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Positive Times

Trick or Trunk (Photo Credit: Sarah Erck)

I think back to the first time I saw it, a simple circle hat patch with what appeared to be “+X”. I was on vacation in Texas with a good friend, Rusty, enjoying a guys’ trip after a busy 2020 fall. As the trip went on, we saw the patch on more and more hats as we toured the city of Fort Worth. Come to find out it symbolized a simple message “Positive Times.” A hat company’s way of promoting “a daily choice and reminder to renew yourself to begin again and put positive energy into the world you touch.”

As I sit at my kitchen table typing on January 1, 2022, the current air temperature is roughly -22 degrees. Any sort of positive energy today is going to be a choice. Searching for “Positive Times,” I think back on two opportunities I was part of this past fall. The enforcement division was invited to participate in multiple “Trick or Trunk” events and a First Responder Food/Toy Drive.

I think back to a parking lot lined with all sorts of emergency responders representing various agencies. Our vehicles decorated in Halloween themed decor. The goal was to provide children with a safe space to trick or treat and portray First Responders in a positive light. To my left a group of law enforcement recruits representing their agency as they attend the basic academy. To my right a state park ranger who I am proud to call a friend. Over the course of a couple hours, children filed through, dressed in Halloween costumes and smiles on their faces. It was encouraging to see multiple kids dressed as hunters and listening to them express interest in becoming a game warden someday. Over the course of these two events, game wardens handed out roughly 3,000 pieces of candy! Positive energy into the world we touch.

Toy Drive (Photo Credit: Standing Rock Elementary Staff)

Fast forward a few weeks, I found myself standing in the parking lot of south Walmart in Bismarck. The goal of the day was to come together as a collective group of First Responders and hold a toy/food drive for those less fortunate in the communities we serve. One by one vehicles came through dropping off nonperishable food items and toys. The generosity of the community was amazing to see. As the day ended, there was a whole enclosed trailer full of toys and a pickup box full of food collected. All items would eventually be donated to various locations and families throughout the Bismarck, Mandan and Standing Rock communities. I was fortunate to be a part of the delivery to the Standing Rock community, which is within my patrol district. This was one location of several throughout the state. Positive energy into the world we touch.

As we look forward in the year 2022, may we all make “a daily choice and reminder to renew yourself to begin again and put positive energy into the world you touch.” If you have an event you would like a warden to be part of, don’t hesitate to contact them directly or the enforcement office 701-328-6604.

- Game Warden Jerad Bluem

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