It’s been a good year in NAI.
I took the helm as President of the Board in January of 2017, inheriting a talented board of directors and excellent staff that continues to lead NAI forward as a growing presence. We have over 6,500 members in the US and about 35 other countries. The international conference in Mexico was excellent and continuing partnerships are developing from that meeting. The National Conference in Spokane, Washington was one of the best. Now we are well into 2018 and I’m about to drive to Grapevine, Texas for a board meeting in concert with “humble and hospitable” Region 6. In April, NAI hosts this year’s international conference in Reims, France. The board will meet again in Fort Collins, Colorado in early August. Our final meeting of the year will be at the 2018 National Conference in New Orleans.
Delmarva Discovery Center & Museum, Pocomoke City, Maryland
I’m continuing to work with the Delmarva Discovery Center & Museum through a grant to evaluate programs and exhibit text, and to provide interpretive training for their staff and others on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Delmarva Peninsula. The planning workshop will be March 19 and 20, followed by the Certified Interpretive Guide training March 21-24. I’m looking forward to getting back to the eastern shore.
The Delmarva Discovery Center is in Pocomoke City’s historic downtown just steps away from the restored Sturgis Schoolhouse and the boardwalk along the Pocomoke River.
Wayside Exhibits Are Installed
The two wayside exhibits interpreting the Springfield Bridge are complete. The old photos, plans, and stories are fascinating and bring the value and history of the oldest surviving bowstring arch steel bridge in Arkansas to life. Congratulations to the City of Conway, Arkansas and its supporters and contributors on successfully preserving this piece of history.
CIG Training in Little Rock, Arkansas
The Witt Stephens, Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center in Little Rock, Arkansas hosted another great CIG workshop in February 2018. Here are some pictures and comments from that great group of professionals. Thanks to Hollie Sanders Berdeja for hosting and presenting an awesome program…in the rain!
“Even as an experienced environmental educator and public speaker, this program and training provided skills and purpose that will improve my programs. It provided a lot of history of the field that I did not know.”
“Every educator/person who interacts wight the public at any park, zoo, museum, nature center, etc. needs to take this workshop. Our guests would always have amazing experiences if they did.”
“This workshop provided the professional edge that my organization desperately needs.”
“I took away so much that I will use in my career.”
“One of the most helpful workshops I have ever attended.”
“Such a beneficial class that will take my programs and professional career to new heights.”
I continue to have opportunities to work with talented interpreters, educators, and tour guides, and site managers.
- Spoke in Indianapolis for the Seminar for Historical Administrators
- The “Interpretation Road Show” traveling study tour for Arkansas Tech University traveled to north central Arkansas this year. We hiked on cliffs, along streams, and through snow, and met with managers and interpreters at the COE Carl Garner Visitor Center, the Ozark Folk Center, Bull Shoals-White River State Park, The Wolf House historic site, Buffalo National River, and the Game and Fish Commission’s Elk Center. Weather was frigid, but the people we met with were warm and gracious.
- Presentation at the NAI National Conference in Spokane on staying relevant by telling the difficult story…stories of conscience and controversy.
- Presented a seminar on implementing interpretation to supervisors of Air Force museums at the Global Power Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base
- Completed Phase I exhibit plan, and progressing on Phase II, for the North Little Rock Heritage Commission.
- Preparing for the workshops in Pocomoke City, Maryland which are coming up fast.
- Will drive immediately from Maryland to Delaware where I will spend two days speaking to management staff of the state park system about interpretation, revenue, and how interpretation leads the way to success.