National Mall and Memorial Parks, April, 2016

The Site

The Challenges

The Solution

The Goals

The Results

Creative Recharge


Thanks for listening to and encouraging those who were only modestly ebullient about their experiences or recounting their memories. In a crowd of  experienced people who talk for a living, who can be intimidating, you encouraged the least of voices to aspire to greatness and affirmed their voices.

It helped to recharge my energy, realign my skills and refresh my spirit. I understood and enjoyed her method.

What tools were most useful?
I liked the free writing exercise at the beginning of the class. People’s creativity really shined.
Relating place to self: had not done that before and I may be able to do the same w/ visitors
This was one of the best presentations of how to incorporate the 5 senses into interpreting a place that I’ve experienced. Also I really enjoyed the writing activity to stop and connect.
I liked the “sweet spot” alot—it showed how different interpreters could work together.
Experiencing different ways to work a program..

I liked the group workshop portion of the training because you get good feedback from fellow park rangers.
Enjoyed other styles of rangers interpretation. Interesting listening to them.
Hearing colleagues express their experiences, observation and concerns in a manner which improved my understanding of their interpretive style and utilization of language and technique.
Learning about coworkers style, looking at things through their eyes.
The activities were a good way to reinforce ideas presented.
The worksheets. I found some of it easier than I anticipated
I liked that your music was part of the content. I liked the clarity and simplifying presented in the class flow. I like interp. and really wanted to get a lesson from a person rather than a machine.
The songs performed by Erica in a sense “spiritualizing” what is said or felt.
Not so much do differently as to re-engage my hope, my interest, my enthusiasm.
I enjoyed conversation with the instructor.

What did you learn? What will you implement?
I will now plan for the visitor to reflect early on in the program rather than wait for the end.
Remember it’s okay to be creative.
The importance of incorporating “oral histories” or of one’s own experience into my historical interpretive programs.

Storytelling is an important element of interpretation. It is a critical aspect of my job because it improves my ability to engage visitors more effectively.
More reinforcement of knowing the audience.

A greater use of facilitated dialogue with the visitor and what gives them a sense of place or rootedness.
Be more comfortable, be more confident, Be more organized in my presentation, Plan out and anticipate the experience of the visitor.
To think through my own positions on the subjects I interpret.
More audience participation. Hopefully I will draw this out of visitors.

Ask more questions of visitors.
I’ll think about more cultural/popular stories and how they relate.

Why take this training? What can others gain?
I would definitely recommend this component to all career NPS interpreters.
I think it is very different and yet makes use of our NPS skillset. So I like that [Erica] is familiar with NPS culture, yet is outside of it.
It’s a great chance to have your mind expand to different interpretive techniques.
These are principles that can reach different subject matters.
We can always use a fresh viewpoint.
Get closer to your own style and expand it.

This was an interesting training! Great to interact with co-workers.
Good techniques to promote creativity.


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