Announcements from the Aug. 2020 Chapter Meeting.

Highlights from the August Chapter Meeting

The Announcements
View the full set of August announcements by clicking here.  Read what you didn’t see Wednesday. Announcement highlights were presented at the chapter meeting; more opportunities and more details are available here.

COVID-19 – A reminder: NTMN requires face masks at in-person chapter activities
Our TPWD Chapter Advisor, Sam Kieschnick, explains it this way: When we wear the badge, we wear the mask.

Highlights of the meeting

Wow, 150 of you signed in to this month’s meeting – a chapter record! NTMN, thank you for sticking with our switch to online meetings and participating at such high levels. This month also included, for the first time, guests from other chapters as we’ve been able to open our platform more. We’re glad so many guests were able to come.

A Guide to Guiding – Intro to Interpretive Programs

Many thanks to Adrienne Paquette, with the Texas Wildlife Association, for an excellent Guide to Guiding. Adrienne is a L.A.N.D.S. Educator (Learning Across New Dimensions in Science), focusing on increasing natural resource literacy, especially in schools.

Her interesting presentation provided practical details for engaging your audience when leading and teaching about nature. Adrienne’s clear message is that the goal of interpretation is to make people care. In providing knowledge we empower people to make better choices. While we want to impart knowledge, she also emphasized the power in saying “I don’t know.”

She capsulized the basics using this flow to make guiding:

Enjoyable – reflect on who inspired you and what made them good at it

Relevant – make it personal & meaningful to impact hearts; connect emotionally and intellectually

Organized – tell folks what you’re going to say, say it, tell them what you’ve said; especially critical for captive audience talks

Theme – show how your topic answers the question “so what?”

Involving and

Creative – keeping vocabulary at the appropriate level, staying active to engage, leaning toward informality. Especially with children: tune into their cognitive abilities; help them develop their social/emotional skills, physical skills, and communication abilities – don’t do all the talking

She also provided useful tips on communication/demonstration techniques to get people involved, holding your audience’s attention, and dealing with unhappy hikers. Audience participation in a game of Rate That Hike tied these principles together and wrapped up a full evening.

For those wanting to go deeper, Adrienne provided solid resources. There are vast instructional materials at BeABetterGuide.com and naaee.org as well as opportunities to become a Certified Interpretive Guide at interpnet.com.

We’ll look forward to hearing more from Adrienne at our January 2021 First Hikes sessions.

Thank you for all you do for our chapter and our community.

Take care,
Scott Hudson
President
North Texas Master Naturalist

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