Author Archives: Jamie Hubert

Interpretive Resource Coordinator at Cuivre River State Park.

Call for Papers for 2023 Conference

Are you interested in presenting for 2023’s Association of Missouri Interpreters Conference? Submit your session proposal now! There are now two ways you can submit your session proposal. You can either fill out the SurveyMonkey provided (link provided here), or fill out and email the document below to Kimberlea Scott at Forms and surveys are due July 15th, 2023, so act fast!


Create Your Own Path at the 2017 AMI Workshop-Registration Now Open!


In September the Association of Missouri Interpreters will travel to Steelville, Missouri for the 2017 annual conference. The focus will be “Creating Your Own Path” to better interpretation through sessions, keynotes, and field trips.  Those who call the Ozarks home, and those who called it home in the past, know exactly what it is like to create their own path.  The rugged landscape of the Ozarks, along with the allure of its rivers and streams and mysterious caves, has drawn people to its beauty for centuries.  The rich forests and rivers were paths to commerce and recreation; sustaining those who chose to stay and make a home there.  For these reasons, the field trips offered this year will focus on our Missouri heritage in the Ozarks.  We will visit places of splendor and history within each field trip because, let’s be honest, we cannot truly think about one without the other.  These trips will emphasize the rock upon which the beauty of the Ozarks resides, the rock upon which the towns, homesteads, and industry grew.  We will look at the natural, commercial, and recreational value of the area’s springs and streams.  They are the veins pumping life into the communities and into the verdant landscape. We will visit towns and people who celebrate our natural and cultural heritage by protecting and displaying it for those who choose to visit.  These people are the life blood of this part of the Ozarks.  They celebrate the natural beauty through paths of preservation, conservation, and education.  They display the heritage of their communities- from the Osage Indians who trekked the rugged terrain to the flashy “new” Route 66 that has brought travelers from distant places to experience our Midwest Americana.  This conference’s field trips will not only lead you down the area’s natural and cultural paths, but also challenge you to create new paths of interpretation.  Whether it is through reaching out to new or underserved groups or rethinking activities and partnerships to reach diverse audiences, there will be something for everyone at the 2017 Association of Missouri Interpreters conference.  Make plans to join us September 11- 14 in Steelville, MO!  Check out the Conference tab for more information, call for papers, and registration information!

Upcoming Certified Interpretive Guide Training

CIG photoThe Certified Interpretive Guide program is designed for anyone who delivers interpretive programs to the public. It combines both the theoretical foundations of the profession with practical skills in delivering quality interpretive programming to visitors.





This 32-hour course includes:

  • history, definition, and principles of interpretation
  • making your programs purposeful, enjoyable, relevant, organized, and thematic
  • using tangible objects to connect audiences to intangible ideas and universal concepts in interpretive programs
  • presentation and communication skills
  • certification requirements (optional)


Dates: March 14-17, 2017 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Location: Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, Blue Springs, Missouri

Cost: $45 for course instruction, workbook and materials (does not include certification)

Certification Cost: $195, includes 1 year complimentary National Association of Interpretation membership (includes workshop cost $45 plus $150 certification cost)

Sign-Up: Wendy Parrett (816) 759-7305 ext. 1133 or


The CIG certification will also be offered as part of the Missouri State Park’s Spring Interpretive Training School being held at Cuivre River State Park May 21-24, 2017.   Anyone interested should contact Kendra Swee for more information.

AMI Challenges You to “Create Your Own Path” at the 2017 AMI Workshop

 AMI - Create Your Own Path

As many of you may know I am a bit of a Star Wars nerd. I also tend not to follow protocol.  So when asked to chair the 2017 AMI Conference committee I am sure there was a collective cringe and immediate thought of “oh no, what is she going to do?!”  Although I find your lack of faith disturbing, that was probably an apt assessment because the planning committee is going ROGUE.  We are breaking boundaries (as in regional boundaries) and looking to showcase how you can Create Your Own Path to better interpretation.  We as an organization are finding our way again, creating a new path.  We have gone through a lot of changes this past year and some of that change has been painful.  This is a new day, a new beginning…because we have hope.  Rebellions are built on HOPE.  🙂

With any rebellion, there must be a base from which to gather intel, rally the troops, and deploy the squadrons to affect change. So a short time ago, in a part of Missouri far, far away our rogue group found the perfect location from which to train our elite force, the interpretive troopers. Located in the crux of 3 regions (St. Louis, southeast, and southwest), Steelville is an area rich in natural beauty and cultural significance.  It is small town (population 1,692) and Crawford County seat, but most often known as the “floating capital of Missouri”. It is nestled between such popular floating rivers as the Huzzah, Courtois, and Meramec.  Although smaller than many of our previous conference locations, Steelville is located less than 10 miles from Interstate 44, near historic Route 66, and in close proximity to the Ozark’s natural beauty and cultural sites often overlooked by our membership.

1WildwoodSpringsLodge-499x333One culturally significant location is our conference headquarters. Wildwood Springs Lodge was built in 1922 by a group of sportsmen from St. Louis.  As was popular at the time, these men planned to develop a resort, complete with lodge and cabins, for their membership to enjoy the beauty and outdoor recreation the Ozarks had to offer.  Upon completion of the Lodge the leading members of the group decided the lodge should be open to the public. The group initially had plans to develop the style of resort saw in the movie “Dirty Dancing”, but fell on hard times and only the lodge and couple other building were completed.  The resort was very popular until it closed during WWII.  While closed, the lodge served as a boarding house for the wives of military men.  These women made bandages to supply the troops overseas.  After the war the lodge reopened.  The lodge has remained a popular vacation venue ever since.  To learn more about Wildwood Springs Lodge or to view photos, please visit their website at

For over 100 years, the interpreters have been the guardians of knowledge and stewardship in our natural and cultural resources. Being successful for so long means you must adapt to changes in society to stay relevant.  You must search out new ways to reach your audience.  You must reach out to audiences with whom you have not had contact before.  You must create a new path, your own path, to better interpretation. Do or do not, there is no try.

So if you are ready to join forces with our band of rebels, we would be honored if you would join us September 11th through 14th at our base in Steelville, MO for the 2017 Association of Missouri Interpreters Conference.  If you would like to join the rebellion even earlier, your assistance with planning the conference would be greatly appreciated.  Contact Kendra Swee at  for ways you can help!

Stay tuned for updates on field sessions, the call for papers, and registration details!

AMI Conference welcomes keynote speakers Grady Manus and Chip Taylor

This year’s AMI conference will welcome two inspirational keynote speakers-Grady Manus (AMI founding member and past president) and Chip Taylor, Founder of Monarch Watch.   The conference committee is honored that both of these men will join us at Cuivre River State Park for the 2016 AMI workshop.   Chip Taylor will provide the kickoff keynote with his presentation, “Monarch Butterflies: From Decline to Recovery”, and Grady Manus will provide a banquet keynote with a special message to AMI members and guests.  As an added bonus, both speakers are providing a concurrent session during the conference.  To register for the conference, click on the “Conference” tab at the top of the page.  One-day registration is available, and each speaker is also providing a session at the workshop!   For those unfamiliar with our keynote speakers, here are their bios:

Dr. Chip Taylor, PHD-Founder of Monarch Watch

Chip Taylor

Trained as an insect ecologist, Dr. Chip Taylor has published papers on species assemblages, hybridization, reproductive biology, population dynamics and plant demographics and pollination. Starting in 1974, Chip Taylor established research sites and directed students studying Neotropical African honey bees (killer bees) in French Guiana, Venezuela, and Mexico. In 1992, Taylor founded Monarch Watch, an outreach program focused on education, research and conservation relative to monarch butterflies. Since then, Monarch Watch has enlisted the help of volunteers to tag monarchs during the fall migration. This program has produced many new insights into the dynamics of the monarch migration. In 2005 Monarch Watch created the Monarch Waystation program, in recognition that habitats for monarchs are declining at a rate of 6,000 acres a day in the United States. The goal of this program is to inspire the public, schools and others to create habitats for monarch butterflies and to assist Monarch Watch in educating the public about the decline in resources for monarchs, pollinators and all wildlife that share the same habitats.


Grady Manus, CIT, CIP


Grady Manus has been involved with the interpretation of both cultural and natural resources for most of his adult life, serving at public and private locations. He has been a historic site administrator, natural resource manager, project manager and director, and served a dual role as Chief of Interpretation and adjunct professor at the Historic Daniel Boone Home and Heritage Center in Defiance, Missouri, owned by Lindenwood University. He has been certified as an NAI interpretive trainer (CIT) since 2007 and also received his NAI certification in interpretive planning (CIP) in 2009.  Grady received his MFA in writing from Lindenwood University in December 2011.  He has had pieces accepted by Poetry Quarterly, Haiku Journal, Tanka Journal, Four and Twenty, and Three Line Poetry.


Grady and his wife Lynn Youngblood teach the CIG course and do special programming and consulting work through their company, Black-eyed Pea Interpretive Services. They live on twenty-four acres of wooded hills with their dog and two cats.  When not working or writing, they love to spend their time admiring their granddaughters and grandson.


2016 AMI Conference Registration Now Open



This year’s AMI conference will be held in the Northeast Region in beautiful Cuivre River State Park in Troy, Missouri.   Registration is now online-check out the conference tab for information about the conference.  You can register by using this link-


2016 Conference


“Crafting Lasting Legacies Through Interpretation”

September 12-15, 2016

Cuivre River State Park – Troy, Missouri

Mark your calendars for the 2016 AMI workshop at beautiful Cuivre River State Park in Troy, Missouri!  This year’s conference will take place  at the historic Camp Sherwood CCC group camp.  Hosting our workshop at a group camp keeps our costs low and means FREE lodging for YOU!  The committee is busy planning some amazing field sessions in the northeast Missouri region.   Be thinking of a session that you could present to fit our theme.   More information and a call for papers will come out very soon.


Free lodging will be available in Camp Sherwood.   Camp Sherwood is divided into 4 “villages”, each with cabins that sleep up to 6 people.  Each village features a restroom/shower house.  Participants will need to bring their own bedding and towels.  To view photos of Camp Sherwood, visit the album on the park’s Facebook page.

If a participant wishes to stay in a hotel room in Troy, the Super 8 hotel is conveniently located by Highway 61 and rates run about $108/night.

Tentative Workshop Agenda

Monday, September 12

Preconference field sessions

Tuesday, September 13

Conference kickoff and keynote speaker

Concurrent sessions at Camp Sherwood

Awards Banquet at the historic Troy Odd Fellows Lodge in Downtown Troy

Wednesday, September 14

Conference field sessions at Camp Sherwood

Scholarship Auction at Camp Sherwood Recreation Hall

Thursday, September 15

Concurrent sessions at Camp Sherwood

Business meeting and lunch at Camp Sherwood

AMI Scholarship and Professional Development Auction

As always, dig around in your basements, closets, and offices for those unique items for the auction!   The AMI auction is our only fundraiser for our scholarship fund, which allows AMI to provide student scholarships as well as professional development stipends for our members.

Save the Date-AMI Conference 2016

AMI-2016-logoMark your calendars for the 2016 AMI workshop at beautiful Cuivre River State Park in Troy, Missouri!  This year’s conference will take place September 12-15, 2016 at the historic Camp Sherwood CCC group camp.  Hosting our workshop at a group camp keeps our costs low and means FREE lodging for YOU!  The committee is busy planning some amazing field sessions in the northeast Missouri region.   Our theme this year is “Crafting last legacies through interpretation”, so be thinking of a session that you could present to fit our theme.   More information and a call for papers will come out very soon.  Stay tuned to the Conference page for updates!

Important 2015 Workshop Information

JCNicholsFtThis year’s workshop in Kansas City promises to be another great one, and we hope to have as many AMI members there as we can get.   Not only because we love gathering with fellow interpreters, but also because there is a very important vote coming up at this year’s business meeting.   For those that cannot attend, there will be a chance for you to cast your vote after the workshop.    But we would rather see you at the conference!   You can register online at  or download the paper registration form.  The deadline for registration is Friday, August 14.

It is also very important for you to book your hotel room by Monday, August 17.  AMI will suffer serious financial penalties if rooms are not booked by then.  The conference hotel is the Holiday Inn Kansas City Downtown – Aladdin at 1215 Wyandotte Street, Kansas City, MO 64105.  To receive the group rate of $109 per room, you will need to call the hotel at 877-224-2870 and tell them you are with the Association of Missouri Interpreters Conference.

Breakfast is not included at this hotel. One valet parking voucher, which is valid for the whole conference, will be included with your room. The hotel reservation staff may not know this because it is a central reservation system, but the Aladdin hotel will have the voucher when you arrive.

Finally, please remember to bring items to donate for the AMI auction. This auction benefits AMI scholarships for students to attend future conferences.  Thank you on behalf of the 2015 AMI Conference Committee.  See you in Kansas City!