The Soulful Stewardship Method

The Soulful Stewardship Method is a structured creative skill building training that can be used to discover, develop and deliver powerful stories that connect people and place.

  • Empower your creative voice.
  • Create powerful stories.
  • Bring out meaningful stories in others.
  • Activate caring about nature, history and place.

Download "About The Soulful Stewardship Method"

The Process

For individuals, Students or Public Events:
Discover and share your sense of Place Stories

For individuals, this method offers an accessible (and often surprising) door into your creative side. These programs are more centered around story discovery, development and expression. They center on how to use your strengths to make a difference in the world, as well as how to infuse sense of place making into your life, no matter where you are.

For Professional Development Training:
Seven Steps to Creating Great Visitor Experiences

As a professional working in visitor services, this approach has proven effective for creating experiences that deeply connect people and place.

Section one : Discovering your personal sense of Place story

Find your 'Touchstone' Story (TM) This powerful three-part process is a core practice of the method. It's that sense-of-place connection that is always with you, but may have never been articulated or expressed. Taking the time to express your personal story connection of place opens a door to creativity that may surprise you. For as you dive deep for descriptive imagery, alive with sensory detail, you uncover well of creative connections and ideas. These ideas, connection and imagery can be used in one's personal or professional work. 

Section Two: IN-the-field Techniques

Check Your Earthmail (TM) is one of a toolbox of techniques that can be used anywhere, to slow down and tap into a deep sense of place. These sensory awareness tools can be used to discover connections to a place, and share them with others, resulting in an experience that bonds people to each other and to place. 

Section Three: Exploring the Art and Science of Interpretation

Interpretation is both a science and an art. This interactive discussion generates ideas to help you think more creatively about your audience and your site. Erica's Program in Your Pocket (TM) helps you see the familiar through new eyeswhile her Soulful Stewardship Method (TM) outlines the 7 vital aspects of creating well-balanced programs to provide great visitor experiences. Unique to this method is Erica's approach to engaging with history in a way that is relevant in people's lives today. She uses a naturalist tracker/discovery approach for seeing the layers of time and story that make up a place. This is her Be Sense of Place Sleuth (TM) worksheet. 

Section Four: Enhancing Your Delivery Style

Find Your Sweet Spot Style (TM) This section helps with your storytelling techniques. Fun and playful this small group work illuminates your storytelling strengths, and where you can work to develop and grow. A common revelation is the awareness of needing to better plan out a tour to tell a better story.

Section Five: Designing A Well-Balanced Program

Find Your New Site Story (TM) and The Well Balanced Program (TM). This section is where you work on your own, investing time in coming up with to own creative ideas, using some of the ideas, tools and techniques gained throughout the training, for offering well- balanced programs. Depending on the length of the training, time for peer feedback and instructor coaching is provided.

Section Six:  The Collaborative Well-Balanced Program

Collaborate with peers to practice integrating the new tools, techniques and ideas gained to create a program that includes reflection, integration and audience engagement. The two or three day training offers more time for individual program development, practice and feedback. Shorter programs include a facilitated freestyle, "interpretive jazz" approach.

Part Seven: Resilience & Staying Inspired

Wrapping up all the new tools and techniques gained, the insights revealed about personal strengths areas for group work, the opportunity for group discussion and small group work, the chance for peer and instructor feedback wraps up with an uplifting conversation where people share what keeps them inspired to do the work they do every day.

“Erica creates a kind of alchemy in the room where even the most timid of us is inspired to find the writer within. She gave us new tools and reminded me of tools I once knew and had long forgotten. She inspired me to get back to an interpretive project I had put aside which I am now working on with renewed enthusiasm and focus.”
— Julia Clebsch, Interpretive Naturalist, Brooklyn, NY

  • Empower creativity: This work helps bring out the creative stories, strengths and gifts inside each person.
  • Deliver great programs: The interpretive training includes techniques for presenting engaging, well-balanced programs, and evoking stories in visitors.
  • Team-build and create community: Sharing stories of connection to place helps people get to know each other in a different way. This helps team-build at work, and with each other in community.


What if I'm not a creative writer?