Two episodes of the Park Leaders Show have discussed the Conservation Corps. Ray Bivens is a true Conservation Corps success story. Ray Bivens began his outdoor career with the Maryland Conservation Corps. That experience led him into a career in Parks and Recreation. At only 38 years old, Ray became the Director of Delaware State Parks.
Ray has an entrepreneurial view of parks. He understands parks compete with other forms of recreation. In order to get visitors to a park, and entice them to return, you have to give them a reason. Make a park enjoyable, fun, and deliver a little WOW. He says Parks are in the “Forever Business” and believes if you can’t get the business part of parks right, you can’t get the stewardship part right either. Running parks properly allows you to fulfill your mission.
Ray talks about the importance of making the most out of opportunities, his role of Director, balancing your career and family, and hiring new team members.
As inspiration for up and coming leaders, Ray shares the Seven Secrets of Good Interpretation by Bob Jennings. Ray points out you can remove the word interpretation and replace it with Park Ranger or Park Manager and have a guide to help you do your job better.
1. Love what you are doing and don’t be afraid to show it.
2. Know your subject and keep trying to learn more about it.
3. Develop ways to keep yourself and your presentation fresh.
4. Remember the little things.
5. Don’t be afraid to try something different.
7. Go back to #1.