“I think the reason that Story Circles have had so much success within NPS is because we already have a leg up on the idea that using narrative to tell a complete story makes for a far more compelling message than a laundry list of facts about the scientific, historical, cultural, etc. significance of a site.
Interpreters are already well-versed in reaching the “outer circle;” that audience with diverse backgrounds and interests. Unlike a scientist talking to a roomful of colleagues who are mostly on the same page to begin with, an interpreter can have an audience consisting of everyone from the civil war buffs and avid outdoorspeople, to the casual family vacation and foreign tourist. And you have just the one opportunity, the one interpretive hike or presentation, to tell all of them a complete story that leaves each interested, engaged, and hopefully with a deeper appreciation and respect for natural and cultural resources than they came in with. It’s no easy task, but I suspect that if you revisit some examples of successful interpretative talks or waysigns you will find elements of the ABT there.”