A Riveredge trip helped inspire Port women to work in national parks
For Elizabeth Gerrits, it was an eye-opener that led to finding her passion and career choice.
For best friend and classmate Tori Klotz, it was a reminder of what she loved.
An eight-day trip in high school to the Boundary Waters in Canada changed the lives of the 2011 Port Washington High School graduates forever.
Gerrits didn’t grow up taking camping trips in the wilderness, but she decided to make a career of working in nature.
She remembers exactly when she “totally fell in love with the outdoors.
“We were paddling down Moose Lake and I thought, ‘Wow, this is amazing,’” Gerrits said.
“I was just like, “Whoa, I can’t believe a place like this exists.’ I remember having the thought, looking at the lodges on the lake, I bet they hire people in the summertime.”
They do, and Gerrits worked two summers at Tuscarora Lodge in Minnesota.
When the time came to decide on college, Gerrits chose Northland College in Ashland and earned a degree in geology. That led to a job as an interpretive park ranger at Glacier National Park in Montana.
“Visitors from all over the world come to the park and I get to help them have a positive experience and show them why Glacier National Park is so special,” she said.