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One of the Most Interesting Guys I Know

Chief Rangers wear many hats!

Sammy and the nice hawk

Chief Ranger Sammy Zambon presenting a Red Tailed Hawk to park guests

From time to time I will be spotlighting some of the incredible staff that I have the privilege to work with. Today it is Sammy Zambon, Chief Ranger at Caledon State Park.  I met Sammy in his early days as a seasonal interpreter/park naturalist while he was working at Westmoreland State Park.  We were all very impressed with him from the very beginning. He is what I think, in my humble opinion, what a Park Naturalist should be.  Knowledgeable, creative, fun and very passionate about the environment, wildlife and Virginia State Parks!

Sammy demonstrating seining to the Little Explorers program participants

One of my favorite programs he created is his rendition of the Night Before Christmas Hayride and Story. Just to see Sammy sing is well worth coming along for the fun. Notice I did not say hear Sammy sing, we won’t go there! The hay wagon takes park guests on a ride through the forest of Caledon State Park for a Christmas sing along.  Participants are then treated to hot chocolate and T’was the Night Before Christmas read by Sammy himself! Click here for a list of dates and times for this program.

Winter at Caledon

Winter at Caledon

Sammy spends some of his time in schools bringing nature and the outdoors to children that cannot come out to the park. The kids love him!  Because Sammy is so well respected by his co-workers he spends some of his time on “working groups” or in an advisory capacity.   The majority of his time is spent at the park working hard on programs and whatever else needs to be done. 

Sammy in sawyer safety chaps with Park Ranger, Jim Tolson

There may be something people don’t realize, not only does Sammy do the majority of programming, he also has to take care of the park!  Whether it’s clearing down trees from trails,  enforcing the law as a police officer, tending to all the paper work required for someone in his position or working with the Friends of Caledon he has a huge responsibility! 

Additionally, Sammy has become quite the photographer and can be counted on for providing some incredible pictures of his home park and other parks he visits along the way.

One of Sammy's great photos

Lunar Eclipse photograph taken by Sammy

So it you haven’t met Sammy, it’s hard to miss all 6’3” of him, especially when he dons the Sasquatch costume,make sure you come to Caledon State Park and attend one of the many engaging programs the park offers.

Sammy and his daughter

Sammy and his daughter

Sammy shares his home with, and is supported by, his amazing wife and  his intelligent daughter that keeps me laughing!  For more information on Caledon State Park and all programs, please contact the park at (540) 663-3861 or by email.


Published: 12/12/2013


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