After 37 years with South Carolina State Parks, Phil Gaines retired as Director. As Phil did during his entire career, he used his last day to lead by example.
On August 2, 2018, exactly 13 years after becoming Director of South Carolina State Parks, and exactly 37 years after starting his career as a park ranger, Phil Gaines ended his career the same way it began.
Director Gaines returned to Kings Mountain State Park, the place where he began his career and put on the uniform, transforming back to Ranger Phil. Ranger Phil spent the day cleaning bathrooms, picking up trash, and using a weedeater.
Phil said he did this on his last day for two reasons. First, so his career would go full circle. Second, to show there are no unimportant jobs in parks.
On this episode, Phil talks about his final day with parks as well as the changed he has seen in parks during the 37 years he has spent serving visitors to South Carolina parks.
Throughout his career, Phil Gaines has been an example of leadership and an inspiration to rangers on how to serve. He leaves with this one final example of how we can serve each other and serve guests to our parks.
The day after his last day, Ranger Phil did what you expected a Park Ranger to do…he went backpacking.