What is Interpretation?
Interpretation is a communication method that helps visitors connect to the meaning of a place. And no, we don't mean being bilingual and interpreting different languages (albeit, that is a fantastic skill!), but rather, this form of interpretation acts as an interpreter for culture, history, and science--an interpreter for nature!
Interpreters are story-tellers. The capture our attention and draw our focus in to the narrative of Idaho. From the earliest settlers to the diseases that have threatened our forest, and everything in between, interpretation helps visitors to understand that Idaho’s most compelling stories of history and natural diversity are showcased in Idaho State Parks.
You will learn how to offer presentations designed for the audience, whether it is Junior Rangers ages 6 to 12 or a group of families. Interpreters are vital to translating the understanding of Idaho's history, culture, and unique ecosystems. If you are interested in being a part of this fantastic team of people who are trained to share the stories of Idaho, apply for an Interpretive Internship at a variety of parks across the state.
"Interpretation is the big deal not a management frill. When conducted professionally, it is the essential ingredient in the park experience." - Park Manager and Interpreter, Wallace Keck
Interpretation is a way to interact with education and the natural environment
Apply for an Interpretation Internship
For questions about internships, housing, and compensation, please reach out to Kathryn Hampton, IDPR's Volunteer Coordinator. Don't pass up this enriching opportunity!
"Trying out one of our park interpretive internships is a great way for a nature lover to gain experience developing interpretive programming. You learn to do accurate scientific-based research, develop a program theme, and best of all learn how to entertain and even amaze an audience of kids and adults using all types of hands-on artifacts straight from Mother Nature." - Kathryn
The experiences are often hands-on
There are several parks currently seeking applicants
The following description applies to all parks:
The volunteer interpretive intern will provide general assistance with the Experience/Education program through participating in interpretive training, leading interpretive programs in the park, helping to coordinate supplies needed for park Junior Ranger programs, and general assistance with the Experience/Education program as needed. Requires a minimum of ten hours per week, maximum forty hours per week. Free campsite or other housing is available at the park. Interpretive Internships work well for college students interested in learning more about the field of interpretation in parks. The internship experience can often be used for college credit. Interns receive training in interpretive skills as well as onsite coaching on working in a state park. An interest or experience in natural or cultural interpretation or environmental education would be helpful, but is not required. Applicants should have a strong interest in resource preservation and management, an ability to communicate ideas effectively, and enthusiasm for sharing knowledge with others. The relevant work experience can bolster the intern’s resume and make them more competitive for future positions.
With interpretation, we can be both teachers and lifelong-learners
Land of the Yankee Fork
Additional park information for a volunteer interpretive internship working at Land of the Yankee Fork State Park -- The Park is located at Challis, Idaho and features beautiful rivers and scenic views in the central mountains, a variety of recreational opportunities such as hiking, fishing, and exploring old mining sites, and offers the state’s best ATV trails throughout the Land of the Yankee Fork Historic Area.
Additional park information for a volunteer interpretive internship working at Ponderosa State Park -- Ponderosa State Park is located at McCall, Idaho and features beautiful Ponderosa Pine forest on a peninsula and inlet into Payette Lake a variety of recreational opportunities such as camping, hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and beach going, and offers access to boating and fishing on and around Payette Lake.
Additional park information for a volunteer interpretive internship working at Round Lake State Park -- Round Lake State Park is located at Sagle, ID and features beautiful Glacial Lake with towering trees and abundant wildlife, a variety of recreational opportunities such as camping, hiking, fishing, swimming and offers three hiking trails as well as canoe, kayak and stand up paddle board rentals.
Additional park information for a volunteer interpretive internship working at Lucky Peak State Park-- Provide general assistance with administration of the Experience/Education program through conducting research, helping to coordinate supplies needed for park educational programs, assisting with the creation of educational materials and printing of manuals, and assisting with and participating in interpretive training. Lead interpretive programs in Boise area state parks including Eagle Island State Park and Lucky Peak State Park.
Sharing stories of the past is essential for our continued growth
Additional park information for a volunteer interpretive internship working at Dworshak State Park -- Dworshak State Park is located at 9934 Freeman Creek Road outside of Orofino, Idaho and features the beautiful Dworshak Reservoir, a variety of recreational opportunities such as archery, fishing, birdwatching, and hiking, and has 105 camp sites, 2 small group camps and the extensive Three Meadows Group Camp.
Additional park information for a volunteer interpretive internship working at Bruneau Dunes State Park -- Bruneau Dunes is located along the Snake River approximately 60 miles from Boise Idaho and 20 miles outside of Mountain Home Idaho. There is easy access to rivers, lakes numerous ATV and hiking trails and several nearby mountain ranges. The park is in an arid desert environment and rich with various plant and animal species and breathtaking vistas. The park features an astronomical observatory with the largest public viewing telescope in Idaho.
Castle Rocks/City of Rocks
Additional park information for a volunteer interpretive internship working at Castle Rocks State Park & City of Rocks National Reserve -- The state park and reserve is located at Almo, Idaho and features beautiful granite pinnacles, monoliths and spires, a variety of recreational opportunities such as camping at Smoky Mountain Campground and City of Rocks, hiking, climbing, biking, birding, wildflower viewing, and offers access to a fish pond, archery course, solitude and near-by City of Rocks National Reserve.
Interact with park visitors and leave a lasting impression