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Certified Interpretive Guide Training to be held in Cane River NHA

Certified Interpretive Guide Training

Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site
Natchitoches, Louisiana

February 8 -11, 2016

Sponsored by Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site, Louisiana State Parks, and The National Association for Interpretation

Earn your CIG and enjoy the history and beauty of Natchitoches, Louisiana with your trainers, NAI’s Master Interpretive Manager and retired Chief of Interpretation for Arkansas State Parks, Jay Miller, and Rusty Scarborough, raptor rehabilitator, CIG trainer, and Interpretation Supervisor at Walter B. Jacobs Nature Park, Shreveport.

Natchitoches is one of Louisiana’s oldest cities. French Canadian Louis Antoine Juchereau de St. Denis founded Natchitoches in 1714. The area is rich in Native American, French, and Southern history, including plantation tours, house tours, and historic events. During this workshop we will discuss interpretation of historic sites and will enjoy tours and programs in Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site. From our workshop you can walk along Cane River Lake past historic homes to the restaurants and shops of historic downtown Natchitoches. Natchitoches is the perfect place for a winter workshop.

Certified Interpretive Guide is an internationally recognized certification for those who present programs in any form, including guided walks, city tours, historic sites, natural areas, programs for schools, and more. You will learn the history and art of interpretation. By including your certification with your name, on business cards, in your resume, and by wearing your CIG pin, you let your employer and your audience know that you have a command of interpretive skills, and that you have made the effort to be among the best in your field. Certification is a way to raise your interpretation to a higher level and document that you possess skills and knowledge that allow you to perform effectively in the interpretation profession.

The 32-hour CIG curriculum includes:

  1. History, definition, and principles of interpretation
  2. Techniques for making your programs purposeful, enjoyable, thematic, and relevant
  3. Incorporating tangibles and intangibles to make your programs meaningful and memorable
  4. Presentation and communication skills
  5. The importance of measurable outcomes
  6. Understanding and using learning styles for maximize impact
  7. Tools for talking that engage your audience and maximize attention and memory
  8. A variety of individual and group activities
  9. Completion of all certification requirements
  10. Materials: CIG workbook, light snacks, and CIG literature review books for classroom use*

Workshop participants are expected to:

  1. Attend and participate in the entire workshop
  2. Dress comfortably for indoor and outdoor activities
  3. Work with others to complete an open book literature review
  4. Produce a presentation outline
  5. Deliver a ten-minute thematic interpretive presentation
  6. Provide your own transportation, meals, and lodging.
  7. Provide your lunch each day and snacks for special diets.

Your certified trainers, Jay Miller and Rusty Scarborough, will work individually with each participant to review the outline, theme, content, and techniques prior to your presentation.

Requirements for the CIG Course:

Anyone age 16 or over with a desire to increase their knowledge and skills in interpretation may participate.

REGISTRATION – includes NAI membership, instructor fee, certification fee, and materials. Your NAI membership becomes active when you register and make payment at:

Size limit: The course is limited to 25 participants.

When: February 8 – 11, 2016 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily

Where: Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site, Natchitoches, Louisiana

Lodging: There are a variety of types and prices of lodging in Natchitoches. The town is noted for bed and breakfast accommodations; many are in the historic area near our workshop location.

Certification Library: A set of books needed to complete the open book exam will be provided for use during the workshop; however, you may wish to purchase your own set or a set for your institution’s library. You may do so when you register online at, or from the NAI store at The texts used are:

  1. Interpreting Our Heritage by Freeman Tilden
  2. The Gifts of Interpretation by Ted Cable and Larry Beck
  3. Personal Interpretation by Lisa Brochu and Tim Merriman
  4. Interpretation: Making a Difference on Purpose by Sam Ham

If you have questions about this workshop contact Jay at 501-425-6225 or

Your Certified Interpretive Trainers: Jay S. Miller and Rusty Scarborough

Jay S. Miller, MS, is a Certified Interpretive Trainer, Certified Interpretive Planner. Recently retired, Jay Miller worked with Arkansas State Parks for 37 years, first as a state park planner, state trails coordinator, and executive secretary of the Arkansas Trails Council, and since 1983 as Administrator of Program Services. Jay was named Distinguished Professional Interpreter in Region 6 of the National Association for Interpretation; he received the Region 6 Life Achievement Award, and was named NAI’s national Master Interpretive Manager.

As head of the Program Services division, Jay was chief of interpretation for the state park system, responsible for interpretation, publications, exhibits, and training and direction for the interpretation and education programs within Arkansas’s 52 state parks, historic sites and museums. In addition, Jay has taught Interpretation of Historic Sites in the public history graduate program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and currently teaches interpretation at Arkansas Tech University. He is a frequent trainer and speaker at regional, national, and international conferences, and has been a consultant to national parks in Madagascar and Bolivia.

Jay received his Bachelor’s Degree from Ouachita Baptist University and a Master of Science in Forest Recreation Management with an emphasis in interpretation from Utah State University.

Rusty Scarborough has a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Conservation from Louisiana Tech University and is an NAI certified Guide and Trainer. Raised in the mixed pine/hardwood bottomland of rural northwest Louisiana, Rusty gained his love of nature early. Then, in his late teens, Rusty was introduced to the exciting world of falconry. Now, over 25 years later, Rusty is a master falconer and is introducing others to the sport. Over the last 20 years Rusty has presented bird of prey and falconry programs throughout Arkansas, Missouri and Louisiana. He has trained and hunted a number of birds including Red-tailed hawks, Harris’s hawks, Kestrels, Red-shouldered hawk, Cooper’s hawk, Ferruginous/Harris’ hybrid and golden eagles. Rusty flies a female Harris’s hawk, a captive bred Harris’s hawk, and a red-tailed hawk. Rusty currently serves as Out-of-State Director for the Arkansas Hawking Association.

After ten years as Education Program Coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Rusty has taken on new challenges back home in Louisiana. Rusty is now Senior Park Naturalist for Caddo Parish Parks and Recreation’s Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park in Shreveport, Louisiana. In addition to managing the park, Rusty continues his work caring for and training the bird of prey collection at the park, which includes eagles, owls, hawks, and falcons.

For additional information:

The National Association for Interpretation (NAI):

The NAI certification program:

Louisiana State Parks:

Things to do/places to stay in Natchitoches:

Jay Miller’s blog: