PERRY TWP. Who didn’t want to be a park ranger when they were young? Stark Parks gave 200 to 300 kids and adults a chance to see what being a park ranger is all about on Sept. 23 during the third annual Stark Parks Ranger for a Day event at Exploration Gateway at Sippo Lake.
Junior rangers got a detective’s cap to wear for a scavenger hunt. They also got to try on ballistics vests and uniforms, take a shot in the shooting range and find their way through an obstacle course to receive a 50th anniversary ranger for a day badge. Plus, there was a fingerprinting station and a K-9 ranger demonstration.
“We have six stations along the path with rangers and volunteers at each to talk about different topics such as boat safety, bike safety, petiquette, wildlife, littering and the importance of having green space for animals,” Capt. Justin Laps said. “The event stresses the importance of letting people who visit the parks know that they can approach a ranger at any time and ask questions. It’s also a good way to educate the population about what the rangers do in the parks."
Kids and their families spent the afternoon following the path from the parking lot to the back of the Exploration Gateway Center. The stations were setup along the path and each station had a clue for the scavenger hunt.
At the end of the path was Chief Daniel R. George who handed out the Ranger for a Day official badge. Many of the kids were wearing badges they earned from the past two Ranger for a Day events.
Toward the end of the day, families gathered around a fenced area to watch Sgt. Jonathan Crock and his K-9 partner Gunner do a demonstration. Gunner was joined by K-9 officers from the Jackson Township Police Department and the Brimfield Police Department.