Sam Hauber spent time up American Fork Canyon with the Timpanogos Cave park rangers. His background in history lent himself to interpreting history for visitors to the cave. What an awesome way to share Utah's beautiful history!
I wanted to gain experience with the National Park Service doing interpretive work, where I could interpret history for the public. So I trained with the team of interpretive rangers at Timpanogos Caves National Monument and then led tours through the caves once a week. I put together my own programs to share with groups of all different ages when they came for a tour. I was able to alleviate some of the stress on the park staff who lost a ranger before the season even started. I also helped children develop a love for conservation and history as I helped them experience the monument with engaging interpretive techniques. It was fun to see them get excited about learning in such a beautiful and precious place!
What was the most useful thing you learned during this experience?
The most useful thing I learned from my internship was adjusting my presentation according to my audience. I went through the caves with groups that had a variety of personalities and backgrounds. I learned to tailor my teaching to engage people in a way I wouldn't have been able to do anywhere else.
I learned to communicate effectively in training with my co-workers and boss by asking questions to make sure I understood important concepts; and with the public to make sure they had a memorable experience at the caves. My BYU history courses taught me how to research reliable sources for the information in my interpretive talks. They also taught me how to communicate concepts simply and clearly to my audience.
Would you recommend this experience to other students?
Yes! The staff at Timpanogos Caves National Monument are a ton of fun and very supportive of whatever educational or professional goals you may have.