Thursday, May 24, 2012

Grand Canyon and NAI

In February I traveled to the Grand Canyon for work to attend the Train the trainer program for the National Association of Interpreters.
There were a total of 16 or so people from Xanterra, 8 of us from Yellowstone. the trip down was LONG and tiresome but well worth it once I saw the canyon. (Of course we got there at 10pm, had to be in class at 8am so it was 4pm on Monday before I finally saw it.)

The class itself was fantastic and I learned SO much. The program is geared for training Interpretive Guides, but it is a per-requisite for the Interpretive Host Trainer Certificate which I am going for next month. With these certifications I will begin training my companies new Guest Service course later this summer. While I loved spending time with my fellow Yellowstone co-workers it was really great to meet our comrades in the Grand Canyon, as well as people from all over the country and varying organizations. The class itself was Monday - Friday from 8am-4:30pmish. After class I had several hours of homework and preparing for a 20 minute training session on our last day. I can guarantee you though that I spent every daylight hour between class and dark outside exploring and hiking around the rim. It was a fantastic opportunity to spend a week there.
Each day of class we introduced our-self and each day it was a different introduction that really helped us get to know each other. On one day we were asked to explain who or what first introduced us to nature and learning to appreciate it. Well, this was easy for me and just made me so appreciative of my family. My mother's family is deeply rooted in Bliss, Idaho where my great-grandparents homesteaded Spring Cove Ranch. While growing up we spent a lot of time on the ranch with my grandparents, aunts & uncles and cousins. I can't tell you how much I learned through these people, especially my Grandpa, Uncle Art and Uncle Dan regarding nature, exploring and appreciating it. Everything from Grandpa taking us to the Oregon Trail ruts, climbing Mount Borah with Uncle Art and hunting with Uncle Dan. I cherish these experiences and men more than I realized. I love that through my family I have explored so many back roads, camping spots and gone on numerous adventures.