Huff Post article features SCA Alum
Eight years ago, John Kerr had no idea what to do next when he retired from his job as a public television executive in Boston at age 65. For four decades, he had worked at WGBH, most recently appealing for funds on the air, turning him into a highly recognizable mendicant.
After flummoxing around for about a month, he put his belongings in storage, loaded up his camper truck and drove west to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where his family owned a small condominium. During his travels, he stopped by the Yellowstone National Foundation, which raises funds for Yellowstone National Park, and happened to hear that it was hiring people to educate visitors about wolves.
He immediately applied for a position — and landed it.
“So I got one of two positions available, thanks to [people] who took a bet on a geezer. And the next thing I knew, there I was, wearing a Student Conservation Association shirt usually worn by high school and college interns, out on the roadsides, talking with visitors every day, and selling wildlife stewardship and keeping visitors safe instead of raising money for public broadcasting,” said the now 74-year-old. “Suddenly, I had landed in heaven.”
For Kerr, it was a short hop from being “Wolf Ambassador” to being named a park ranger. “The Student Conservation Association, in fact, encourages its interns — who are usually of high school or college age — to pursue just such a path,” he said. “And so I applied for a position as a general seasonal park ranger.”
It’s a role he’s unwittingly prepared for much of his life.