Meaningful connections through interpretation

A meaningful connection

To start this one, I want to say how great it’s been working at Whiskeytown lately. From the scenic views to the meaningful connections I’ve made, I have cherished every day I’ve been on site. One connection this past week that made this week great was a connection I made with a little girl in my Junior Ranger program. Her name was Sky, and she was so fascinated by my table layout for the program! She had so many questions, and I encouraged her to ask as many questions as she wanted! At the program’s end, she hugged me and said, “Thank you, Mr. Ranger, for teaching me how to fish!” I couldn’t help but laugh and smile as it warmed my heart so much to the point that her mom looked at me and said, “you know, you just changed her life in the best way possible and I’m glad that there are people who are so passionate about what they do.”

To be a role model & an interpreter

After that day, I took the time to reflect on what I did at this very spot in the image featured here. I thought, ” I’m glad I could change someone’s life for the best.” Interpretation at a park is more than just educating the public. It is about making the moment right for the individual, and for some, it can be their first exposure to wildlife or anything in between. It hits home for me because my parents were never the type to constantly go camping and do fun outdoor activities. I only developed a massive passion for the outdoors once I furthered my education. I always strive to make someone’s day that much better, and working at the national park makes it that much sweeter! My supervisor, Tyler, is a prime example of this behavior. One of the things he said that stuck with me was: “For some, that one visit to Whiskeytown is all they get from the parents, so as an interpreter, it is our job to make that one trip the most memorable experience possible in the most exciting way possible.” 

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