Internship Journal: Week Twelve

This past weekend has been a busy one here at the park. I had a meeting with Eric to go over my outline for my program in July. He gave me some useful suggestions. Also, I have been researching and preparing other programs for the upcoming season, such as, “The Civil War in 1864: In a Box”. This program will use ropes, benches and props to create the Shenandoah Valley on the lawn in front of visitors. Then, in 30 minutes I will interpret the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley in 1864 from New Market to Cedar Creek. This is going to be  a tricky program as we interpreters have a small window of only 30 minutes to present this wealth of information.

I am excited because tomorrow at 10:00 am I will be conducting a site visit of the Kernstown Battlefield. The Kernstown Battlefield Association’s president, Gary Crawford is going to walk me through the battlefield to help me get orientated to the landscape. I am hoping that this will help clarify some of the final details I have had in my mind about the battle. Also, I have been working on writing a piece for the parks website about the battle itself. You can see a sample of this regrading the Battle of First Kernstown here. When completed, this short interpretative essay will be posted to the parks website for people to learn about the battle. Along these same lines, I am assisting the park in writing and developing some site bulletins. Site bulletins are small interpretative brochures visitors can pick up at various visitor centers in the park system. We are expanding on the inventory we have at the park. So, in the coming weeks I will be responsible for writing a short site bulletin covering the Battle of Cedar Creek. By writing this short essay and working on these site bulletins, I hope to fine tune my interpretative writing skills.

At this point, I am also starting to think about the logistics of my program in July. What images do I want to use? Do I want to hand out maps of the battle to visitors? What map would I use? Where will my stops be? How long will each stop be? Some people may see these as trivial, however, these details are what can make or break a program. By ironing out these small details now, it will enable me to confidently move from stop to stop and not have these thoughts in the back of my head. I do not have answers for these questions yet. I am hoping that I can bounce some of these ideas off of Gary Crawford tomorrow as he is so familiar with the landscape.

Hours completed this week: 16

Total hours completed: 132

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