Familiar Faces at Lake James State Park
ANDREW CARSWELL Meet Andrew Carswell; the newest permanent staff member at Lake James State Park.
Andrew came onboard in February, but he is no stranger to Lake James and the North Carolina state parks system. A lifelong resident of Burke County, Andrew started with Parks as a seasonal staffer at South Mountains State Park back in 2002. After working there for five summers, Andrew spent a season at Lake James, before taking the position of park technician, in which he served until his recent promotion. As a Maintenance Mechanic I, Andrew supervises the seasonal general utility crew and oversees the grounds keeping at the park. He is also the trails specialist – a very important position considering the number of new trails coming to the park
in the near future. In this capacity, Andrew is in charge of maintaining the current trails by keeping them clear of fallen trees and debris, managing erosion issues and consulting on the layout of new tracks.
For anyone wishing to follow in his career path, Andrew advises working to develop a strong work ethic, good social skills, knowledge of small engines and “the ability to get dirty and like it.”
“The most challenging part of this job trying to ensure that visitors have a great experience when the come to the park,” he says. “The worst thing is to have someone leave after a bad impression.
“The most rewarding aspect, however, is when someone notices the hard work we’ve put in and says, ‘The park looks great –thank you.’”