Chuck Helton Chosen as a Finalist in the ServiceWear Apparel Park Ranger of the Year Contest

Ranger Charles “Chuck” Helton serves as a wonderful ambassador for Missouri State Parks and its law enforcement group, the Ranger Program. Ranger Helton has shown a major commitment to promoting Missouri’s state parks and historic sites, as well as the Ranger Program, through outreach and educational programming. He has personally presented the nationally acclaimed Hug-A-Tree and Survive program to more than 1,000 children in his area of assignment. Ranger Helton has received numerous requests to expand his efforts and provide the Hug-A-Tree and Survive program to many other school-age children in the surrounding area.

This year, Ranger Helton has also personally participated in several trail rescues. The majority of these rescues have taken place along the 13-miles section of Taum Sauk Mountain Trail, located within Taum Sauk Mountain State Park. The remote, rugged and extremely challenging terrain found within Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, the highest point in Missouri, makes these rescues of particular note.

It is also worthy to mention that Ranger Helton is assigned to Johnson Shut-Ins State Park, a one-of-a-kind, natural-made water park. The park is aptly named for one of its biggest attractions, the shut-ins, which draw thousands of visitors annually. While scenic, beautiful and fun, the park and shut-ins pose safety and security challenges for all park and law enforcement staff alike. Most shifts, Ranger Helton stands watch over the shut-ins, helping keep park visitors and patrons safe and secure. During the course of those duties, he has helped with several swift water rescues, often placing his own safety at risk to help the public he is sworn to protect.

Please vote for Ranger Helton  –  Voting is open until September 19.