When we were trying to decide where we wanted to spend the summer and possible job opportunities, working for the National Park Service was always high on Rob’s list. There are always more applicants than positions available, and some people apply for years before getting on while others never do. When Rob began his application process toward the end of last year, he figured it was just the beginning of a very long process.
He applied for every position he came across that he felt he was qualified for, as well as some that were long shots. The great thing about the Park Service is that they are everywhere, and the great thing about being wanderers is that we can be anywhere. So, deciding we wanted to spend some time on the East Coast, he applied for jobs all along it.
The rejection letters began coming in and Rob decided that he would gain valuable experience (and have a blast!) as a raft guide, so he applied for and accepted a position here in Tennessee. We arrived in March and intended to spend the summer here, not expecting anything from the Park Service this year.
We were sitting up in a look-out tower in the Smoky Mountains when Rob received a call asking him if he was still interested in a Park Service position up in Pennsylvania. Was he ever! Over a month passed before he heard anything else, but in May, he was able to begin the pre-employment background check, which was a process in itself.
This last Monday he received his official job offer, and he is to begin is new job next week. Our time here in East Tennessee has been wonderful. We have done and seen so many wonderful things and hiked some amazing trails, but it is time once again to venture somewhere new. We are all excited about going to Pennsylvania since we have not been there as a family before. It is a state full of history and new learning experiences for all of us.
We have spent the last couple of days preparing to take Waldo back on the road. We tend to spread out a little bit when we are stationary, so we usually have some stowing to do. Everything is pretty much ready to go and tomorrow we will hit the road, hopefully by early afternoon, or as soon as Rob is able to take care of some last-minute things at work here.
While Rob’s position in Pennsylvania will only last a few months, it is a great opportunity for him to get his foot in the door. Hopefully it is just the beginning of years of new opportunities around the country. This is exactly what he has been hoping for.
Pennsylvania here we come!!