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Cabarrus Magazine

Cabarrus County's Active Living & Parks Highlight Senior Rangers’ Interests & Expertise with Community Ranger Series

May 01, 2018 06:45PM ● By Melanie Heisinger
Cabarrus County Active Living and Parks hosts a wide variety of activities for the community to take part in. The Parks Department implements fitness, wellness and education to improve the quality of life for Cabarrus County residents. 

The County operates four parks and two active living centers, each with unique amenities that include things like the area’s first mountain bike course and skills trail, tennis courts, miniature golf course, paddle boats, and so much more.

According to their website, "Cabarrus offers many low-cost classes, camps and workshops year round. Connect with the outdoors while participating in hands-on programs geared toward nature, conservation, sustainability and environmental stewardship education."

They also have the junior ranger program, which offers free nature education to local students in the classroom and through field trips to our parks. Scout troops are also encouraged to ask about merit badge programs at our parks.

One of the programs we were most interested in learning more about was the Community Ranger Series. This series is put on by the Parks Department and involves local rangers teaching children specific aspects of being outdoors. In April, they hosted a series that was all about learning to "Fish like a pro." 

Their next Community Ranger Series is in June, 2018 and is all about surviving in the wild. It is a hands-on series with a wildland survivor expert. Camp T.N. Spencer Park's Senior Ranger will teach about campfire building and safety, fishing, shelter construction, and archery. "And don't worry," the website states. "This is not a sit down and listing kind of thing... you will be building fires, constructing shelters, fishing and shooting a bow and arrow yourself!"

We wanted to learn more about this series, so we reached out to the Parks Department. Byron Haigler, Assistant Director for Cabarrus County's Active Living & Parks, answered a few questions for us. 


Tell us a little bit about the Community Ranger Series. 

The Community Ranger Series were designed to highlight senior rangers’ interests and expertise and share these with our community. 

The April Ranger Series was all about fishing for kids! Can you tell us about them?

Senior Ranger Matt Carlson, expert fisherman, taught about fish behavior, what baits to throw, and the equipment needed to get the job done. Attendees can use this knowledge to better their own fishing skills at the park.

What's something someone should expect while attending one of the Community Ranger Series? 

These programs are highly participatory. Attendees will enjoy quality experiences with our senior rangers in our parks and walk away with tools and knowledge in a new area.

Anything else we should know about?

We have two more series this year. Registration can be found at

Wildland Survival Series; Presented by Senior Ranger Luke Robinson

Join us for this hands-on series with a wildland survival expert! Camp TN Spencer Park’s Senior Ranger will teach about campfire building and safety, fishing, shelter construction, and archery. And don’t worry, this is not a sit down and listen kind of thing… you will be building fires, constructing shelters, fishing and shooting a bow and arrow yourself! 

For ages 7 to adult. $10 per individual for entire series.

When: 10 am – 12 pm on June 2, 9, 16 and 23, 2018 @ Camp T.N. Spencer Park

Contact: Shannon Unger @ 704-920-2727 or [email protected]

Campfire Stories: Urban Legends and Myths; Presented by Senior Ranger Taylor Honeycutt

Please join us after dinner for a campfire treat and storytelling of North Carolina’s most popular urban legends and myth. Each of these fireside gatherings will have different stories, including Specter at the Gold Mine, the myths around the State Capitol, Brown Mountain Lights, and Blackbeard’s Ghost. 

For ages 5 to adult. $2 per participant or $5 for family per program.

When: 5:30 -7 pm on November 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2018 @ Rob Wallace Park

Contact: Shannon Unge [email protected] 704-920-2727 or [email protected]

Visit the  Cabarrus County Active Living and Parks's website to learn more about what other classes and services they provide for the community here:

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