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NAI conference, Virginia Beach

Chanteyranger 03 Nov 02 - 04:18 PM
greg stephens 03 Nov 02 - 07:13 PM
CapriUni 04 Nov 02 - 09:46 AM
Chanteyranger 04 Nov 02 - 03:58 PM
CapriUni 04 Nov 02 - 06:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Nov 02 - 10:59 PM
Chanteyranger 05 Nov 02 - 12:57 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Nov 02 - 01:06 AM
ballpienhammer 05 Nov 02 - 06:19 AM
Desert Dancer 05 Nov 02 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Melani 05 Nov 02 - 02:24 PM
CapriUni 05 Nov 02 - 02:44 PM
Chanteyranger 05 Nov 02 - 11:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Nov 02 - 12:04 AM
CapriUni 06 Nov 02 - 08:00 PM
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Subject: NAI conference, Virginia Beach
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 03 Nov 02 - 04:18 PM

Anyone else going to this? November 12-17, Virginia Beach, VA. I hear there is a good number of people who enjoy playing and singing at this annual conference, the National Association for Interpretation.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: NAI conference, Virginia Beach
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Nov 02 - 07:13 PM

Interrpretion of what? I'm just curious.


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Subject: RE: NAI conference, Virginia Beach
From: CapriUni
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 09:46 AM

Yes, Chanteyranger, tell us more!

I wasn't planning on going (didn't even know such a conference existed), but I live right near VA Beach... Is it open to the public, or would I have had to register months in advance?

And yes, interpretation of what?

(at first, I read this as "Interuption" -- must've spent too much time reading the early applause thread ;-))


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Subject: RE: NAI conference, Virginia Beach
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 03:58 PM

The NAI is the largest professional organization open to anyone who does interpretation of natural, cultural, or historic resources. The annual conference workshops are for NAI Members, who come from national, state, and regional parks, private museums, zoos, etc. It's a huge national conference, and I hear a good number of attendees bring instruments for evening jams, so I posted this on the off-chance that a few 'Catters might be involved in this event. I'll check to see if the evening jams are open to non-conventioners. I imagine they would be since they happen after hours, but I haven't been to this convention before and don't know the tradition, so I'll ask around.

There might be some confusion here on what the field of interpretation is. "Interpreters" link people with the historic, cultural, or natural setting they are visiting. An interpreter's job is to help reveal the meaning and significance of the resources, or really, to help the visitor discover it for themselves. If you've ever taken a ranger-led public program in a National Park, for example, the rangers are doing what is called an "interpretive" program. Most visitors take in these programs without realizing that those rangers are known within the park system as "interpreters." The studying of theory and practice of interpretation is one of the most significant parts of their training. "Interpretation" has evolved into a field with its own philosophy and methods. The founding father of the field was the author of the bible of interpretation - Freeman Tilden, and his book, "Interpreting Our Heritage." It is just about required reading of every National Park Service interpretive ranger. So, this organization and conference exists to further and support the field, with sessions on how interpretation is done at many different institutions, sites, and settings. Myself and another NPS ranger will be leading a workshop on interpreting maritime history through chanteys.

CapriUni - I could never make it to the end of the keynote address at the National Association for Interruption. :-)
Can you recommend a cafe/restaurant for regional food? I'll be staying near the convention center, if there's a good place within easy reach. I prefer discovering local food to just sticking with hotel fare. Thanks.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: NAI conference, Virginia Beach
From: CapriUni
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 06:45 PM

Can you recommend a cafe/restaurant for regional food? I'll be staying near the convention center, if there's a good place within easy reach. I prefer discovering local food to just sticking with hotel fare. Thanks.

Hmmm... I usually go mostly to the chain restaurants, when I go out, as they are more likely to be barrier-free... but I think I remember a couple of places I checked out when I was still in the process of moving here... I'll check around and get back to you, asap.


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Subject: RE: NAI conference, Virginia Beach
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 10:59 PM

Chanteyranger,

I've been a member of NAI for many years, since the beginning (though I think it lapsed last year--I need to re-up). Before that it was the Association of Interpretive Naturalists and they merged with the Western Interpreters Association. Your description of interpretation is as accurate as any I've seen--are you an interpreter also? That's what my undergraduate work was in, parks and recreation, with an emphasis in interpretation.

The difference between an interpreter and a tour guide (in the "traditional" sense of that job) is that the interpreter has learned a great deal about the place or subject being interpreted. They don't give a canned talk, it's extemporaneous, depending entirely on the feedback and information requested by the group receiving the information. And even if it is an amorphous group with different levels of understanding, a good interpreter can bring the entire group along and into an understanding of the place. My trickiest tour: at a private cave in Kentucky, with a half mile of lovely formations. One family of four from Iowa were there for the tour (slow day!) when we received a call from a caving conference being held in the area. Spelunkers (speleologists, or cave explorers) had been turned away from a planned tour, could they hurry over in time for our next tour? We said yes, and I then had on my hands one group of four who knew nothing about caves or geology, and a group of 55 who knew a lot more than I did. I announced to the group that as we walked from room to room I would speak to the family about the cave, and when we stopped, I would speak to the cavers (and I would ask them some of my own questions, thank you very much!). It worked out very well, despite the huge gap in experience of the visitors. It's the training and the practice and a helluva lot of research so you know what you're talking about to make a good interpeter. And you don't turn it off when you go home at night. Your children grow up learning how everything works and what all of the plants and birds are in the yard. . . but I see my time is up. Please make your way back up the stairs, and watch your step going around the corner, it can be slippery right after we've had a rain. . .

They do a lot of historic renactments in the parks where there are interpreters, and there is often a music component. That may be because there are a lot of musicians and artists in this field and it's an excuse to sing. Linda Russell in New York City was a wonderful pure voice you could hear at Federal Hall for many years (Federal Hall has the statue of George Washington out front and is kitty corner from the NY Stock Exchange). Rita Cantu was another--I last knew of her in the Great Smokey's, but who knows where she is now. Many talented musicians in the ranks of the National Park Service and other agencies that hire interpreters.

SRS


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Subject: RE: NAI conference, Virginia Beach
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 12:57 AM

Yes, SRS, I'm an interpreter at a National Historical Park (hence the "ranger" in my mudcat moniker). "...you don't turn it off when you go home at night." Well said and very true. One of the great things about choosing this profession is that it's an outgrowth of who we are.


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Subject: RE: NAI conference, Virginia Beach
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 01:06 AM

I figured that was the case.


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Subject: RE: NAI conference, Virginia Beach
From: ballpienhammer
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 06:19 AM

Chantey, at which of our NPS locations do you ply your trade?


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Subject: RE: NAI conference, Virginia Beach
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 01:50 PM

I went to a couple of NAI conferences a number of years back before my career took a sharp turn elsewhere. A seriously WONDERFUL group of folks. If your field of work intersects "interpretation" anywhere, check out NAI.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: NAI conference, Virginia Beach
From: GUEST,Melani
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 02:24 PM

While you're at it, Chanteyranger, check out Living History programs in other national parks. What I'm hearing now is that it's mostly just people in costumes saying "This is how they used to do it," as opposed to trying to present an era in first person.I have seen a lot of good first-person programs in places like Colonial Williamsburg and Old Sturbridge Village, and would be interested to know what and who you run into.


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Subject: RE: NAI conference, Virginia Beach
From: CapriUni
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 02:44 PM

I have seen a lot of good first-person programs in places like Colonial Williamsburg and Old Sturbridge Village, and would be interested to know what and who you run into.

And Colonial Williamsburg is within a days drive of VA Beach, if you want to check it out while you're here.

(will call my dad tonight, to see if he remembers the name of the restaurant I'm thinking of...)

Now, this may sound odd, but there's a natural history museum here, The Virginia Marine Sciences Museum, that has a .3 mile outdoor boardwalk through various habitats... don't know if it's open this time of year, but the cafeteria at the end of the boardwalk has some very good crab cakes...


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Subject: RE: NAI conference, Virginia Beach
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 11:20 PM

There will be one workshop-free day for field trips. I'll be going on the Nautilus Museum/USS Wisconsin trip. If I had more time, there are several places I'd like to go to, including Colonial Williamsburg, the Mariners Museum, kayaking along the waterways, and that VMSM museum you just mentioned sounds very interesting.

Hi, Melani. There will be living history players at this conference, and I'll report back to you on who I met.

Thanks for asking your dad, CapriUni.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: NAI conference, Virginia Beach
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 12:04 AM

CR--I have a lot of friends who will be there, but I won't load you down with a list of people to look for. I guess I'll have to rouse myself and get to one of these conferences again one of these years. I'd love to get back into interpretation in a park setting. It may not be until after I retire--but one of these days! Will you tell us what NHS you're at? (I worked at NOCA, SAJU (that' doesn't look right for some reason), GRSM, STLI (Ellis), and ORPI.) That's just the NPS sites. There's also USFS, USArmy COE, and a very brief stint with the BOR. I was what is commonly called a "professional seasonal." Great job, as long as I could afford to do it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: NAI conference, Virginia Beach
From: CapriUni
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 08:00 PM

Sorry, Chanteyranger... I asked my dad for confirmation of the one local, non-chain restaurant we'd been to five years ago, and when I looked it up in the yellow pages, it wasn't there :-(.

Oh well. Sounds like you'll be pretty busy, this visit. If you ever come this way again, though, send me a PM, and maybe we can figure out a way and place to meet....


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