Park Ranger Patrick Boxx
South Carolina Parks - Park Ranger Patrick Boxx
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Patrick Boxx-- Making Impressions to Last a Lifetime
grew up in Ninety Six, SC, a few miles down the road from Lake
Greenwood State Recreation Area.
In his early teens, while assisting in the search for a missing hiker at Paris Mountain State Park, he knew being a park ranger was his life's goal.
"I remember seeing the ranger in charge of the search and was awed by his
professionalism and how collected he
"I knew right then that being a ranger in the park service was what I wanted to be."
Boxx attended The Citadel in Charleston, studying political science and later transferred to Lander University in Greenwood where he earned a bachelor's degree in environmental science and anthropology.
His first job with South Carolina State Park Service came in 2005 when he was hired as a Park Technician at McCalla State Natural Area on Lake Russell.
performed routine maintenance and upkeep of the park's buildings, grounds and several boat access areas on the lake.
The skills needed are so diverse and encompassing that you can't focus preparation in one area" Boxx
"I've learned that as a ranger you have to be a 'jack of all trades.' The learning process never ends, and that's what makes this profession so great."
finds immense satisfaction in his
job, especially when he
completes a large project on the park.
"To look back on your work and know that you took part in something that generations of park visitors will use and enjoy makes the job that more rewarding," he
"It's also satisfying to know you've made a difference in a park visitor's experience - whether it's as small as giving directions to a nearby town, helping a visitor start a campfire or lending a hand towing a boat on a windy day.
That positive connection with the public is priceless."
One of the funniest things to happen to Boxx
occurred during a job interview.
A bird repeatedly flew headfirst into the window close to where he
was sitting, making a terrible noise and interrupting the process.
"This went on for the entire interview until the poor bird finally knocked itself out just as the interviewer asked what I could bring to the park if hired," he
"I most certainly would," said Boxx
"The profession allows for variety in the workplace and a diversity of skill sets I don't believe another job can offer.
It is unique in the way it allows you to enjoy working outdoors as well as inside, to preserve and protect the state's natural and historic resources, and for the opportunity to make a family's campout one that provides memories to last a lifetime."
Asked to sum up his
said, "Never underestimate even the smallest gesture you make when it comes to customer service.