Not many people at Governor Livingston know that history teacher Mr. Benjamin Bolger has an interesting job outside of school of being a park ranger for the National Park Service at Thomas Edison National Historical Park (NHP).
Mr. Bolger’s career as a park ranger started at Morristown NHP during his senior year of college and became full time after he graduated. Mr. Bolger enjoyed the presentation aspect of being a park ranger, such as talking to school groups, which inspired him to go to graduate school and become certified as a teacher. Since becoming a teacher, Mr. Bolger works summers and holidays as a ranger, providing tours for students and supervising the summer intern program for high schoolers. In some respects, Mr. Bolger’s job as a park ranger is very similar to his job as a teacher. His passion for educating helps him to have a close relationship with students and emphasize the significance of historic events at national parks and in the classroom.
Ever since he was young and visited Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York, Mr. Bolger has always had a passion for history. He thought it would be interesting to dress up as a character to explain history, and these presentations can create a much more effective learning experience for audiences. Mr. Bolger is also inspired to talk about more diverse topics in history.
One of most difficult parts of Mr. Bolger’s job is to fulfill the mission of the National Park Service: “To preserve and protect the natural and historic resources of the nation for the unimpaired enjoyment of future generations.” Following the mission of the National Park Service is vital to being a park ranger, as the statement reveals the dedication and passion rangers must have. Mr. Bolger has learned to talk to many different people, and whether a situation is stressful or easy to take care of, it is important for rangers to stay on their toes and be prepared for any possible emergency.
Mr. Bolger has contributed time and energy to being a park ranger, and has completed a plethora of different tasks for the Morristown and Edison National Historical Parks. For example, in Morristown, Mr. Bolger dressed as a soldier from the Revolutionary War and talked about the life of a soldier. Often, he gives tours or answers visitors’ questions. Mr. Bolger has assisted with “first aid cases, two fires, and break-ins” and even drove a truck with historical furniture “to be treated for insect infestation in a nitrogen tent” in Massachusetts. Mr. Bolger has also worked on resource protection and security staff, maintenance staff, and taken care of historic objects through the curatorial division. His favorite thing about being a ranger is the fact that he is surrounded by historic artifacts and rooms that are filled with the original equipment and books used by Thomas Edison himself.
Mr. Bolger’s job as a park ranger has inspired him to become a history teacher and further improve his communication skills with students and groups of people. From leading tours in the park to answering questions of visitors, he has learned to think on the fly and appreciate the preservation of historical objects. All of these skills and lessons Mr. Bolger has learned throughout his years as a park ranger, he hopes to pass on to the students that take his class, AP US History II. Mr. Bolger’s contributions to the Morristown and Edison National Historical Parks and Governor Livingston are greatly appreciated by members of the community and students and faculty alike.