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The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Certified Interpretive Guides in the Making!

Posted by | February 10, 2016

Two years ago, Kate and I participated in the National Association of Interpretation's (NAI) 40-hour Certified Interpretive Trainer (CIT) workshop with the intent of facilitating our own Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) workshops at the Reserve. Last week, our vision became reality as twelve talented interpreters from Maine and Massachusetts convened for 32 hours of training with us in Mather Auditorium.

CIG group

NAI defines interpretation as "a mission-based communication process that forges emotional and intellectual connections between the interests of the audience and the meanings inherent in the resource." An interpreter's role is therefore one of forging those connections. As professors Larry Beck and Ted Cable state, "Each interpreter should strive to communicate a sense of place or a sense of historic meaning in a personal, individualized manner. The most effective interpreters orchestrate their interpretation to elicit a response from the audience: astonishment, wonder, inspiration, action, sometimes tears."

Over the course of four days last week, our group of aspiring CIGs explored techniques for knowing an audience, knowing a resource, and applying appropriate interpretive techniques to provide meaningful opportunities for people to connect with nature-based and historic resources. Workshop participants developed program outlines, interpretive equationdelivered 10-minute presentations employing interpretive techniques, and completed a literature review. It was an intense teaching and learning experience for all of us, and a wonderfully committed group of people fully engaged in the process. We ended our four days together celebrating our successes, reciting an "Interpreter's Creed" with felted star wands in hand, and feeling inspired to create meaning for visitors to each of our sites that will foster a greater understanding, appreciation, and desire to protect our valued natural and cultural resources.

CIG wands

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