By Kathrine Miller
At the Mahaffie Stage Coach and Farmstead it is the goal to provide their guests an joyful and an educational experience while they visit the historical site. One way to capture these elements is to offer their guests the option of viewing and and interacting with interpreters on the grounds who care for the site day in and day out. It is the hope that the guests take away some educational aspect of the life on the frontier and enjoy the site for what it has to offer with the use of interpreters.
During my Summer internship at the Mahaffie organization, I have been rotating my duties and one of my duties is taking on the role of an Interpreter. At first, honestly, it was a bit of a challenge for me. My nerves have gotten the better of me at times due to being very new with handling guest/public relations but I have had a wonderful support network which who have guided and steered me into the right direction. As an interpreter at the Mahaffie StageCoach, it is my duty to provide the guests the backlog of information that will help support the mission of the site-such as explaining the necessities of gardens while watering the grounds as I speak in front of a group, or providing the backlog of information of the Barlow & Sanderson Stage Coach that guests tend to love, to filling in the historical background when upon a question is asked by a guest when they spot something unknown to them.
My favorite interpretation undertaking and one of my greatest achievements has been learning to slaughter chickens for demonstration purposes. I had no experience in this realm, so it took quite a brave streak within me to conduct this and in the end I was successful. The guests on this particular Sunday day were curious, full of questions, and even willing to help get the chicken cut into the appropriate cuts. I have to say, I learned quite a bit about living on the frontier myself as I took on the multitude of tasks to finish the job correctly as it would be done then. This day of interpretation exposed me to the elements of gaining the valuable experience needed help carry me onto other places to hold a key spot as an valuable interpreter on the grounds. I have added pictures of the chicken demonstration and photo of me in my traditional clothing that we as interpreters wear on the grounds when visitors are with us.(I have set it as my featured pic, I am clothed in traditional dress w/ petty coat underneath to fill out dress, a hair bonnet due to short hair, and and the classic bonnet, and I would have an apron on)
I am gaining so many educational experiences for my future that one can not gain within the classroom. It has been and will be something I will reference to for future bases.