Being a Volunteer Coordinator as my primary duty, I find myself becoming detached from the field of interpretation. Only during a handful of days in the summer, do I actually become a frontline interpreter again. As such, I need that occasional reminder of what we do as interpreters.
Sometimes reviewing the basics of interpretation is necessary, no matter how long you have been an interpreter. Sometimes our job duties change, as did mine, or we become complacent in our Interpretive duties.
Just recently, there has been an update to the National Park Service’s Interpretive Development Program. Although much of the information is primarily geared towards Park Rangers, some of the resources are available to anyone in the interpretive field looking to review the basics or continue their education.
One such resource is the online courses through Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands. There are several categories, including Interpretation, that have a few free courses available. One free program is an essential competency for almost all interpreters, Foundations of Interpretation.
After the course, I’m now energized and ready to staff the Info Desk and take folks on guided walks. If you already reviewed the basics and are curious to know what’s the next course of action in your interpretive education/career, consider the Park Service Competency Table as a guideline. Some of the interpretive competencies are in Eppley Institutes’ catalog.