When you read the manual, and do the training, you’ll learn about protocols and procedures for all kinds of worrying scenarios. So I went into my first shift, a Friday night swing, expecting must-reports and medical emergencies every 5 minutes. Instead, I spent the first couple of hours warning campers that we might have some bad weather.That was pretty much the most intense thing that happened to me on any of my shifts. There’s a saying, “Hurry up and wait”. That largely captures the rangering experience, though maybe for Rangering it should be “Hurry up and walk”.
Don’t get me wrong, things do happen and you may have to deal with a situation. If you do, then the training and the support at the other end of your radio will get you through it. But most of Rangering is just being visible, walking the dirt, talking to participants and keeping an eye out for the rare bits of trouble.
In exchange for all that walking and gifting sixteenish hours of your time, you get to be a Ranger. You get to be part of an amazing team of wonderful people who are all giving back to Blazing Swan incredibly generously. You’ll get to be part of a team of really wonderful humans who care about each other and everyone else at the event.
You’ll get to learn, or expand, your mediation abilities. You can sign up to expand your other skills, to help people who are in distress or help keep the Rangers walking. And you’ll get a neat hat, so your ears don’t end up looking like overcooked shrimp.
The Rangers aren’t police, we don’t run around confiscating things and telling people off. We’re community mediators, we’re there to try and make sure everyone has a good, safe time. Along the way we get to meet a lot of other wonderful people, be they fellow volunteers or participants.
If you’re the kind of person who likes making sure other people are safe and happy, or you just want to find a way to give back, I’d highly recommend Rangering. There are a few nice perks to being a Ranger, but I’d do it all again just for the sense of community. Just remember, comfy shoes.