As weekend visitors to the Bear Brook State Park camp store stopped in for supplies and firewood, Bethany Bryant of Greenville, Ky., stood behind her display table next to a big, orange banner and invited young campers to come take a look.
“Do you want to learn about furbearers?” she’d ask.
An interpretive ranger with the Student Conservation Association, Bryant, 25, was running a Discover the Power of Parks program called Furry Forensics at the Allenstown park that afternoon. As campers stroked the soft furs – some familiar, some not – Bryant talked about the different reasons the animals were hunted and the different uses for their pelts. Moving on to a display of animal tracks on the ground, she invited curious campers to name the animals represented by the imprints they might leave in the snow.
Bryant studied cultural anthropology in college and applied to the various programs before settling on a move to New Hampshire and joining the Discover the Power of Parks team.
“I’ve always loved nature and being outdoors, and I kind of wanted to learn some more of the biology side of things, and to hopefully – one of these days – become a full-time park ranger for a national park.”
She’s learned a lot this summer and is sharing some of that knowledge with visitors to Bear Brook on Fridays through Sundays through Labor Day.