A nationwide program linking hiking to public-interest topics is growing in Wyoming, thanks to the efforts of a young Wyoming State Parks ranger. The ranger, Angelina Stancampiano, is featured in the next installment of “Wyoming Chronicle” on Wyoming PBS.
Stancampiano has organized several programs in Wyoming in conjunction with the national Women Who Hike initiative. More hikes are coming soon. Interviewed at South Pass City State Historic site by “Wyoming Chronicle” producer Steve Peck, Stancampiano says Women Who Hike combines exercise, sightseeing and camaraderie, with each organized hiking weekend tied to a particular topic of interest to participants.
Her “Wyoming Chronicle” interview coincided with the beginning of the Women Who Hike History outing that launched from South Pass City. Other recent Women Who Hike programs organized by Stancampiano have included trips to Seminoe, Sinks Canyon, Boysen and Bear River state parks, and other sites in the state parks system.
She highlights a particular excursion, which combined hiking with training for outdoor leadership, another that stressed sensible preservation practices for hikers, and another with an emphasis on winter hiking.
The young ranger came to Wyoming in 2021 after starting her career in Oklahoma. She cites a pledge from Wyoming State Parks leadership that she would have flexibility in scheduling and leading a diverse range of programming. She says the job is a natural progression from her childhood, when she explored fish, birds, snakes and insects “all while wearing a tutu,” she adds with a laugh.
Rangers who do interpretive work for the public can come from different areas of emphasis. Stancampiano‘s was science. She says her father was a biology professor, who led guided family hikes. In pursuing a biology degree in college, she came to an increasing awareness that many people did not have the exposure to nature and the outdoors that she did during her childhood. “And so that started me down the path of ‘maybe this is something that I could do. I could
connect people with nature as well,’” she says.
In addition to Women Who Hike, Stancampiano arranges interpretive programs across the state for all age groups.
In the interview, she notes that she had led four programs in the Bighorn state parks district that very week in addition to the Women Who Hike preparations.
She is enthusiastic in touting the engagement opportunities available through the state parks system. “What I like most about what I do is that it’s skills from different realms,” Stamcampiano says. Whether she was taking courses in creative writing, history, public speaking, the arts or organic chemistry, Stancampiano says it helped build a well-rounded profile that she now uses in her job connecting state parks visitors to Wyoming history, culture and nature.
The state park system has a busy and varied calendar year round, affording, participants a nearly continuous slate of opportunities for fun and recreation. Stancampiano says she enjoys the varied pattern of the job, which she describes generally, as “translating the natural resources at a site for visitors.”
Wyoming Chronicle” premieres at 7:30 PM Friday, Oct. 27, then is repeated at 6:30 PM Saturday and again at noon Sunday. The show also will be available in perpetuity online at both wyomingpbs.org and on the Wyoming PBS YouTube channel.
Wyoming PBS is a non-commercial, educational institution and cultural resource dedicated to telling Wyoming’s stories. Wyoming PBS can be viewed on various channels across Wyoming over-the-air, on cable, and on satellite. Wyoming PBS can also be streamed live and viewed on demand at wyomingpbs.org and with the PBS app.