Sunday, February 22, 2009

Spring Training

Hi, folks!

Apparently I've been living here in the DC area for more than two weeks now, and I've yet to decribe my work situation. I figure I should probably tackle that topic sooner or later, considering that the whole reason I'm up here is for work, lol. And, because I'm such a procrastinator (avoiding some work prep. stuff) these days, I'm going to take this time to write about my job thus far.

Starting from the beginning, I'm working as a Program Assistant for Wonders of Washington, which is a program run through National 4-H Council. PAs serve as tour guides, workshop facilitators, and Council interns throughout the Spring semester (February to May, or June). Keeping these three roles in mind, I'll break each of them down individually for you.

Our most time-consuming role as a PA is serving as a tour guide to groups visiting the city of DC. These groups could be 4-H groups, school group, scout groups, etc. Depending on the length of a group's stay, PAs use their knowledge as a licensed DC tour guide to lead the group to various popular attractions throughout the District and nearby Virgina. Nearly every "hot spot" is available for inclusion in a group's visit, so you say it, I've seen it...multiple times.

In order to gain the proper skills to serve in this role, all PAs must take (and pass, lol) the DC tour guide licensure exam, which equates to becoming a Certified Class B Tour Guide. To prepare for the test, we were given a study guide at the beginning of January with over 300 possible questions. Just a week after arriving (Feb. 17th), we took our test, and hope to find out the results soon. We have also been visiting many popular sites in the area, and running through the routes during the last two weeks of training.

Some groups request workshops as a part of their WOW experience; these workshops range in topic from how a bill becomes a law, to citizenship, leadership, and teambuilding. For this reason, each of the PAs were assigned to present a mock workshop to the group. We are all very experienced with facilitating workshops, so this was pretty much a piece of cake for us, especially since the workshop plans/outlines already exist, so all we have to do is review and execute them. Easy as pie.

And finally, our last (major) role as PAs is interning within a department at National 4-H Council. Nick has been assigned to work with the "Center team," which basically, includes doing work with our WOW supervisors and the departement in which the program is organized. Christy will be working with the Resource Development Department, perhaps working on curriculum development and other similar projects. Colin was assigned to 4-H Supply, which, for you 4-Hers out there, is the product development/marketing component of Council. This translates to...the 4-H Supply store, the one that designs and distributes 4-H brand paraphernalia across the country and world. And lastly, my assignment is with the CEO/President's office. I'm not exactly sure what I'll be doing yet, but I'll let you know as soon as I figure that out; it's sure to be an interesting adventure. :)

As we go into our third week of training here at the Center, we'll be focusing on practicing our commentary (talking/stories) for the Nightview tour, mastering the designated routes to major destinations, and meeting with our internship departments. We will also begin to prepare and plan for our first groups; Christy and Colin's first group comes in the first week of March, and Nick and I's group comes in the following week. Of course, we'll all be on pins and needles (okay, a little dramatic there, but still) until we find out the results of our exam, but hopefully it'll come in soon.

And, just in case anyone is interested in another viewpoint of a PA's experiences, feel free to check out Christy's blog. She has written a much more detailed description about our first two weeks of training, including funny stories and good times that we all have together. Don't worry, she has given me permission to share it with you all, so go ahead...check it out!

Now, I suppose I should get started on reviewing my Nightview commentary...

A plus tard,

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