Monthly Archives: January 2016

The Top Ten Things that I Love about the Sunny Southeast Regional Workshop Feb. 3-6, 2016—Stone Mountain, Georgia:

  1. There are a wealth of presentations from really smart folks who are dedicated and passionate about the same things that I am.
  2. They have amazing field trips that get me into places that I never before knew about and ‘behind-the-scenes’ tours.
  3. Hearing and ‘borrowing’ some really great new program ideas that impress my administrators.
  4. Hosts find the most amazing caterers, salty snacks, and regional craft beverages.
  5. Workshop swag—enough for me to stuff stockings over the next few holidays.
  6. The live auction always reveals to me how much I really do need that hand-carved owl paperweight.
  7. Hearing hilarious and harrowing stories from other places that put my travails to shame.
  8. Networking, networking, networking……
  9. Its always a hoot when Brian Mast, SE regional deputy director, lets his hair down and does the Macarena.
  10. And the number one reason that I absolutely look forward to the regional workshop is…..I always shed a tear when I hear Perky Rat and regional director Pepe Chavez harmonize on those ol’ sea shanties….

Don’t miss the fun y’all……..see ya there next week!!!!!

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It’s Workshop Time!

If you haven’t made your travel plans yet, what are you waiting for? It is time to reserve your hotel and register online for the upcoming regional workshop being held at Stone Mountain. Regional workshops are smaller than the national workshops and give you a great opportunity to get to know other interpreters and learn about their organizations. Like other workshops, you have the opportunity to attend interpreter led sessions, offsite visit, and network with other interpreters during social events.

Stone Mountain is on the outskirts of Atlanta. Many of us live in areas that are developing and changing to adapt to the growing populations moving to our neighborhoods. Opening speaker, Hermina Glass-Hill, will share with us about interpreting in urban spaces. Our keynote speaker, Jerry Hightower, is one to not miss. He is entertaining and a wealth of knowledge. He works in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area which is a natural area that runs through an urban environment.mountain from Commons Side (1) small

We have great sessions scheduled for our upcoming workshop. Topics include citizen science, telling difficult stories, interpretive techniques, natural and cultural issues, technology and more. A full list can be found on our region website, here. There is something for everybody to learn. Take an opportunity to visit the grounds of Stone Mountain during guided programs. Offsite trips are a great time to bond with fellow interpreters with similar interests and backgrounds. You have the opportunity to see places in a different light than you would as a regular visitor. Offsite visits will take you to the MLK National Historic Site, Zoo Atlanta, Woodruff Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta History Center or the Wren’s Nest. Space may be limited so reserve yours today.

Don’t miss our evening socials and entertainment. Socials are a great time to catch up with old friends, make new ones and enjoy being interpreter nerds with your own kind. On Wednesday evening, Tracy Sue Walker, a local storyteller, will spin a tale for the ages. On Thursday, our silent auction will come to an end and we will hold our live auction. When you pack your bags, make sure to include items for the auction and your checkbook! The auctions support our scholarship program that gives our regional members the opportunity to attend regional and national workshop. We like to have a few higher priced items for our live auction. Some of our highest bid items from past auctions include various forms of alcohol, visits to different member’s facilities and a half-eaten chicken! That last one is not recommended as a regular auction item.

I encourage everyone to be part of the upcoming workshop. It is a time to get recharged and gain new ideas for the upcoming year while hanging out with some of the coolest, most interesting people. If you haven’t registered yet, the early bird deadline is January 25th and workshop discount on lodging is only guaranteed through January 27th. Get online to register and start packing your bags. I want to see you in a couple of weeks!

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Interpretation at your finger tips

Often times I hear interpreters, especially young ones or new to the field saying “what do you mean why should they care?”

It is easy to believe that our audience cares for the resource as much as we do therefore they already know the value of it and they are as interested as we are. Sometimes that is true but very often it is not.

Interpreting simple objects and bring a greater appreciation for their tangible and intangible value is what we aim to achieve. I stumbled upon a TEDx video that is a great example on weaving stories, facts, science, tangibles and intangibles to make the audience care for an object that most people own and everyday we almost deem useless with the overtaking technology.

Take a look and use this as an exercise to identify tangibles, and intangibles. If Jake Weidmann was on a CIG course we would get raving reviews. Of course Jake cares about the resource because he is only one of twelve master penmen in the world and the youngest one by three decades!

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Opportunity of a lifetime!

Coming up in February, interpreters across the state of South Carolina (and North Carolina) have a life-changing, career boosting, re-fueling, energizing opportunity of a lifetime! Do I have your attention ? 🙂

On February 11, 2016, like-minded interpreters will be meeting each other to talk shop and get to know each other in a fun, casual way. Where is this exciting meeting going to take place do you ask? None other place than the fifth largest city in South Carolina, the largest city in York County, home of the 2004 blizzard, the United States Disc Golf Championship, and the world famous daily newspaper, The Herald. If I haven’t sold you on it yet, this is the home of thirty one parks, four recreational centers, one botanical garden, and nature trails galore! That’s right folks.. it’s none other than ROCK HILL, South Carolina!!!! 🙂 If you’ve never been to this fascinating town, now is your chance to learn about what they have to offer!

From 10am to 1pm, we will be meeting with Hope Matthews, the Outdoor Education Coordinator for Parks, Recreation, and Tourism of the city of Rock Hill. Hope is graciously hosting us to show off their facility, spend some time in nature, and talk about some hot topics in the world of interpretation right now.

If you would like to be a part of this rejuvenating mini conference, we’d love to have any and all interpreters in South and North Carolina! There aren’t many things better for professional development than networking. It opens your mind, allows you to gain knowledge in your field, connects you with other professionals, and gives you a renewed sense of mission.

Details are below:

When: Thursday, February 11, 2016 from 10:00am to 1:00pm

Where: Novant Health BMX Supercross Track, 1307 Riverwalk Parkway, Rock Hill, SC, 29730


Why: To connect with interpreters in the state of South Carolina (and North Carolina), learn about any programs people have going on, and see an awesome host site!

RSVP: Contact Ashley Bradt at to RSVP

Details: Bring yourself, a good attitude, a lunch, and a smile!

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