Park Manager Robert Dinkins

Park Service Profiles

Always on Vacation

Although Robert Dinkins has worked with South Carolina State Parks for almost nine years, according to him he hasn’t worked a day in his life.

“I love my job, so this career doesn’t seem like work,” Dinkins said.

Born a nature lover in Sumter, SC, Dinkins soon went on to graduate from Coastal Carolina in Myrtle Beach with a major in Recreation Leisure Services Management and a minor in Biology. He subsequently served in SC State Park positions in Myrtle Beach, Santee, Sesquicentennial (Columbia), Lake Warren (Hampton), Hunting Island (Beaufort) and now is the Park Manager for Lake Hartwell in Fair Play.

Robert is responsible for the daily operations of the park that includes supervising employees, managing the on-site retail operation, overseeing camper cabin operations, maintaining all facilities, acts as a firearms, oleoresin capsicum and ground defense instructor for state parks, and is also a bike mounted ranger.

Out of everything, Robert notes that his favorite experience has nothing to do with the huge list of responsibilities.

“The most satisfying part of my job is the smile on a child’s face when they get to meet a park ranger,” he said.

Even when he has to deal with disputes between visitors, or when he takes a spill on his bike in front of an audience of 100 visitors, Robert Dinkins views his career as a choice that he would recommend to anyone who loves the outdoors.

“I’m always on vacation,” Dinkins admits.