Wow. What an intense week! But what else would you expect when it’s training to become a Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG)! It was a week filled with abundant training, learning, and we even had to prepare a program! As intense as it was, it was so much fun! Our trainers were David Thompson and Vicki Penwell, and they did an amazing job at teaching us the ways of interpretation. They taught us how to properly gauge an audience, the art of preparing a program, the components of a program, and most importantly, to make sure you have fun with everyone, and find a way to integrate our passion into our work. They taught us helpful information, and it gave me confidence in my ability to create and conduct awesome programs for the upcoming months. It was also a great opportunity to become more familiar with the summer SCA interns. We spent a lot of time together and became more familiarized with one another. Also, fellow EFTA interns Araceli and Christine were involved in the training as well! It was great training with amazing people and lots of knowledge.
Amidst long training days, we also had to create a program and give a 10 minute presentation on our last day *gulp*. I’m the type of person who doesn’t always look forward to speaking in public. In fact, I find it slightly terrifying. The idea of standing in front of people and having all eyes on me makes me quite nervous. What makes it more terrifying is that it had to be done in front of my peers! Thankfully, it all worked out. We were able to pick our topic for our program, and I picked Bats. I talked about Oregon bats, bats you could find in Siuslaw National Forest, ongoing research, threats they’re facing, and conservation efforts. After 10 anxious minutes, my presentation was done. I was critiqued by David, Vicki, and my peers. It was great to hear their positive criticism. They told me all I had to fix was my pace (which is understandable. I was nervous and rushed a tad bit) to better my program. But other than that, they all said they enjoyed it. Hearing them each give me highlights was a great confidence booster in my public speaking skills. It was a huge relief. After all presentations were done, we were finished! Four days of hard work were finally at an end. We also took a test the day before to become certified and are currently waiting for our results . Only one task was left to do, it was to inaugurate the SCA interns along with EFTA interns Araceli and Christine into official Forest Service Field Rangers! Afterwards, we even took a group photo! Upon further reflection, the training week was a great experience. Friendships were formed, a lot was learned, and we felt more prepared to tackle our job. Yet another milestone was achieved. More adventures are to come. So, sit tight, and come with me onto the next chapter as a Siuslaw National Forest Field Ranger!