Cape Cod National Seashore

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Not your average training

[The training] was so much more engaging that I expected

Boosted creative thinking

I enjoyed the creative writing because it drew out some of my most essential thoughts on the sense of place.

Like the creative sharing in the beginning. For me, it’s easy to forget how important the human element (my story) is to audiences. Loved the songs!

Empowered sharing personal connections

The Power of Place

I will place far more emphasis on the personal connection to the national park.

It was great to hear your insights on the power of story as a connector of people to place

Communicating Science

Others will:  learn about the value of a well-crafted story, one supported by the natural beauty of our world.

They will be inspired by your enthusiasm and it’s easier to consolidate thoughts when directed in each step.

Well-Balanced Programs

Thinking more about the balance between telling people and sharing with the audience. Might include sensory activity with groups of youth.




I really enjoyed the creative writing section where you distilled our pieces into a song—to was a great way to show the emotion that exists in story.

I will definitely utilize some of the techniques and work on providing more stories to connect people.

If others were to attend: They will learn the power of emotion and gain a deeper appreciation for our connections and stories which tie us to this planet.

Thanks for a great day!


4. Tips and tricks to engage others in interpretive conversation

Stop and experience the physical connection to a location: Why do we care? [Also, learning about] the types of audience we will encounter.

Liked the storytelling in groups

Way to inspire engagement of audience and story telling.

If others were to attend: Interesting storytelling & learn your audience


5. Clarity of vision

Shift: Direction I want in repeated program to take refreshed content

Liked: sharing insight with others gave me critical feedback and I learned more about my co-workers

I will: use the 7 steps to evaluate

If others were to attend: This will help them engage with their audience and connect with the resource


6. More ideas for programs

Gained: a different perspective, new ideas and affirmation of ideas already done

Liked: communication between fellow workers

Will: strive to further connect participants to the park

If others were to attend:  Would open mind to new ways to communicate information


7. To gain: learning more about applying facilitated dialogue in delivery of ranger led CCNS programs

Shits: Weaving personal stories into interpretive narrative to effect greater resonance

Liked: Impromptu rendering participants stories into songs

Will: visitors, volunteers and rangers all bring points of view which add value

The day was inspiring for me


8. Just hoping to learn something new

Shifts: Helped me refocus on this place and how important it is, and how I can share it with others. I think at times I have taken for granted the natural beauty here because I get to see it every day.

Liked: the outdoor “check your earth mail” activity because it was directly applicable as something to use on programs. I also enjoyed the music because it helped to bring the group together, was engaging and different.

Will: Try to incorporate more emotional connections, making the experience valuable, rather than just facts.

If others were to attend: They will learn to look at interpretation through self-reflection and it may open their perspective to new techniques


9. Hoping to come away to enrich my strategies with 6th graders

Shifts: no ah-has ,but reinforced what I already do

Liked: Like that you are “spreading the word” of “soulful stewardship.” In college I started out studying wildlife biology, at Rutgers in the 70’s. I did not perceive a feel of reverence and switched to resource ecology/Env. I am very philosophically aligned with your ideas.

Will: I am inspired to add more self reflective and sensory awareness pieces to my interpretation. I do this regularly in my classroom. My experience at Yellowstone had been that philosophy of “sage on the stage” I’m excited to push the other end of the spectrum here!

If others were to attend:I think this presentation would be especially helpful to young/new to NPS. It would be helpful to cultivate the reflective/soulful pieces. This get to the heart of “Why care??”

Thank you very much!


10. To gain: help and tips on presenting my programs still in development

Shifts: to incorporate a poem or something quoted for this land to connect my theme to an outside source for visitors. The senses technique is also a great tool.

Liked: The idea of framing my program with Past.Present.Future. I enjoyed the writing aspect because I never give myself the time and always feel rushed to get something down on paper.

Will: I will use many of your ideas and techniques in my program development. It inspired me to tell more stories and less facts about the subject, and to relate my subject to the same things we do today.

If others were to attend: Anyone can use your techniques and ideas to foster interest in your subject. Ex Middens-context-trash

Thank you for a fantastic session


11. To gain: Get new ideas for programs

Shifts: Adding more creative/artistic components to programs. I love science and facts, but not all visitors connect that way.

Features: getting the visitor more involved. Observations, sensory, sharing with the group.

Will: add more quotes, stories

If others were to attend: Make programs more accessible to more people by including more stories, art, etc…


12. Wasn’t expecting anything, honestly wasn’t sure what this class was. After learning about it I was hopeful I would find ways to connect with people through emotions.

Shifts: I really enjoyed getting in tune with our senses. It is a great way to include different learning styles and a quick activity to add into a program.

Liked: I enjoyed the outdoor activity and the first worksheet connecting us to our place It really helps me to figure out how to connect people to this place, which is the goal!

Will: I’m definitely inspire to integrate emotional connections into my programs. I enjoyed the tools you gave us, and the worksheets on page 36&37

It others were to attend: Crash course on how to integrate emotional connections and make people care about the place. It has been hard for  me to do this for years. In order to be a great interpreter it is necessary to include this portion of the program. It is a great way to spice up an old program.

I really enjoyed the class. I do not think we ever get enough training on making emotional connections, and this was awesome.


13. No expectations. Did not know what was coming

Shift: The prep leading to the writing was good. I don’t really have much time to think and write.

Liked: It was thoughtful. The progression that I found helpful.

If others were to attend: It opens us a good clean space that is useful for creativity

Thank you. It was very good. Maybe some more music.


14. Hitting the creative reset button to jumpstart new creative program ideas

Shifts: The call to action or “ah-ha” moment is huge, and I would really like to work on adding a strong call to action items for visitors.

Liked: Technology free zone! No cellphone was a great. I feel like we need more invitations to go tech free. Dedicated writing time was nice to get focused.

Will: I’m inspired to change the way I approach program writing—from a methodical, almost mathematical formula to a creative exercise about what me about the resource/site.

If others were to attend: They will learn different facets to creative thinking, different strategies to get the creative juices flowing.

You could change i.i.c.r.s.i. to get R.I.S.C.I.I Get Risky! to spark creative exploring.

Excellent training. Thanks so much.


15. I wanted new staff to gain some insights into interpretive techniques & returning staff to hone their skills

Shifts: Because I am familiar with sense of place, I realized I need to find trainings for myself that go beyond what training the staff may need.

Liked: exercises like touchstone story and the songs that followed, also find your sweet spot.

Will: Check with staff about how they feel about their programs are going. Free myself up to brainstorm with them.

If others were to attend: Valuable time to reflect and prepare programs & discussion of interpretive techniques

Thank you for caring about our planet and spreading the word through your art!


17. Hoping to achieve greater confidence & tools for upcoming programs. Hoping to hear from others what worked for them & how to make a difference for people.

Shifts: I realized that you really do need to do more theatrical presentations of info. My science background makes me just tell facts and statistics.

Liked: find your sweet spot best

Will: Try and give people a passion for these lands & try to inspire stewardship

If others were to attend: I would say it is a great way to learn about how other people view interpretation, and a great way to improve yourself through group learning.


18. Learning more about approaches to interpretation, and how to offer programs that are interactive and participatory

Shifts: seeing programs as an opportunity to make people into stewards and supporters of the resource.

Liked: The character worksheet (was relevant for my program) Helped me realize ho interesting and concrete focusing on a character can be. The Well Balanced Program was also helpful as a foundation for structuring the flow of a program.

Will: More interactive programs. Ending on an empowering /taking or sharing responsibility together. Creating a dynamic narrative, with stories instead of just info.

It others were to attend: Great ideas/concepts, plus lots of practical  time to apply ideas/plan, and benefit from others sharing.

The part about lacking words for a sense of place was fascinating, and the song part was super fun.


19. Deepen my abilities to make emotional connections with my audiences and to be able to share this with my staff as well.

Shifts: I’ve found wonderful new directions or my creative nature program and ways to reach new depths in my other programs.

Liked: Opportunities for the group to respond and share ideas. So many depths are revealed when everyone participates.

Will: I’ve had such and urge to use more stories and poems in my programs. Now I know the best ways to do this and  how it will help to build a sense of place for my audience.

If others were to attend: People never struggle with intellectual connections, but emotional interpretive connections can sometimes be hard to grasp. This training gives interpreters the tools and confidence to make these connections.

This was fantastic!  The three part writing prompt at the start of the day actually brought some much needed clarity to my personal life that I hadn’t expected to find.





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