week. I hand out candy to the kids and treats to the dogs. Visitors will often share pictures they have taken of the various species in our park, and I get to offer my assistance in identifying them. I believe one of the most important aspects of my job is instilling a love for nature in others and during these patrols, I’m having the most personal interactions. Through the years they won’t remember my name, or even who I was. They will remember how they felt when they were here."

While Andrew takes his duties seriously, he also finds joy in the diversity of experiences and challenges each day brings. "The most difficult aspect of this job is the wide variety of duties you perform daily. They will come at you fast and you must be able to effectively prioritize these duties often on the fly. This is also what makes this job so much fun since no two days are the same."

Despite the demanding nature of his role, Andrew remains dedicated to encouraging others to pursue careers in parks. "It is a very fulfilling experience that provides a lot of challenges," he says. "It is a great mix of blue-collar and white-collar style work that will keep you engaged during your career in the park service."

When asked to sum up his job, Andrew describes it as similar to "going to recess every day."

Outside of his ranger duties, Andrew is an avid kayaker and outdoorsman. He's currently working on completing his Ultimate Outsider book, with Hunting Island State Park holding a special place in his heart for its pristine beaches and natural beauty.

Beyond his role as a park ranger, Andrew's dedication to environmental stewardship extends to his volunteer work with the Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Commission. A former member of the commission, Andrew utilizes his kayaking expertise to lead trips along the Edisto River and conduct interpretational tours in the Audubon Beidler Forest.

As he continues to make a difference in South Carolina, Andrew's enthusiasm and dedication inspire both colleagues and visitors alike. Thank you, Andrew!

Think you might be interested in a job with the South Carolina State Park Service? Click here to see our current job openings!