Being in the outdoors has always been my passion whether it was playing as child or camping and backpacking when I got older. This was combined with my family visiting National Parks and seeing park rangers with their flat hats being the gods of the wilderness and masters of historic information. At a very early age when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was always a park ranger.
Sixteen years ago I completed a research project for a thesis on recruiting for National Park Seasonal positions. One of my discoveries was that most employees working that summer had visited National Parks as a child therefore establishing that awe and inspiration at an early age. This confirmed my own experience.
As most people I had a lot of misconceptions of what it would be like to work as a park ranger. I had visions of being in the woods all day, leading tours, working with wildlife, etc. What I found was that there was so much more to it. So much so, that I wrote a book about that very topic. A lot more detail on this answer can be found in the book.