Facilitators – the Question People

We have just returned from an excellent Interpret Europe Conference in Sigtuna, Sweden, with about 165 colleagues from 40 nations. I am mulling over the ideas than ran through the presentations. “Be a facilitator,” certainly seemed to be one of the consistent messages. Excellent keynotes by Ted Cable, Mette Knudsen, Poul Seidler and James CarterContinue reading “Facilitators – the Question People”

On the Road in Stockholm – The Music and Theater Museum

We are on the road again in Stockholm, Sweden, on our way to the Interpret Europe Conference in Sigtuna and the Nordic-Baltic Seminar on Heritage Interpretation and Cooperation in Uppsala. We were here eighteen months ago for a conference in Visby on Gotland Island and enjoyed wandering around Stockholm for a couple of days atContinue reading “On the Road in Stockholm – The Music and Theater Museum”

Making a Difference on Purpose

Dr. Sam Ham is a well-known name in the interpretation profession. He has just completed a new book entitled Interpretation – Making a Difference on Purpose. His classic first text, Environmental Interpretation – A Practical Guide for People with Big Ideas and Small Budgets was published in 1992 in English and Spanish. It has servedContinue reading “Making a Difference on Purpose”

Greening Rwanda – One Bird at a Time

Picture a group of young people led by a highly trained and Certified Interpretive Guide. They’re looking for birds, monitoring endemic species in one of the most significant rainforests in East Africa. Imagine this is your group – twenty-five enthusiastic young people who want to learn more about their environment and hundreds more waiting behindContinue reading “Greening Rwanda – One Bird at a Time”

Product or Experience?

Are you planning tourist or visitor products or experiences? It matters how you think about it. Tourist products, like tours, boat rides, or programs, are often viewed by visitors as commodities. They compare your two-hour tour to other diversions of two hours, like a movie. Price becomes an important factor in the decision to buyContinue reading “Product or Experience?”

Storytellers or Interpreters – Is There a Difference?

Every now and then, I hear or see discussions of storytelling as being roughly equivalent to natural and cultural heritage interpretation. Certainly some interpreters use stories to help others understand places, people and events. Conversely, some storytellers use an interpretive approach to enrich their work. But I don’t think that storytelling and interpretation are exactlyContinue reading “Storytellers or Interpreters – Is There a Difference?”

Akagera National Park and Ruzizi Lodge, a Wildlife Experience

We recently visited Akagera National Park in northeastern Rwanda to fill in our understanding of the amazing progress being made in this small nation to protect important habitat and wildlife populations.  Akagera, named after the river of the same name, includes montane forests, savannah and wetlands in its 1120 square kilometers. The park was badlyContinue reading “Akagera National Park and Ruzizi Lodge, a Wildlife Experience”

Kikoti Camp, Tanzania; Glamping in Tarangire

At 3:30 AM one morning I awakened to the sounds of a waterbuck bellowing below our tent cabin in Kikoti Camp near Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. Kikoti is a wonderful combination of comfort and close to nature. Glamping, glamor camping, as some call it, is a wonderful experience and the Kikoti experience is firstContinue reading “Kikoti Camp, Tanzania; Glamping in Tarangire”

Rwandan Guides Share Nyungwe’s Beauty with Guests

Nyungwe National Park is nestled in the southwest corner of Rwanda, a nation roughly the size of the state of Maryland. Nyungwe is several hours south of Volcanoes National Park (VNP) of “Gorillas in the Mist” fame. VNP brings people from all over the world to northern Rwanda, but some manage to also find thisContinue reading “Rwandan Guides Share Nyungwe’s Beauty with Guests”

Beware the Memorized Spiel

I once attended a guided tour of a large, expensive visitor center for a major religious group in the United States. Elders of the church met people at the door of the center to offer a free, guided tour. I joined a tour and our group obediently followed the guide as he delivered what wasContinue reading “Beware the Memorized Spiel”