Summer: An Interpretive Track Meet


Memorial Day Weekend  is here and many of our centers are will be serving highest volumes in terms of visitation, camps, tours, and programs.

Like running the mile on a track (4 laps) there are stages throughout the summer that an interpreter or your interpretive program will experience.

May (The Start, Lap 1)

You’re rested, fresh, and ready for the journey ahead. You’ve been planning, practicing, and setting goals. New staff and programs have brought excitement and energy to the starting line.  There is a ton of anticipation and the crowd/audience awaits. You start strong, it’s fun, but beware you don’t want to go out too fast and run out of gas.

June (Lap 2)

You find a comfortable pace. Everyone is packed up together competing with same end goal in mind and you’re plugging away as expected hitting all your marks. The group is in rhythm and the crowd/audience cheer you on.

July ( Lap 3)

Half way there! Fatigue begins to set in, some folks begin to struggle a bit.  You can physically see and hear people begin to struggle. This is where you really count on coaches and teammates giving you feedback to keep you pumped and focused ahead. This is the point that tests you. Do you push through and refocus on that end goal? Will you reinvent, regroup, or regurgitate? The choice is yours. Are you feeling boxed in or getting frustrated with others around you? The crowd/audience is watching.

August (The Final Lap)

You’re tired and can see the finish line (maybe its Labor Day). This is where you have to gut it out, focus, and push through. This is the point you have to mentally focus on the little things like form and function. Pump those arms, and lift those knees. Remember those key techniques that you were trained on early in the season? Have you thought about Maslow’s Hierarchy? Is the sun in the visitor’s eyes? Do I have a theme? Am I provocative and using props? Am I engaging, or a monotone bore? Am I keeping my audience safe? I recall many years ago at an outdoor center reminding staff to double check knots and life jackets at this point in a season.

Finish Line

Before you know it, it’s over. You catch your capture the sights and sounds of a cheering crowd/audience, catch your breath, celebrate high fives with others around you, reflect, and begin planning your next race.


Wishing you wings on your feet and the wind at your back through the rest of summer!

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