In North American history, a rendezvous was a larger meeting held typically once per year in the wilderness. All types included a major transfer of furs and goods to be traded for furs. Variations included a mix of other types of trading, business transactions, and revelry.
ANPR began at a rendezvous. In 1977, 33 rangers met in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, after a busy summer season; to continue or renew relationships, tell stories and celebrate their efforts and profession and engage in some revelry. They agreed to meet again the following year and invite additional rangers. At that meeting, in Estes Park, Colorado, the group (having then grown to 78) decided to form an “association of national park rangers.”
Since then, the ANPR Rendezvous has been held annually in various parts of the country, usually somewhere close to (but never in) at least one unit of the National Park Service.
Today’s Ranger Rendezvous generally consists of some pre-conference training, several days of presentations of interest, exhibitors, raffles and auctions, business meetings, field trips to nearby parks or other recreational opportunities, and the ever-present hospitality room.
The Ranger Rendezvous is managed by ANPR volunteers, who determine the venue, develop the agenda, arrange for the speakers and exhibitors and manage the logistics of the meeting.