Even though we emphasize that rangering is not about us, it’s about the participant, it’s also important to know ourselves. It’s important to recognize when we’re not able to ranger, or when we’re not the right ranger for the situation. We need to know our limits, and know when to kick it sideways.
Sometimes when we’re off duty, we’ll be called on to ranger, and if you’re sober, and feel that you can, by all means say yes. But remember that it’s OK to say no, and you don’t need a reason.
It’s always OK to say no.
Say “no” if you’re not sober
If you’re not sober, it is incredibly important to say no, with no exceptions. We know that intoxicants can cloud our judgement, and we may perceive things differently or react differently, than we would when we’re sober. No matter how great a ranger we (or others) think we are, we are not as effective when we’re not sober, and in training, we say that an inebriated ranger damages our social capital as a group.
However, it’s not just one sided, and and perhaps we don’t explain the other side enough.
If we try to ranger while intoxicated, we put OURSELVES at risk. Encountering a stressful incident when our judgments and inhibitions are artificially shifted, may impact US more intensely than it would if we were sober. We may have a harder time coping with our experience of the situation, and this can have lasting effects.
Say “no” if you’re triggered
Sometimes we find ourselves rangering a situation that triggers us. Once we are triggered, we are no longer unbiased, and if our focus is on controlling our own fight-or-flight response, we are not fully present for the participant and their concerns.
Although we say it in training, it bears repeating: If you are triggered, you do not have to soldier through! Kick it sideways to your partner, and if your partner is also unable to ranger the situation, kick it sideways to Khaki. You never have to ranger anything that is hurtful to you.
As Khaki, we’re here to support you, especially if you need to say no.
You are NEVER alone.
In difficult situations, it’s important for Khaki to be able to recognize when someone is no longer able to ranger, even if the ranger themselves do not recognize it. Khaki may step in and help ranger the situation directly, or they may call for other resources. And, even as Khaki, if something is beyond your experience or ability to ranger effectively, it’s OK to say no, and find someone to kick it sideways to.
Our ranger community is growing, and many of us have additional skills and training, but often, we don’t find out until after the fact that someone needed that extra support. It’s important for rangers to know they can ask for that support, and it’s important for Khaki to know what support is available, and where to find it.
Culture of Feedback
For many of us, rangering is how we express our love for our community, and as individuals, and as a group, we want to keep learning and growing. In order to do that, it’s important to us that we hear what you think. Let us know if there are ways we can do better.