Danielle Hogan

Posted on April 22nd, 2013

University Student, Carelton University (Communication Studies) - Ottawa, ON
Sleeping Giant Ontario Ranger, 2010
Three years ago I applied for the Ontario Ranger Program, unaware of the huge effect it would have on my life.  In 2010, I was a shy teenager, uncomfortable in my own skin, and unsure of what I wanted to do with my future. I had always had a passion for the preservation of nature, and exploration of the outdoors - but coming from a highly populated city, I lacked opportunities to express those interests.  Fortunately, working for the Ontario Ranger Program provided me with a chance.
As a Ranger I broke out of my shell, and broke into loud country singing and dancing in the rain.  A full transformation! Living in such close quarters with 21 other girls left no room for tension. Everyone was true to who they were, and was accepted for that. Spending an entire summer with a group of such genuine, kind ladies provided us with lasting friendships and networking all across Ontario. Many of us still write letters by good ol’ snail mail, and attend annual summer reunions. Rangers is a part of who we are, and although I don’t see everyone as much as I’d like, they are, and always will be, my sisters.
Since that summer, I have gone off to Carleton University with confidence, and joined a variety of clubs and societies. The Ontario Ranger Program has inspired me to get involved in my community and give back to our beautiful province everything is has given me. I worry that future young people will not feel the same kind of pride, and love for their province as the Ontario Ranger Program instills.  And I am saddened to know that they will not be granted that chance to explore the beauty of our province with a sense of independence, and passion. I never would have thought our government would put such a small price on the successful development of young people.
Moreover, without the Ontario Ranger Program, how will today’s youth possibly learn what an ‘X’ off a nature trail means? It is not treasure, I can tell you that. But seriously, Rangers taught me to be confident with who I am, and welcome new opportunities with open arms. The Ontario Ranger Program may only have been one summer, but it provides experiences that fill a lifetime. 

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This blog is an online campagin against the closure of the Ontario Ranger Program. If you are interested in contributing please email us at: friendsoftheorp@gmail.com.


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