These athletes and performers worked hard this year to earn the right to be called Parkwide Champions!
All staff t-shirts and hoodies are half off! T-shirts are $9 and hoodies are $17.50.
Nothing says you have worked in Yellowstone like YNP Staff gear. Hooded sweatshirts, tee shirts, hats, koozies and Nalgene water bottles stamped with ‘YNP Staff’ let others know you worked a summer in Yellowstone National Park. Before you head home for the season stop by a location recreation office to purchase gear that will spark conversations at home and bring back memories for years to come.
Grab your clubs and hop in your car–we’re going golfing! It’s not everyday you get to golf when you live in a park that is 2.2 million acres (sort of ironic, right?). That’s why we’ve put together the 2nd Annual Yellowstone Employee Scramble. In this 4-person team event we’ll roll up our sleeves on Friday, August 21st to see how low we can go at the Overland Golf Course in Big Timber, Montana.
This tournament is a steal. For $45 you receive greens fee, cart, lunch, and a chance at prizes. Sign up today with your location recreation office or call the parkwide office at (307) 344-5224. Limited transportation is available leaving from Mammoth Hot Springs. Check in is at 9:00 am for the 9:30 am shotgun start. Rental sets are available for $7. Registration closes on Tuesday, August 18th at 9:00 am.
by Andrew Coghill
On May 25th, with snow and ice still choking many park trails, a member of the 100 Mile Hiking Club submitted the first completed 100 mile log sheet of the season. That was fast! David Rogers of Richmond, Kentucky set the quick pace and log sheets have been pouring into recreation offices ever since.
David took the Club’s challenge to hike 100 miles in a single summer and, you might say, hiked with it. Before orientation for his new job working for Xanterra in Mammoth’s Employee Dining Room, David climbed the Mammoth Terraces and after his first shift he hiked Lava Creek to Undine Falls. An avid hiker, David wasn’t going to waste his first trip to the Rocky Mountains. “I’m trying to make the most of it while I’m here. Who knows if I’ll be back.”
Waterfalls are a favorite of David’s. After visiting the Mammoth Recreation Office and perusing The Guide to Yellowstone’s Waterfalls and Their Discovery David marked his map and before June he had checked ten waterfalls off his list, including Undine, Osprey, and Hidden Falls on the Blacktail Deer Creek trail.
Like so many 100 Mile Hiking Club members David has fallen in love with Yellowstone. “Just being able to call this place home is nice.” Whether back home volunteering for Explore Kentucky, hosting IHikeKentucky on Facebook, or in YNP, David can’t keep from thinking about his next adventure. Before the summer is over he has his sights on Mount Holmes, Electric Peak, and plans to hike over 500 miles.
When David is not on the trail he has joined YCERP for dodgeball, pickup basketball, group hikes, kayaking on Lake Yellowstone, and league softball. “It’s been good here. I’ve met some nice people and made a lot of friends.”
David’s advice for employees considering joining the 100 Mile Hiking Club is simple: “Just take it one mile at a time.” Since David first turned in his log sheet 75 employees have submitted their 100 mile log sheets. It seems David has many employees hot on his heels.
You need to see this! Tonight wrapped up the first of three Cougar Seminars held this month for YNP employees. It was awesome! The program included videos and photographs of cougars in the Yellowstone backcountry and in-depth and entertaining information about the current cougar project. Field Biologist Colby Anton will present two more upcoming seminars about these rare and elusive animals. These seminars are a must see!
Lake Lodge Recreation Hall
Thursday, July 23 7:00 pm
Old Faithful Recreation Hall
Thursday, July 30 7:00 pm
There is literally no better place to learn to fly fish than Yellowstone National Park. The park is dripping wet with world class trout streams like the Yellowstone and Madison rivers, Slough Creek, and Lake Yellowstone. This month YCERP and fishing guide Eric Lane will host six free employee-only seminar and casting clinics. If you’ve ever had an inkling to try fly fishing the time is now.
Eric has fished the park’s waters for years as a park employee, fishing guide, and avid fisherman. Not only will he teach you the basics of the sport and prepare you for your first time on the water, he’ll also fill you in on Yellowstone fishing hot spots and the tactics to catch your first Yellowstone trout.
Experienced anglers are encouraged to participate and learn from Eric’s first-hand knowledge of Yellowstone’s famed waters.
Check this flyer for seminar and casting class locations, dates, and times.
What better way to relax and have fun after work than playing a sport you love? As a Yellowstone employee you have the opportunity to play softball in the world’s first national park – who else can say that?
It’s never too early to start thinking softball. League softball begins in mid-June and ends in late July or early August. Teams are put together by self designated captains, people with a love of the game and the enthusiasm and organization to fill a roster. Captains are some of our most beloved people in the park! We appreciate everything they do. Our leagues wouldn’t be possible without them.
A captain’s first responsibility is communicating with their location recreation staff. Location staff teach captains about the league organization, rules, and deadlines. If you have the gusto to captain a team find your location recreation staff pronto! They’ll then be able to keep you in the loop as more specific information is released as the seasons approach.
Please come to your location’s league softball meeting on June 7th if you are interested in playing or forming a team. The Canyon, Old Faithful, Lake and Grant meetings are at 7:00 pm and the Mammoth meeting is at 7:30 pm.
You can also check Activity Calendars for League Sports Meetings dates and times, a must for interested players.
Aside from league softball, we have pickup basketball on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm and pickup volleyball Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm at most locations. This is the perfect time to put together a team for the 3 on 3 volleyball and basketball tournaments!
We have 3 on 3 location volleyball tournaments at MHS, OF, GV, LL and CL on Thursday, June 15 at 7:00 pm. 1st and 2nd place teams continue on to the Parkwide Tournament on Thursday, June 22 in Mammoth Hot Springs.
We have 3 on 3 location basketball tournaments at MHS, OF, GV, LL and CL on Tuesday, June 20 at 7:00 pm. 1st and 2nd place teams continue on to the Parkwide Tournament on Tuesday, June 27 in Mammoth Hot Springs.
Talk to your location recreation staff during office hours for more information on putting together a team for these tournaments.
Kerry Gunther, NPS Bear Management Program Leader, recently took time to speak with YCERP about the upcoming Bear Seminars and to share his thoughts on recreating in Yellowstone, a place he has called home for over 30 years. Kerry and his staff will present seven Bear Seminars for park employees this May and June. These seminars are jam-packed with interesting facts and information including the history of the park’s bear management program, species identification, bear behavior, how to avoid bear encounters and what to do if you find yourself face to face with a bear.
What is the biggest misconception people have about Yellowstone’s bears?
The biggest misconception most people have about Yellowstone’s bears is that when they attack they want to kill and eat you. Actually, most attacks are defensive in nature, when a hiker has surprised a female with cubs, the female feels her cubs are threatened and wants to neutralize the perceived threat. In most cases, once the threat is neutralized, the female gathers up her cubs and leaves the area. In general bear attacks are very rare, even defensive attacks, but predatory attacks are extremely rare.
You and your staff will present seven Bear Seminars for Yellowstone employees this spring. What message do you hope employees take from these seminars?
I hope that everyone learns to respect bears, but also that they learn enough about bear behavior and how to defuse confrontations with bears so that they have the confidence to hike and camp in the backcountry while enjoying themselves. Yellowstone has an amazing backcountry full of wondrous places to explore. I want the next generation of park employees to appreciate Yellowstone’s backcountry as much as I do.
We know you’re not always studying bears. As a Yellowstone resident, how do you enjoy the park in your off time?
I hike the trails, climb the peaks, and sea kayak and canoe Yellowstone, Lewis, and Shoshone Lakes. I also enjoy walking the boardwalk trails to see the thermal features, but I hike them in the early morning before most of the park visitors are out, or in the early evening when most visitors are inside having dinner.
Any favorite trails?
My favorite backpacking trip is to hike the trail from Old Faithful to Bechler in the fall after the mosquitoes are gone. I enjoy side trips to the waterfalls and a soak near Ferris Fork Creek.
You pitch for the league champion Slammin Goofballs in YCERP’s softball league. What gets your heart pumping faster: facing a homerun hitter in a close game or standing face to face with a grizzly bear?
I’d rather face a charging grizzly bear any day than face the first six batters in the Geezers lineup. The Geezers who had won the championship for quite a few years straight, don’t have a weak hitter in their lineup and any one of their first six hitters can hit one out any time they’re up, even with the wind blowing in.
Is there anything else you would like to share with Yellowstone employees?
The summer will go by very quickly, get out and see the park and enjoy the backcountry. I am fortunate to have come for just one summer and to have found a permanent job here and stayed for 33 years now. But many employees may stay for just one summer, so go out and see as much as you can, especially the backcountry. Those memories will last you a lifetime.
For more information on Yellowstone’s bears visit: http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/bearsafety.htm
Interested in seeing Kerry and other softball players on the field? Check out the Athletics page for league sports information. Softball begins Monday, June 22nd.
YCERP’s always hosting fun activities; you can find a hike or a join a game nearly every day of the week. But some events are so big we can only host them once a year, and we invite everybody! The Parkwide Talent Show and the Colter Classic softball tournament are just two of many events that bring people from every park location together for fun, entertainment, and a bit of competition.
Look at the calendar to plan to participate in the year’s biggest events.
Additional information will be advertised on Activity Calendars and special postings as parkwide events approach.
Experience unforgettable backcountry camping using our Yellowstone Outdoor Rental Service.
The Yellowstone Outdoor Rental Service (Y.O.R.S) offers park employees high quality affordable backpacking gear. Rental gear is available in each location recreation office. Nightly rental fees range from $3 to $7 per item. Cash deposits required upon checkout are returned in full if the items are brought back in-like condition, without damage or missing parts.
So pull out your maps and hiking guides and start planning your trips! Visit Backpacking and Camping Gear Rentals for full descriptions of rental items and information on backcountry camping.