Rita and I volunteered at Silver Falls State Park for three seasons. We loved it. Ann Maureen was the best boss we ever had and gave us all the fun things to do.
Our first job was to put jelly beans into plastic eggs for the Easter egg hunt. I can still hear the rat-a-tat of jelly beans missing the egg and hitting the table. Well, they are now contaminated, so, what can you do? Right. Yum.
Since we enjoyed interacting with the public, well, most of them, our primary job was to stand at the top of South Falls and talk about various aspects of the park. P.R. Work. We also had radios so we could act as eyes and ears for the rangers.
“Do not confront a problem. Call us and we will deal with it “
That worked fine until a hiker came to us and mentioned that there was a bear cub in a tree. Cute. Also thirty or so brain-dead souls circling the tree and oohing and aaahing. Not so cute.
Before reporting it, I had to go down and verify this exception to Darwin’s theory.
Oh snuff, there’s the tree, there’s the bear cub, there’s the people. I radioed Rita who got the ranger. “I’ll be there in ten minutes, do what you can.”
Despite signing a non-disclosure regarding wildlife, I will tell you this. If a bear cub is in a tree, (point A) the mama bear is nearby, (point C) and there’s thirty some people in between the two, (point B), someone has the potential to be really screwed.
Although I was in attire that identified me as quasi official, (or was it queasy?) these dolts would not move. So I picked four “volunteer “teens and told them they would get something special (I don’t remember what. Maybe jellybeans) if they moved four paces outside the circle.
Once they did, I radioed Rita and very loudly told her that when mama bear showed up, I had provided four choices for lunch and most of the crowd would be safe.
The ranger finally showed up and found the crowd dispersing. He asked me how I finally got them to move. I just grinned and referred him to the non-disclosure agreement and walked back to Rita at the top of the falls.
Sometimes you just have to wing it.
P.S. The NDA was top secret so please don’t tell a soul.